In this book, Touching — the Human Significance of the Skin, Ashley Montagu relates how Larry Rhine raised an orphaned kitten. Everyone knows that kittens. A passionate and committed plea for good touch using evidence based results Ashley Montagu was an anthropologist, who amongst other. TOUCHING THE HUMAN SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SKIN SECOND EDITION. by ASHLEY MONTAGU Copyrightowner ASHLEY MONTAGU.

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In his book, Montague points out that the human being in its passage through the birth canal undergoing a similar “licking” or touching of every section of its body from genital region to mouth, thus sending signals to its brain of the asyley of the alimentary canal. The reason has to do with evolutionary advances of human bodies especially in the area of the head.


Rasmussen, The Cerebral Cortex of Man. The human baby, contrary to popular belief, has not completed its gestation upon birth to the extent that other animals have.

This is a somewhat different question from that which refers to the prolonged immaturity of the young of human kind. Even more important are the psychological advantages which are recipro cally conferred upon infant and mother in the nursing situation, especially in a species in which the mother is symbiotically designed to continue the gestation of her child outside the womb.

Here it is probable that her own early experiences are of special importance, as well as her relationships with each indi vidual infant she bears, and her cumulative experiences gained from raising successive infants. Figure 3 shows the total time spent on the gouching and wire mothers under the two conditions of feeding.

It is easy to marginalize the contents divulged in this book due to its antiquated status and an assumption that its contents are somehow common or collective knowledge. If this were in fact the case, it would be expected that the adrenal glands of gentled and ungentled rats following The Mind of the Skin 25 stress would show those of the ungentled rats having been stimulated by more ACTH output, to be heavier, and upon ex amination this was, indeed, found to be the case. In the gorilla the total body weight of the newborn is about 4.

It is referred to here simply to make it clear that the evidence does not all point in the same direction. As Barron has shown, there is a rise in the oxygen content of the blood associated with licking and grooming, in the newborn of goats: The colostrum lasts only two days and, among other things, acts as a laxative; it is the only substance that can effectively clean out the meconium in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract.


He writes in his Preface:. In some foundling homes, the death rate to maramus approached percent for infants under a year of age. Hence, when we speak of “licking and love,” or skin cutaneous tactile stimulation, we are quite evidently speaking of a fundamental and essential ingredient of affection, and equally clearly of an essential element in the healthy development of every organism.

Ashley Montagu – Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin

They carry materials but fail to build regular nests, spreading the materials around very loosely instead. This purpose is to further the infant’s development for optimum postnatal functioning of its sustaining systems.

It montagy this that we have now to consider. The underlying solid lines indicate the extent of cortical representation. The wild Norway rat, it is well known, is a notoriously excitable creature. The circulation becomes autonomous, the foramen ovale in the septum between the two atria of the heart which, in the fetus, permits blood to pass directly from the right into the left atrium, begins to close, and the ductus arteriosus, which connects the aorta with the pulmo nary trunk directly below, begins to undergo occlusion.

As we shall see, the parallel with such interrelated behaviors in humans is virtually complete, and the signifi cance of these behaviors is virtually identical.


If it were not born then and it continued to grow at the rate at which it is geared to grow, it could not be born at all with lethal conse quences for the continuation of the human species. The short, intermittent stimulations of the skin over a pro longed period of ashldy that are produced by the contractions of the uterus upon the body of the fetus thus appear to be perfectly designed to prepare it for postnatal functioning.

Gunner, I rather suspect that his observation is a sound one. Specifically, how we develop inwardly is affected by the specific ways we are stimulated at the surface of our bodies from conception onward. For example, in montagh of the most recent studies reported, it was found that early infantile cutaneous stimulation exerts a highly beneficial influence upon the immunological system, having important consequences for resistance to infectious and other diseases.

A large portion of the survivors came from a group of rats who were petted and gentled. I fouching a very touchy-feelie kind of person ash,ey I was glad to be reinforced in this book that this is a good thing. It has been found that changes in the natural environment at these times often result in the development of abnormal, species- atypical behavior.

Ashley Montagu – Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin | Lady Fancifull

Paperbackpages. If you have someone in your family who’s love language is touch, or even if you don’t because all of us connect through touch on some level, this is a perfect book to read on the subject.

In a series of elegant experiments, Drs. The Womb of Time 49 plicated process of labor and birth, the answer is: There is con siderable evidence that at this time, and for months the reafter, her needs for contact exceed those of the infant.


When a leg “falls asleep” or grows numb, the sensory cutoff results in difficulty in initiating leg The Mind of the Skin 9 movement because the impulses from the skin, muscles, and joints are not adequately reaching the postcentral gyrus of the brain.

The very real effects of early tactile experience have been impressively demonstrated by a series of independent experi ments. But it is not as an organ as such that I am here concerned with the skin; rather, in X PREFACE contrast to the psychosomatic or centrifugal approach, I am interested in what may be called the somatopsychic or centripe tal approach.

Highly recommended for parents and anyone working with children, particularly those with any type of sensory disorder. Significantly, the infant brain more than doubles in volume by the end of its first year to about cubic centimeters, or 60 percent of its adult size. Apr 11, Karthi Mohan rated it liked it. The young are carried on their mothers’ bodies for long periods of time.

Hence it is scarcely surprising, in the light of what we have already learned, not only that gastrointestinal function will be activated by stimulat ing this asuley, but that respiratory function will also often be activated by such stimulation. This ashleh caused me to remember what I learned from Touchingand one particular touchlng among many it allowed me to understand: Although it is customary to regard the gestation period as terminating at birth, I suggest that this is quite as erroneous a view as that which regards the life of the individual as begin ning at birth.

He was born in London, England, on June 28, No part mobtagu this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. This insurance in the human species is secured by the prolonged contractions of touchibg uterus upon the body of the fetus.

These animals were timid, ap prehensive, and high-strung.

The feedback from skin to brain, even ashleh sleep, is continu ous. Birth no more constitutes the beginning of the life of the individual than it does the end of gestation. McKinney suggests that similar undesirable effects may be produced in human mothers as a consequence of the practice of removing their babies from them at birth without permitting the continued contact that is so urgent a need in the newborn.