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  Vicarious social touch biases gazing at faces and facial emotions

Schirmer, A., Ng, T., & Ebstein, R. P. (2018). Vicarious social touch biases gazing at faces and facial emotions. Emotion, 18(8), 1097-1105. doi:10.1037/emo0000393.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-B9DC-5 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-E37D-0
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Schirmer, Annett1, 2, Author              
Ng, Tabitha3, Author
Ebstein, Richard P.3, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
3Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Emotion; Midas effect; C-tactile afferents; Sex differences; Nonverbal expression
 Abstract: Research has suggested that interpersonal touch promotes social processing and other-concern, and that women may respond to it more sensitively than men. In this study, we asked whether this phenomenon would extend to third-party observers who experience touch vicariously. In an eye-tracking experiment, participants (N = 64, 32 men and 32 women) viewed prime and target images with the intention of remembering them. Primes comprised line drawings of dyadic interactions with and without touch. Targets comprised two faces shown side-by-side, with one being neutral and the other being happy or sad. Analysis of prime fixations revealed that faces in touch interactions attracted longer gazing than faces in no-touch interactions. In addition, touch enhanced gazing at the area of touch in women but not men. Analysis of target fixations revealed that touch priming increased looking at both faces immediately after target onset, and subsequently, at the emotional face in the pair. Sex differences in target processing were nonsignificant. Together, the present results imply that vicarious touch biases visual attention to faces and promotes emotion sensitivity. In addition, they suggest that, compared with men, women are more aware of tactile exchanges in their environment. As such, vicarious touch appears to share important qualities with actual physical touch.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-10-112017-08-132017-10-162018-02-012018-12
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1037/emo0000393
Other: Epub 2018
PMID: 29389206
 Degree: -

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Title: Emotion
Source Genre: Journal
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Affiliations:
Publ. Info: Washington, DC : American Psychological Association
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 18 (8) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1097 - 1105 Identifier: ISSN: 1528-3542
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1528-3542