Journal article Open Access

The neural bases of tactile vitality forms and their modulation by social context

Rizzolatti, Giacomo; D'Alessio, Andrea; Marchi, Massimo; Di Cesare, Giuseppe

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    <subfield code="a">Rizzolatti, Giacomo</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">The neural bases of tactile vitality forms and their modulation by social context</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;People communicate using speech, gestures, and, less frequently, touches. An example of tactile&lt;br&gt;
communication is represented by handshake. Customs surrounding handshake vary in different&lt;br&gt;
cultures. In Western societies is mostly used when meeting, parting, as a sign of congratulations or at&lt;br&gt;
the end of a successful business. Despite its importance in social life, the neural mechanism underlying&lt;br&gt;
the affective components conveyed by handshake (&amp;ldquo;tactile vitality forms&amp;rdquo;) is unknown. Here we&lt;br&gt;
combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electromyography (EMG), to investigate&lt;br&gt;
the neural affective activations during handshakes. We demonstrated that handshake conveying&lt;br&gt;
gentle or aggressive tactile vitality forms produces a stronger activation of the dorso-central insula.&lt;br&gt;
The simultaneous presence of emotional facial expressions modulates the activation of this insular&lt;br&gt;
sector. Finally, we provide evidence that the cingulate cortex is involved in the processing of facial&lt;br&gt;
expressions conveying different vitality forms.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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