Neuroscience Shorts 2: Touch is a Fundamental Need


In the 1950s, a scientist named Harry Harlow performed a series of haunting and controversial studies that have become classics in the field of Neuroscience. Entitled “The Nature of Love,”[1] these studies explored the need for touch by studying how baby rhesus monkeys exhibited a primal need for touch by overwhelmingly choosing the caress of a terrycloth mother-surrogate over food. Sixty years of scientific research, since that time, has greatly expanded our understanding of all the important ways touch shapes the brain, and how necessary touch is for cognitive health.

The results of Harlow’s study suggested that touch is not only the basis for a healthy emotional life, but also for a healthy physical life and that there is a lot more to the Mother-Child relationship than food. Dr. David Eagleman shares the very human results of neonatal STIM in this second Neuroscience Short Vid. 2: The Necessity of Touch.

I have long believed that paper and print also deliver information—and now Dr. Eagleman’s work suggests that your interaction with paper delivers so much more! In this series, he shares several other studies that show how our sense of touch can shape how we interpret information. To learn more, get your own copy of Haptic Brain, Haptic Brand, The Communicator’s Guide to the Neuroscience of Touch here.

[1] Harlow, H.F., “The nature of love”, (American Psychologist, Vol. 13(12), Dec. 1958), 673-68. Also archived online: Classics in the History of Psychology. York University, Toronto, Ontario. Web. 7 Jan. 2016.

Daniel Dejan

Sappi etc. Creative Manager

As Sappi etc.'s Print and Creative Manager, Daniel Dejan provides consulting, training and education to the print, paper and creative communities. Daniel is a Certified G7 Expert with a proficiency in Color and Color Management. 


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