EPISODE 289: Why “Touch” Matters in Everything

You probably know that infants that don’t receive enough cuddles, hugs, and physical affection suffer from all kinds of developmental problems—the first two years are the most critical, and this is why the first thing a doctor does with a newborn is place it on the chest of the mother or father. But what about middle-aged people? And what about at the end of life? It turns out touch is still crucial to health and wellness, and yet in our modern, physically disconnected society, many people are deprived. On this week’s show, you’ll meet a neuroscientist who specializes in the importance of touch and how you can use this knowledge to improve your life.

Listen in to learn:

  • How there is no such thing as a touch or sensation without emotion—they are always inseparable
  • Why high fives, back slapping, and social touch improves sports teamwork and performance
  • Why we tend to prioritize external touch sensations when internal touch is just as important
  • How touch deprivation is “highest risk” in infants and elders

Links & Resources:


David J. Linden, Ph.D., is a Professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His laboratory works on the cellular substrates of memory storage and recovery of function after brain injury. He served as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He is the author of The Accidental Mind (2007) and The Compass of Pleasure (2011), and his most recent book, Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind.

Nutritional Tip of the Week:

  • Zinc

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