Traumas change perception in the long term – Researchers at the University of Bonn investigated how interpersonal contact is processed in the brain

Redactie, ‘Traumas change perception in the long term – Researchers at the University of Bonn investigated how interpersonal contact is processed in the brain’, https://www.uni-bonn.de/news/201-2019, Universität Bonn (Aug 19, 2019)

Opportunities body-based therapies

Traumatized people found touch stimuli less comforting than people without trauma. They also maintained a greater social distance toward strangers. (…) Touch is of central importance because it influences brain development, provides a feeling for one’s own body and serves as a stress regulator. (…) The somatosensory cortex is located in the brain approximately above the ear and registers where a touch occurs. (…) This area encodes haptic sensations and is involved in the preparation and initiation of body movement – for example, pulling away the leg that has been touched. (…) The results show that the perception and sensory processing of people with traumatic childhood experiences have changed. (…) This result may also open up opportunities for new therapies: Supplementary body-based therapies in a safe environment could make it possible to retrain this stimulus processing.

Publication

Ayline Maier, Caroline Gieling, Luca Heinen-Ludwig, Vlad Stefan, Johannes Schultz, Onur Güntürkün, Benjamin Becker, René Hurlemann and Dirk Scheele: Association of Childhood Maltreatment With Interpersonal Distance and Social Touch Preferences in Adulthood, The American Journal of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19020212

Contact

Dr. Dirk Scheele
Division of Medical Psychology
University Hospital Bonn
Tel. +49-228-28711151
eMail: Dirk.Scheele@ukbonn.de