Pavel Goldstein, Irit Weissman-Fogel, Guillaume Dumas, Simone G. Shamay-Tsoory, ‘Brain-to-brain coupling during handholding is associated with pain reduction’,, National Academy of Sciences – PNAS (March 13, 2018)

Touch-related analgesia

Our findings indicate that hand-holding during pain administration increases brain-to-brain coupling in a network that mainly involves the central regions of the pain target and the right hemisphere of the pain observer. Moreover, brain-to-brain coupling in this network was found to correlate with analgesia magnitude and observer’s empathic accuracy. These findings indicate that brain-to-brain coupling may be involved in touch-related analgesia.


PNAS March 13, 2018 115 (11) E2528-E2537; first published February 26, 2018