МОЗГОВЫЕ МЕХАНИЗМЫ АФФЕКТИВНОГО ВОСПРИЯТИЯ ПРИКОСНОВЕНИЙ
When touching different objects, we process their emotional qualities: some objects are pleasant to the touch, while others are not. The neural correlates of affective processing of touch are mostly investigated via stimulation of CT afferents, which innervate only hairy skin and encode affective properties of the stimuli. However, emotional qualities of touch can be processed via glabrous skin as well, despite the absence of CT afferents. In the present fMRI study, we investigated the neural mechanisms of affective processing of touch in glabrous skin. Participants touched various textures, evaluating them on emotional scales (cruel-kind, unpleasant-pleasant). We found that the angular gyrus and supramarginal gyrus are more active for textures evaluated as “cruel” as opposed to “kind” ones. The secondary somatosensory cortex, caudate and superior frontal gyrus are more active for textures evaluated as “unpleasant” as opposed to “pleasant” ones. Overall, the study shows how some affective properties of touch can be processed beyond the CT afferents system.