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Papers of the Week

2022 May 12

Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Acute tryptophan depletion alters affective touch perception.


Trotter PD, Smith SA, Moore DJ, O'Sullivan N, McFarquhar MM, McGlone FP, Walker SC
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2022 May 12.
PMID: 35554625.


Affiliative tactile interactions help regulate physiological arousal and confer resilience to acute and chronic stress. C-tactile afferents (CTs) are a population of unmyelinated, low threshold mechanosensitive cutaneous nerve fibres which respond optimally to a low force stimulus, moving at between 1 and 10 cm/s. As CT firing frequencies correlate positively with subjective ratings of touch pleasantness, they are hypothesised to form the first stage of encoding affiliative tactile interactions. Serotonin is a key modulator of social responses with known effects on bonding.