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Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. doi: 10.1038/nn.2312. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans.

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1
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. line.loken@neuro.gu.se

Abstract

Pleasant touch sensations may begin with neural coding in the periphery by specific afferents. We found that during soft brush stroking, low-threshold unmyelinated mechanoreceptors (C-tactile), but not myelinated afferents, responded most vigorously at intermediate brushing velocities (1-10 cm s(-1)), which were perceived by subjects as being the most pleasant. Our results indicate that C-tactile afferents constitute a privileged peripheral pathway for pleasant tactile stimulation that is likely to signal affiliative social body contact.

PMID:
19363489
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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