When We Touch

Michael Banissy


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Orion Publishing Co
30 March 2023
ISBN: 9781398708723
272 pages

From the publisher

'A mind-expanding tour of what touch means.' DAVID EAGLEMAN, neuroscientist and author of Incognito and Livewired

Why is a hugged person a healthier person?
Why do high-fiving teams win more matches?
How does a shared handshake make you more likely to tell the truth?

We rely on touch every day of our lives. It makes us who we are. It helps us connect with those around us. And yet touch between individuals can be fraught with confusion and misunderstanding.

In When We Touch, social neuroscientist Professor Michael Banissy blends expert scientific insights with anecdotes from 90s rom coms to office politics to explore the new science of human touch.

His groundbreaking new book explains how touch impacts every part of our lives, from why touch is essential for healthy development, to how kissing might help us choose a genetically beneficial mate to how holding hands with a loved one can help us feel less pain.

Banissy tackles the nuances of appropriate touch across culture and gender, investigates our 'touch personas' and why they differ, and offers solutions to the 'touch hunger' that has become a modern epidemic in our increasingly distanced world.

From the most inconsequential to the most salient moments of human contact, When We Touch is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of our most overlooked sense.