Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 2014 May 21;82(4):737-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.05.001.

Discriminative and affective touch: sensing and feeling.

Author information

School of Natural Science & Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK; Institute of Psychology, Health & Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3BX, UK. Electronic address:
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Box 432, 40530 Göteborg, Sweden.
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuroscience, Neurophysiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden.


The multimodal properties of the human somatosensory system continue to be unravelled. There is mounting evidence that one of these submodalities-touch-has another dimension, providing not only its well-recognized discriminative input to the brain, but also an affective input. It has long been recognized that touch plays an important role in many forms of social communication and a number of theories have been proposed to explain observations and beliefs about the "power of touch." Here, we propose that a class of low-threshold mechanosensitive C fibers that innervate the hairy skin represent the neurobiological substrate for the affective and rewarding properties of touch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center