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Children’s Sensory Processing Sensitivity and Prosocial Behaviours

In two independent samples, we found that children with high sensory processing sensitivity demonstrated higher susceptibility to the influence of positive parenting regarding their prosocial behaviour.

In the lab, highly sensitive children demonstrated higher susceptibility to observed negative feedback compared to children with low sensitivity.

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Summary of the 1st Environmental Sensitivity Meeting in Chieti-Pescara, Italy

The 1st international meeting on research related to environmental sensitivity took place at the University of Chieti Pescara, Italy, on the 18th of May 2023. In this blog we summarise the meeting and highlight some key contributions. More details on talks and discussed topics are provided in the booklet of abstract, available as PDF at the bottom of this page.

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High Sensitivity is Associated with Accelerated Biological Aging

This study investigated the association between high sensitivity and telomere length as a biomarker of biological aging. We recruited 82 adolescents. Results show that sensitivity is negatively correlated with telomere length. More specifically, students with Low Sensory Threshold, one component of sensitivity, tend to have shorter telomeres, which indicates accelerated biological aging.

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The Self-Awareness of High Sensitivity

This qualitative study has led to the development of a new theoretical aspect of sensory processing sensitivity: The self-awareness of High Sensitivity. This perspective aims to explain the process through which highly sensitive people go in order to become aware of their sensitivity.

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Sensitivity Groups Among Polish Teenagers

We investigated the existence of different sensitivity groups among adolescents in Poland.

Similar to research in other populations, we found that teenagers can be divided into three groups: low, medium and high sensitivity. However, the distribution of adolescents across these groups differed from previous research.

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Shhhh and switch off the light, I can’t think!

The participants in this qualitative study shared their experiences of sensitivity and learning. All participants found that aspects of the physical learning environment presented challenges for them. The study identified several key areas that the education sector could address to make the learning experience more equitable for highly sensitive learners.

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Higher Sensitivity is Linked to Feeling Connected with Nature and Animals

We recently found that the higher people score in Sensory Processing Sensitivity, the more they feel connected with the natural environment. In addition, those who are highly sensitive are also more connected with animals, although they do not report higher attachment to pets than less sensitive people.

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How the Sensitive Brain Processes Touch

It is assumed that the brain of sensitive individuals works differently. We investigated brain activation while participants were touched by hand. Our results showed stronger activation of the insular brain region for more sensitive individuals.

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What It’s Like to be a Highly Sensitive Person

In our study, we interviewed highly sensitive adults regarding how they perceive and experience their sensitivity. We identified six themes that were mentioned by nearly all participants as key characteristics of being highly sensitive. However, there were also important differences in how people experience their sensitivity.

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Sensitive Children and the COVID-19 Lockdown

We investigated highly sensitive children’s behaviour during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. Sensitive children showed fewer behavioural problems when experiencing a positive and supportive family environment at home during the lockdown.