top of page


Introducing the inaugural event of the UK Attachment Network Online Seminar Series!


Wed, 27 April, 1-2pm (BST) - ONLINE EVENT


Perception of Affective Touch and Pain: The Role of Attachment Style


Dr Charlotte Krahé (University of Liverpool)


In this talk, I will address how attachment styles shape the perception of slow, gentle (‘affective’) touch and pain, two interoceptive modalities with contrasting affective qualities (pleasantness/unpleasantness) and social meanings (care/harm). I will first discuss evidence from laboratory studies and a large-scale national survey demonstrating that attachment styles modulate the perception of actual and imagined affective touch. In particular, insecure attachment is associated with both perceived affectivity of touch and the ability to discriminate between emotions and intentions communicated by touch. Moving to pain, I highlight experimental findings that insecure attachment shapes pain and related neural responses in interaction with features of the social context: while higher attachment avoidance is linked to greater pain when receiving support, attachment anxiety is associated with reduced pain under these conditions. While most of the presented studies have examined affective touch and pain in healthy individuals in laboratory settings, I will also briefly discuss associations between attachment style, touch, and pain in individuals with chronic pain. Lastly, I will bring all these findings together in a theoretical framework based on predictive coding principles, in which attachment styles are seen as higher-order prior beliefs, which influence the salience and ultimately perception of safety- and threat-related bodily signals.


UKAN seminar series events are free. 


Please book your place here:

bottom of page