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

1
Department of Psychology, Educational Science and Human Movement, University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy
2
Department of Educational Sciences, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
3
Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 81100 Caserta, Italy
4
Dipartimento Promozione della Salute, Materno-Infantile, di Medicina Interna e Specialistica di Eccellenza “G. D’Alessandro”, 90127 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(12), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9120368
Received: 12 October 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 10 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
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 affective 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile defensiveness; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs); sensory reactivity; autism spectrum disorders; social touch tactile defensiveness; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs); sensory reactivity; autism spectrum disorders; social touch
MDPI and ACS Style

Smirni, D.; Smirni, P.; Carotenuto, M.; Parisi, L.; Quatrosi, G.; Roccella, M. Noli Me Tangere: Social Touch, Tactile Defensiveness, and Communication in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 368.

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