Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart and Mind. David J. Linden. Viking Adult. January 2015. 272 pp. Hardback and e-book. ISBN #: 978067001487.
Touch quite clearly is associated with almost every experience of a human being. This book begins by correlating the times a person says “I feel” followed by an emotional adjective to indicate that the tactile sense is wired neurologically to not only our brain but also our emotions. The author then explores the difference between what an affectionate or friendly touch can mean to an encounter and how the recipient of such a touch interprets the future of such a relationship, whether it be in business, education, or elsewhere.
The author then moves into a series of complex experiments that have to do with tactile sense of different experiences, even moving into the field of DNA related to touch, how pain receptors operate to connect with the emotions, and an actual sharing of the connection with the euphorically experienced orgasm which is obviously related to touch. In all of this, however, it is even more phenomenal how few individuals actually realize that most of their experiences are related to the tactile sense. When asked if a person had to lose one sense, which one would the individual choose, none even referred to touch in their processing the question!
There is much more in this text which deserves attention. Each situation is presented with scientifically based testing and validation. It offers the reader time to consider the implications of a handshake, a warm hug, a touch on the shoulder, patting the back or hand of a child, offering someone a warm drink, and many other examples of making a new awareness of touch a tool for better communication and relationships with other human beings in need of this tactile experience. The book is highly readable and laced with stories that are fascinating, funny and surprising! Very nicely done, David J. Linden!