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Articles on Touch

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The brain responds differently to natural touch on a finger versus a direct electrical stimulation. Sebastian Kaulitzki/Science Photo Library

Restoring touch through electrodes implanted in the human brain will require engineering around a sensory lag

When designing neuroprosthetic devices for users to control with their thoughts, engineers must take into account the sensory information brains collect from the environment and how it gets processed.
Not being able to hold and hug loved ones has been one of the more difficult parts of the pandemic. Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Why we missed hugs

Lack of human touch can lead to greater stress, anxiety and loneliness – and that is what made the social distancing during the pandemic so hard for many.
A sculpture of two saints meeting and embracing embodies the importance of touch in Renaissance culture as a form of devotion and ultimately a way to access the divine. (Renaissance Polychrome Sculpture in Tuscany database)

Belief in touch as salvation was stronger than fear of contagion in the Italian Renaissance

After a year of pandemic social distancing, we know touch is a much-desired privilege. In the Italian Renaissance, people longed to touch not only each other, but also religious sculptures.
Image author supplied, taken by Pamela Pirovic

Yearning for touch — a photo essay

At a time of pandemic, an extraordinary photographic project unfolded between sheets of clear plastic.
In healthy older people, loneliness has a pattern of stress response similar to that of people who are under chronic stress. Justin Paget via Getty Images

The loneliness of social isolation can affect your brain and raise dementia risk in older adults

The social isolation older adults are experiencing as they try to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic is raising new mental health risks, but people can take steps to protect themselves.
No smell, no touch: People line up in Prague, Czech Republic, to get tested for the coronavirus. Getty/Gabriel Kuchta

Welcome to your sensory revolution, thanks to the pandemic

All of the senses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, not because the senses have changed, but because the world has, writes a sensory historian.

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