Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

To touch or to be touched? comparing appraisal of vicarious execution and reception of interpersonal touch

Butti, N, Urgesi, C, McGlone, FP, Oldrati, V, Montirosso, R and Cazzato, V (2024) To touch or to be touched? comparing appraisal of vicarious execution and reception of interpersonal touch. PLoS One, 19 (5).

journal.pone.0293164.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Unmyelinated C-Tactile (CT) fibres are activated by caress-like touch, eliciting a pleasant feeling that decreases for static and faster stroking. Previous studies documented this effect also for vicarious touch, hypothesising simulation mechanisms driving the perception and appreciation of observed interpersonal touch. Notably, less is known about appreciation of vicarious execution of touch, that is as referred to the one giving gentle touch. To address this issue, 53 healthy participants were asked to view and rate a series of videoclips displaying an individual being touched by another on hairy (i.e., hand dorsum) or glabrous (i.e., palm) skin sites, with touch being delivered at CT-optimal (5 cm/s) or non-CT optimal velocities (0 cm/s or 30 cm/s). Following the observation of each clip, participants were asked to rate self-referred desirability and model-referred pleasantness of vicarious touch for both executer (toucher-referred) and receiver (touchee-referred). Consistent with the CT fibres properties, for both self-referred desirability and model-referred pleasantness judgements of vicarious touch execution and reception, participants provided higher ratings for vicarious touch delivered at CT-optimal than other velocities, and when observed CT-optimal touch was delivered to the hand-dorsum compared to the palm. However, higher ratings were attributed to vicarious reception compared to execution of CT-optimal touch. Notably, individual differences in interoceptive trusting and attitude to interpersonal touch were positively correlated with, respectively, toucher- and touchee-related overall appraisal ratings of touch. These findings suggest that the appreciation of both toucher- and touchee-referred vicarious touch is specifically attuned to CT-optimal touch, even though they might rely on different neurocognitive mechanisms to understand affective information conveyed by interpersonal tactile interactions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Male; Female; Adult; Touch; Touch Perception; Young Adult; Interpersonal Relations; General Science & Technology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 13:03
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 13:03
DOI or ID number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293164
Editors: Aspell, JE
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23313
View Item View Item