The social role of touch in humans and primates: Behavioural function and neurobiological mechanisms

  title={The social role of touch in humans and primates: Behavioural function and neurobiological mechanisms},
  author={Robin I. M. Dunbar},
  journal={Neuroscience \& Biobehavioral Reviews},
  • Robin I. M. Dunbar
  • Published 1 February 2010
  • Biology, Psychology
  • Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews

The brain opioid theory of social attachment: a review of the evidence

Understanding of the current understanding of the evidence for the role of the endogenous opioid system in prosocial behaviour in non-primate mammals, nonhuman primates and humans is summarized.

From social grooming in primates to body boundary cognition in humans

for Cognitive Futures in the Humanities Oxford 2015 Title: From social grooming in primates to body boundary cognition in humans Name: Laura A. Cariola Affiliation: Lancaster University Department of

Laughter and its role in the evolution of human social bonding

  • R. Dunbar
  • Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • 2022
In anthropoid primates, social grooming is the principal mechanism (mediated by the central nervous system endorphin system) that underpins social bonding. However, the time available for social

Communicative roots of complex sociality and cognition: neuropsychological mechanisms underpinning the processing of social information

Primate social bonds are described as being especially complex in their nature, and primates have unusually large brains for their body size compared to other mammals. Communication in primates has

Comparative connectomics of the primate social brain

Social Brain Hypothesis: Vocal and Gesture Networks of Wild Chimpanzees

The results suggest that in addition to grooming, both gestures and synchronized vocalizations may play key roles in allowing chimpanzees to manage a large and differentiated set of social relationships.

Neurobiology of Loneliness, Isolation, and Loss: Integrating Human and Animal Perspectives

This review will discuss behavioral and neuropsychological components of loneliness in humans, social isolation in rodent models, and the neurochemical regulators of these behavioral phenotypes with a neuroanatomical focus on the corticostriatal and limbic systems.

The role of the amygdala in processing social and affective touch




Beta-endorphin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of monkeys are influenced by grooming relationships

Genes, brains and mammalian social bonds.

The evolution of the social brain: anthropoid primates contrast with other vertebrates

It is suggested that, among vertebrates in general, pairbonding represents a qualitative shift from loose aggregations of individuals to complex negotiated relationships, and that these bonded relationships have been generalized to all social partners in only a few taxa (such as anthropoid primates).

Mother–infant bonding and the evolution of mammalian social relationships

This emancipation from olfactory and hormonal determinants of bonding has been succeeded by the increased importance of social learning that is necessitated by living in a complex social world and, especially in humans, a world that is dominated by cultural inheritance.

Oxytocin and Vasopressin Receptors and Species-Typical Social Behaviors

  • L. Young
  • Biology
    Hormones and Behavior
  • 1999
The idea that OT and AVP receptor systems are phylogenetically plastic, perhaps facilitating the evolution of species-typical social behavior patterns is discussed.

Oxytocin receptor distribution reflects social organization in monogamous and polygamous voles.

It is demonstrated that species from the genus Microtus (voles) selected for differences in social affiliation show contrasting patterns of oxytocin receptor expression in brain, and it is suggested that variable expression of the oxytocIn receptor in brain may be an important mechanism in evolution of species-typical Differences in social bonding and affiliative behavior.

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  • M. Boccia
  • Psychology
    International Journal of Primatology
  • 2007
Social grooming in primates is a complex behavior in which monkeys stroke, pick, or otherwise manipulate a companion’s body surface. While grooming has been associated with important social

Neural correlates of pair-bonding in a monogamous primate

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This paper briefly considers various current hypotheses concerning the survival function of Old-World monkeys and an alternative hypothesis which combines several elements included in the others and which is in good agreement with the literature data is later presented.

A Comparative Study of Primate Play Behaviour: Implications for the Study of Cognition

The results of this analysis showed that only social play was significantly and positively related to neocortex ratio, which supports the hypothesis that play may be involved in the development of adult social cognition in primates.