How does our brain experience pleasurable touch? • Earth.com

How does our brain experience pleasurable touch?

02-17-2023

Today’s Video of the Day from Columbia University explores the question of how a pleasurable touch can create a rewarding sensation in the brain. The researchers set out to investigate whether there are neurons that are specifically activated by a gentle stroke to the skin.

“Pleasurable touch is paramount during social behavior, including sexual encounters. However, the identity and precise role of sensory neurons that transduce sexual touch remain unknown,” the study authors wrote in the journal Cell.

Using a mouse model, the experts identified a pathway that starts with neurons in the skin that run all of the way to pleasure centers of the brain.

According to the researchers, the findings point toward touch-based therapies for alleviating anxiety, stress and depression.

Video Credit: Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

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