Alberto González Villar
Research title: EVALUATION OF THE ANALGESIC EFFECTS OF INTERPERSONAL/AFFECTIVE TOUCH DURING THE INDUCTION OF SECONDARY HYPERALGESIA AND TEMPORAL SUMMATION OF SECOND PAIN
Touching or hugging a loved one is an action with consequences such as feelings of happiness or stress reduction. In addition to its discriminative dimension, touch has an affective dimension presumably conveyed by C-tactile afferents (CT) whose activation correlates with subjective pleasantness ratings, and is able to reduce evoked experimental pain, as recently reported. Here we aim to go a step further and evaluate how the activation of CT receptors modulates pain perception using central sensitization protocols, such as secondary hyperalgesia and temporal summation of second pain. Healthy participants will receive painful stimuli concomitant to either affective touch from their romantic partners or other non-affective somatosensory stimulation. We will assess subjective pain perception and electroencephalographic activity (mainly pinprickevoked potentials, power spectral density and microstates). The results from this project will allow us to characterize the mechanism of CT-mediated analgesia and the role of interpersonal/affective touch on processes related to pain chronification.