Interactions between self-other representation and vicarious perception are thought to be important to how we all experience empathy. Learning how these interactions vary between us, as in mirror-sensory synaesthesia, can therefore provide a powerful opportunity to gain unique insights into the functioning of empathy in us all. Aesthetics, politics and pleasure: How literature transforms us — York, York.
A tunnel to the beginning of time: a lecture on particle physics and the large hadron collider — Egham, Surrey. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Sensorium Tests, , 16mm film, 10 minutes. Michael Banissy , Goldsmiths, University of London. Installation shot.
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Some theories It may be possible for us all to relate to the experiences reported by mirror-sensory synaesthetes to some degree. You might also like Pexels. Richard E.
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Can We Touch?
Real News. Real Voices. Let us know what you'd like to see as a HuffPost Member. Read: Should teachers be allowed to touch students? Yet even as evidence of the importance of physical touch has piled up, the world has been moving in the opposite direction. In a video posted to his Twitter account last week, a response to widespread concerns about excessive hugging and incidents of hair sniffing and the like during his time as vice president, the likely presidential candidate said he had no intention of making anyone uncomfortable.
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I understand it. The research is clear on that fact that people both need and react well to physical touch—in controlled environments. There is no evidence that people like to be touched any less than in previous generations, only that negatively received touch is more openly vocalized. They have platforms for speaking up, channels for recourse, and supportive listeners to cushion the blowback.
A vicious cycle is happening, wherein the less people initiate, the more abnormal it seems when someone does, and the more likely it is to be upsetting.
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Limits of acceptability have always existed. The key to practicing touch well is to appreciate the emotional power—which is the basis of all the positive effects, and so the basis of much potential for negativity.
If anything, knowing that people bring a history of emotional experiences to each new touch can inform better, healthier interactions. Read: No touching: the countries that dislike physical contact the most.
The phenomenon of reacting to touch is often described as an autonomous pathway, which it technically is: Receptors in the skin detect pressure and temperature and movement, and these signals shoot up the spinal cord and into the brain, which adjusts its chemical output accordingly. That the emotional responses become physical in predictable patterns suggests that our bodies evolved to respond favorably to touch—or at least, to miss out on benefits when we are physically isolated.
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MRI scans show physical touch activating areas of the cerebral cortex, and other studies show decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol. Massage therapy has proven effective for depression, and neurotransmitters that modulate pain are stimulated by touch.
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