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California Newspaper Cites Research of Psychology Prof. Matt Hertenstein

California Newspaper Cites Research of Psychology Prof. Matt Hertenstein

May 5, 2017

D2X 6848"How connected do you feel to your spouse? Your kids? Your town?," asks Trudi Pratt in a column published in the Record Searchlight of Redding, California. "If you've lost some of that connection, maybe you're not getting or giving as many hugs or high fives as you once did. Think about it. According to psychologist Matt Hertenstein of DePauw University's Touch and Emotion Lab (yes, that's the touchyfeely name of the place), when people touch each other they stimulate the release of oxytocin, a neuropeptide which 'basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding'."

Pratt continues, "Oxytocin is famous as the 'feel good' hormone released when we laugh, dance, listen to our favorite music, etc., but it's so much more than that. It appears to connect people and ultimately that's who we are -- a big bunch of humanity all smooshed together creating bonds, trust and community devotion."

Read more at the newspaper's website.

Dr. Hertenstein, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, authored The Tell: The Little Clues That Reveal Big Truths About Who We Are and is co-editor of The Handbook of Touch: Neuroscience, Behavioral, and Health Perspectives. His research on communicating through touch has been featured on NPR and ABC, as well as in the New York Times,O, The Oprah Magazine and Psychology Today, among other media mentions. 

A study on smiling in yearbook photos and whether subjects became divorced later in life, which was conducted by Professor Hertenstein and DePauw students, received worldwide attention in the spring of 2009. The research was first published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. Coverage began in British media outlets, and spread to United Press International, Yahoo! and a piece which aired April 16, 2009 on NBC's Today. The research was included in the New York Times Magazine's "Ninth Annual Year in Ideas" and was cited by India Today, New Scientist and British Columbia's Province.

Professor Hertenstein was presented with the 2014 Edwin L. Minar Jr. Scholarship Award. Established in 1981, the Minar Award is presented in recognition of exceptional scholarly achievement by a faculty member.

Visit Matt Hertenstein's Emotion Lab online by clicking here.

Source: Redding (Cal.) Record Searchlight