+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Preparing to caress: a neural signature of social bonding

Preparing to caress: a neural signature of social bonding

Frontiers in Psychology 6: 16

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.

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 058609620

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25674068

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00016

Related references

The neural signature of social norm compliance. Neuron 56(1): 185-196, 2007

A neural signature of the creation of social evaluation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 9(6): 731-736, 2015

Theta signal as the neural signature of social exclusion. Cerebral Cortex 23(10): 2437-2447, 2014

Touching moments: desire modulates the neural anticipation of active romantic caress. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8: 60, 2014

Cardiovascular risk education and social support (CaRESS): report of a randomized controlled trial from the Kentucky Ambulatory Network (KAN). Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 21(4): 269-281, 2008

Neural mechanisms of mother-infant bonding and pair bonding: Similarities, differences, and broader implications. Hormones and Behavior 77: 98-112, 2016

Neural signature of tDCS, tPCS and their combination: Comparing the effects on neural plasticity. Neuroscience Letters 637: 207-214, 2016

Vibrational dephasing in ionic liquids as a signature of hydrogen bonding. Chemphyschem 16(12): 2519-2523, 2015

Universal signature of hydrogen bonding in the oxygen K-edge spectrum of alcohols. Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 114(41): 13076-13083, 2010

Preparing porcelain surfaces for optimal bonding. Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry 29(6): 324-35; Quiz 336, 2008

The temperature-dependent hydrogen-bonding signature of lipids monitored in the far-infrared domain. Chemphyschem 11(2): 435-441, 2010

Social relations or social capital? Individual and community health effects of bonding social capital. Social Science and Medicine 63(1): 255-270, 2006

Colony formation and social bonding in Stegodyhus mimosarum and other social spiders. Zeitschrift fur Tierpsychologie: 32 (5) 522-531, 1973

Opioids and social bonding: naltrexone reduces feelings of social connection. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 11(5): 728-735, 2017

Colony formation and social bonding in stegodyphus mimosarum and other social spiders. Zeitschrift fuer Tierpsychologie 32(5): 522-531, 1973