Our work is featuring this week at BBC Radio 4! At “The Anatomy of Touch” which will air on October 5th and 8th you can learn about the “Virtual Touch Toolkit” and “Hand On App”! Stay tuned!
What is the Virtual Touch Toolkit?
A large-scale, academic collaboration between the Bundeswehr University, Cyprus University of Technology, Liverpool John Moores University and University of Barcelona has resulted in the development of the Virtual Touch Toolkit. The primary aim of this project is to create a way for users to learn about the power of touch and to reflect on what touch means to them. Research into affective touch continues to highlight its power to soothe, to reduce stress, to modulate pain and to help us connect with others. Recent evidence has also shown that the same brain regions are activated and that the same positive effects can be felt when we stroke ourselves, by thinking about being touched, or watching someone else being touched.
Assistant Professor Despina Michael-Grigoriou, the coordinator of GET Lab – Cyprus University of Technology and a Principal Investigator of the “Virtual Touch Toolkit” stated: “For people who often feel lonely, periods of social isolation are even more stressful. Social touch deprivation could lead to depression and other negative psychological effects. It’s amazing how the features of the Hands-On app and the Virtual Touch toolkit utilize the sensation of touch towards resetting the mood when feeling blue. This result is achieved thanks to smartphone technology and specialized exercises that promote the rediscovery of our somatosensory system through an interactive interface, adaptive to the user’s mood.”