Disruptions in reward processing and anhedonia have long been observed in Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Interoceptive deficits have also been observed in AN, including reduced tactile pleasure. However, the extent to which this tactile anhedonia is specifically liked to an impairment in a specialised, interoceptive C-tactile system originating at the periphery, or a more top-down mechanism in the processing of tactile pleasantness remains debated. Here, we investigated differences between patients with and recovered from AN (RAN) and healthy controls (HC) in the perception of pleasantness of touch delivered in a CT-optimal versus a CT-non-optimal manner, and in their top-down, anticipatory beliefs about the perceived pleasantness of touch. To this end, we measured the anticipated pleasantness of various materials touching the skin and the perceived pleasantness of light, dynamic touch applied to the forearm of 27 women with AN, 24 women who have recovered and 30 HCs using C Tactile (CT) afferents-optimal (slow) and non-optimal (fast) velocities. Our results showed that both clinical groups anticipated tactile experiences and rated delivered tactile stimuli as less pleasant than HCs, but the latter difference was not related to the CT optimality of the stimulation. Instead, differences in the perception of CT-optimal touch were predicted by differences in top-down beliefs, alexithymia and interoceptive sensibility. Thus, tactile anhedonia in AN might persist as a trait even after otherwise successful recovery of AN and it is not linked to a bottom-up interoceptive deficit in the CT system, but rather to a learned, defective top-down anticipation of tactile pleasantness.

The anticipation and perception of affective touch in women with and recovered from Anorexia Nervosa / L. Crucianelli, B. Demartini, D. Goeta, V. Nisticò, A. Saramandi, S. Bertelli, P. Todisco, O. Gambini, A. Fotopoulou. - In: NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 0306-4522. - 464(2021 Jun 01), pp. 143-155. [10.1101/2020.02.23.961367]

The anticipation and perception of affective touch in women with and recovered from Anorexia Nervosa

B. Demartini
Secondo
;
D. Goeta;V. Nisticò;O. Gambini
Penultimo
;
2021-06-01

Abstract

Disruptions in reward processing and anhedonia have long been observed in Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Interoceptive deficits have also been observed in AN, including reduced tactile pleasure. However, the extent to which this tactile anhedonia is specifically liked to an impairment in a specialised, interoceptive C-tactile system originating at the periphery, or a more top-down mechanism in the processing of tactile pleasantness remains debated. Here, we investigated differences between patients with and recovered from AN (RAN) and healthy controls (HC) in the perception of pleasantness of touch delivered in a CT-optimal versus a CT-non-optimal manner, and in their top-down, anticipatory beliefs about the perceived pleasantness of touch. To this end, we measured the anticipated pleasantness of various materials touching the skin and the perceived pleasantness of light, dynamic touch applied to the forearm of 27 women with AN, 24 women who have recovered and 30 HCs using C Tactile (CT) afferents-optimal (slow) and non-optimal (fast) velocities. Our results showed that both clinical groups anticipated tactile experiences and rated delivered tactile stimuli as less pleasant than HCs, but the latter difference was not related to the CT optimality of the stimulation. Instead, differences in the perception of CT-optimal touch were predicted by differences in top-down beliefs, alexithymia and interoceptive sensibility. Thus, tactile anhedonia in AN might persist as a trait even after otherwise successful recovery of AN and it is not linked to a bottom-up interoceptive deficit in the CT system, but rather to a learned, defective top-down anticipation of tactile pleasantness.
affective touch; anhedonia; anorexia nervosa; interoception; pleasantness; reward;
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
13-set-2020
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/771074
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