The comfort in touch: Immediate and lasting effects of handholding on emotional pain

Razia S. Sahi , Macrina C. Dieffenbach, Siyan Gan, Maya Lee, Laura I. Hazlett, Shannon M. Burns, Matthew D. Lieberman, Simone G. Shamay-Tsoory, Naomi I. Eisenberger, ‘The comfort in touch: Immediate and lasting effects of handholding on emotional pain’, https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0246753&fbclid=IwAR0tSmRVMCi4gqnpk-e0Er-bP9lbcylIhijBJrFJG7PGOcNLFpzFZHHcCeU#sec017, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246753, PLOS ONE (February 9, 2021)

Participants later recalled emotional memories that were paired with touch as being less emotionally painful than those that were not paired with touch. Findings suggest that touch does not decrease the immediate experience of emotional pain and may instead support adaptive processing of emotional experiences over time. (…) This study indicates an interesting distinction between the social regulation of physical and emotional pain via touch, and suggests that while consoling touch can be helpful in both contexts, it may be helpful in different ways.

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The comfort in touch: Immediate and lasting effects of handholding on emotional pain
Sahi RS, Dieffenbach MC, Gan S, Lee M, Hazlett LI, et al. (2021) The comfort in touch: Immediate and lasting effects of handholding on emotional pain. PLOS ONE 16(2): e0246753. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246753