Social Touch and Its Newly Discovered Neural Pathway

A neural pathway that leads directly from the thalamus to the hypothalamus plays a critical role in processing touch information, a new study reveals. The results may contribute to the development of therapeutic agents that can help development of social behaviors. The researchers modeled social contact of female rats who were littermates in the brain of rats. They found that neurons in a hitherto little-known area of the brain are selectively activated in response to social contact. They then described the outputs of the studied thalamic nucleus of the anterior part of the project.

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