Social Touch

  • Alberto GallaceEmail author
  • Charles Spence


The more social aspects of touch, despite their relevance to numerous domains of human behavior, from cultural anthropology to cognitive neuroscience, and from virtual reality through to linguistics, have not been extensively studied by scientists. That is, psychologists and neuroscientists are only now beginning to uncover some of the neurocognitive mechanisms responsible for these important real-world interactions. In this chapter, we summarize the latest developments in this field of research. In particular, we highlight a number of studies where touch, no matter whether direct or mediated by technological devices, has been shown to affect our behavior, as well as our physiological reactions. We show how this sensory modality often acts as a powerful interface allowing us to interact socially and emotionally with the world around us. The available research also suggests that touch plays an important role in supporting our well-being.


Touch Interpersonal Well-being Neuroscience Technology Social 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental PsychologyOxford UniversityOxfordUK

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