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Noli Me Tangere: Social Touch, Tactile Defensiveness, and Communication in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Authors: Daniela Smirni, Pietro Smirni, Marco Carotenuto, Lucia Parisi, Giuseppe Quatrosi, Michele Roccella
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Abstract: Tactile defensiveness is a common feature in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Since the first studies, tactile defensiveness has been described as the result of an abnormal response to sensory stimulation. Moreover, it has been studied how the tactile system is closely linked to socio-communicative development and how the interoceptive sensory system supports both a discriminating touch and an aective touch. Therefore, several neurophysiological studies have been conducted to investigate the neurobiological basis of the development and functioning of the tactile system for a better understanding of the tactile defensiveness behavior and the social touch of NDDs. Given the lack of recent literature on tactile defensiveness, the current study provides a brief overview of the original contributions on this research topic in children with NDDs focusing attention on how this behavior has been considered over the years in the clinical setting.