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Preparing to caress: a neural signature of social bonding.

Campagnoli RR, Krutman L, Vargas CD, Lobo I, Oliveira JM, Oliveira L, Pereira MG, David IA, Volchan E - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The amplitude of the readiness potential preceding the grasping of pleasant emotional-laden stimuli was previously shown to be reduced compared with neutral ones.As hypothesized, readiness potentials preceding the caressing of the soft cloth were significantly reduced under exposure to bonding as compared to control pictures.The facilitatory effects are likely due to the recruitment of pre-set cortical motor repertoires related to caress-like movements, emphasizing the distinctiveness of neural signatures for caress-like movements.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Neurobiology, Institute of Biophysics Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
It is assumed that social bonds in humans have consequences for virtually all aspects of behavior. Social touch-based contact, particularly hand caressing, plays an important role in social bonding. Pre-programmed neural circuits likely support actions (or predispositions to act) toward caressing contacts. We searched for pre-set motor substrates toward caressing by exposing volunteers to bonding cues and having them gently stroke a very soft cloth, a caress-like movement. The bonding cues were pictures with interacting dyads and the control pictures presented non-interacting dyads. We focused on the readiness potential, an electroencephalographic marker of motor preparation that precedes movement execution. The amplitude of the readiness potential preceding the grasping of pleasant emotional-laden stimuli was previously shown to be reduced compared with neutral ones. Fingers flexor electromyography measured action output. The rationale here is that stroking the soft cloth when previously exposed to bonding cues, a compatible context, would result in smaller amplitudes of readiness potentials, as compared to the context with no such cues. Exposure to the bonding pictures increased subjective feelings of sociability and decreased feelings of isolation. Participants who more frequently engage in mutual caress/groom a "significant other" in daily life initiated the motor preparation earlier, reinforcing the caress-like nature of the task. As hypothesized, readiness potentials preceding the caressing of the soft cloth were significantly reduced under exposure to bonding as compared to control pictures. Furthermore, an increased fingers flexor electromyographic activity was identified under exposure to the former as compared to the latter pictures. The facilitatory effects are likely due to the recruitment of pre-set cortical motor repertoires related to caress-like movements, emphasizing the distinctiveness of neural signatures for caress-like movements.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Task. The sequential photographs illustrate the paced fingers flexion over the soft cloth, resembling a caress-like movement.
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Figure 1: Task. The sequential photographs illustrate the paced fingers flexion over the soft cloth, resembling a caress-like movement.

Mentions: Participants were tested in a sound-attenuated room under dim ambient light. They were asked to sit with both arms comfortably placed over a table. The left wrist and hand rested on a very soft cloth. As Dirnberger et al. (2011) reported the readiness potential to be of higher amplitudes for movements with the non-dominant hand, the task was performed using the non-dominant left hand. The task consisted of a paced single flexion of fingers over the soft cloth (Figure 1). After performing the task, the participant returned the left hand to the resting position.


Preparing to caress: a neural signature of social bonding.

Campagnoli RR, Krutman L, Vargas CD, Lobo I, Oliveira JM, Oliveira L, Pereira MG, David IA, Volchan E - Front Psychol (2015)

Task. The sequential photographs illustrate the paced fingers flexion over the soft cloth, resembling a caress-like movement.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4309179&req=5

Figure 1: Task. The sequential photographs illustrate the paced fingers flexion over the soft cloth, resembling a caress-like movement.
Mentions: Participants were tested in a sound-attenuated room under dim ambient light. They were asked to sit with both arms comfortably placed over a table. The left wrist and hand rested on a very soft cloth. As Dirnberger et al. (2011) reported the readiness potential to be of higher amplitudes for movements with the non-dominant hand, the task was performed using the non-dominant left hand. The task consisted of a paced single flexion of fingers over the soft cloth (Figure 1). After performing the task, the participant returned the left hand to the resting position.

Bottom Line: The amplitude of the readiness potential preceding the grasping of pleasant emotional-laden stimuli was previously shown to be reduced compared with neutral ones.As hypothesized, readiness potentials preceding the caressing of the soft cloth were significantly reduced under exposure to bonding as compared to control pictures.The facilitatory effects are likely due to the recruitment of pre-set cortical motor repertoires related to caress-like movements, emphasizing the distinctiveness of neural signatures for caress-like movements.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory of Neurobiology, Institute of Biophysics Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

ABSTRACT
It is assumed that social bonds in humans have consequences for virtually all aspects of behavior. Social touch-based contact, particularly hand caressing, plays an important role in social bonding. Pre-programmed neural circuits likely support actions (or predispositions to act) toward caressing contacts. We searched for pre-set motor substrates toward caressing by exposing volunteers to bonding cues and having them gently stroke a very soft cloth, a caress-like movement. The bonding cues were pictures with interacting dyads and the control pictures presented non-interacting dyads. We focused on the readiness potential, an electroencephalographic marker of motor preparation that precedes movement execution. The amplitude of the readiness potential preceding the grasping of pleasant emotional-laden stimuli was previously shown to be reduced compared with neutral ones. Fingers flexor electromyography measured action output. The rationale here is that stroking the soft cloth when previously exposed to bonding cues, a compatible context, would result in smaller amplitudes of readiness potentials, as compared to the context with no such cues. Exposure to the bonding pictures increased subjective feelings of sociability and decreased feelings of isolation. Participants who more frequently engage in mutual caress/groom a "significant other" in daily life initiated the motor preparation earlier, reinforcing the caress-like nature of the task. As hypothesized, readiness potentials preceding the caressing of the soft cloth were significantly reduced under exposure to bonding as compared to control pictures. Furthermore, an increased fingers flexor electromyographic activity was identified under exposure to the former as compared to the latter pictures. The facilitatory effects are likely due to the recruitment of pre-set cortical motor repertoires related to caress-like movements, emphasizing the distinctiveness of neural signatures for caress-like movements.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus