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.
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.
Sensitivity is associated with enhanced activation of brain regions implicated in awareness, memory, and empathy. However, this comes with a cost such as greater risk for over-arousal and overstimulation.
Preliminary evidence suggests that for highly sensitive individuals “rest” may be especially critical for information integration and return to a well-balanced state.
In response to emotional pictures, highly sensitive people show brain activity in areas associated with reward processing, emotional memory, vigilance/fear, learning, homeostasis, awareness, reflective thinking, and integration of information.
Environmental Sensitivity is seen in both animals and humans, suggesting that is has a strong biological foundation.