Emotion in Touch and Pain (GRASP)

Borstrobot, banner
Well-controlled delivery of gentle stroking by the GRASP lab’s robotic tactile stimulator (RTS; Dancer Design, UK)

Unmyelinated low-threshold mechanoreceptors and affective touch.

Have you ever felt calmed by the gentle touch of a loved one?  Have you ever felt worried by the threat of pain?

If so, you have experienced examples of “affective somatosensation”, which we investigate in the Group for Research in Affective Somatosensation and Pain (GRASP).  

Our research involves both basic systems neuroscience and clinical human neuroscience, from cognitive psychology to structural and functional neuroanatomy. 

We investigate these questions using a range of methods which tap into various levels of the human nervous system, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), microneurography, electromyography (EMG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), laser-evoked potentials (LEPs), skin microdialysis, and autonomic measures. 

The research interests of GRASP include:

  • Brain correlates of affective touch and pain
  • The role of peripheral tactile C (CT) afferent nerves in affective touch and pain
  • The role of efferent responses in touch and pain
  • The social neuroscience of affective touch
  • Interactions between touch and pain
  • Innervation of human skin 

Pictures – Emotion in Touch and Pain
Show/Hide content

Förberedelse för borstrobot. Applicera sensorer i ansikte.
Facial expressions reflect and communicate emotional states.  We use facial EMG to discover how social touch influences subtle facial expressions. Thor Balkhed
Borstmaskin för att testa känsel
Well-controlled delivery of gentle stroking by the GRASP lab’s robotic tactile stimulator (RTS; Dancer Design, UK) Thor Balkhed
Testa känsla av beröring på ben och fot
Nerve impulses in single neurons can be measured in awake human volunteers using microneurography, which can reveal relationships between nerve activity and subjective experience. Thor Balkhed
Utveckling av studier i MR-kamera
What brain regions and networks underlie affective responses to pain and touch? We use fMRI and related methods to map the neural correlates of affective somatosensation. Thor Balkhed
Blick inne i MR-kamera
Hudberoring-smarta-emotioner-TB-LiU-6 Thor Balkhed
MR-kamera på CMIV, India Morrison.
Hudberoring-web-smarta-emotioner-LiU-TB-3 Thor Balkhed
MR-kamera på CMIV, India Morrison.
Hudberoring-web-smarta-emotioner-LiU-TB-2 Thor Balkhed

Contact
Show/Hide content

Related research
Show/Hide content

Organization
Show/Hide content