Previous researchers have shown that light touch contact with a fixed object reduces body sway, whereas light touch with a moving object entrains and increases sway. Given the importance of interpersonal touch and, for example, its use in care for the elderly, it is interesting to ask whether light touch contact between two people reduces or increases sway? The authors measured ground reaction forces and trunk movements in 5 pairs of older participants (M age = 65.1 years, SD = 4.2 years) during quiet standing, when contacting another person using light touch at the index finger and during light touch with a fixed object. Postural sway was reduced in both light touch conditions, by 13% with interpersonal light touch and by 31% with the fixed object. A small but significant positive correlation in sway with near 0 phase lag during interpersonal light touch may reflect the role of anticipation in maintaining light touch. The authors conclude interpersonal light touch affords an interesting new paradigm for the study of balance.
During the past 20 years there has been much research into the factors that modulate awareness of contralesional information in neurological patients with visual neglect or extinction. However, the potential role of the individuals emotional state in modulating awareness has been largely overlooked. In the current study, we induced a pleasant and positive affective response in patients with chronic visual neglect by allowing them to listen to their pleasant preferred music. We report that the patients showed enhanced visual awareness when tasks were performed under preferred music conditions relative to when tasks were performed either with unpreferred music or in silence. These results were also replicated when positive affect was induced before neglect was tested. Functional MRI data showed enhanced activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulate gyrus associated with emotional responses when tasks were performed with preferred music relative to unpreferred music. Improved awareness of contralesional (left) targets with preferred music was also associated with a strong functional coupling between emotional areas and attentional brain regions in spared areas of the parietal cortex and early visual areas of the right hemisphere. These findings suggest that positive affect, generated by preferred music, can decrease visual neglect by increasing attentional resources. We discuss the possible roles of arousal and mood in generating these effects.
The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of introducing a dance-based psychomotor intervention using Danzón (Latin ballroom) for people with dementia in care homes. This was a grounded theory qualitative study. Thirteen of the 22 participants had dementia and were care-home residents. The remaining participants were care staff and facilitators of the dance sessions. Interviews were undertaken with seven people with dementia and nine staff, resulting in two separate sets of grounded theory methodologies. Two conceptual models, outlining positive outcomes and negative concerns of the use of Danzón were developed, depicting the experiences of people with dementia and care staff respectively. Danzón psychomotor intervention was found to enhance positive emotional states and general levels of satisfaction for both people with dementia and care staff. The details of these findings have been used to design a quantitative study.
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