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    Visual detail about the body modulates tactile localisation biases

    Margolis, A.N. and Longo, Matthew R. (2015) Visual detail about the body modulates tactile localisation biases. Experimental Brain Research 233 (2), pp. 351-358. ISSN 0014-4819.

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    The localisation of tactile stimuli requires the integration of visual and somatosensory inputs within an internal representation of the body surface, and is prone to consistent bias. Joints may play a role in segmenting such internal body representations, and may therefore influence tactile localisation biases, although the nature of this influence remains unclear. Here, we investigate the relationship between conceptual knowledge of joint locations and tactile localisation biases on the hand. In one task, participants localised tactile stimuli applied to the dorsum of their hand. A distal localisation bias was observed in all participants, consistent with previous results. We also manipulated the availability of visual information during this task, to determine whether the absence of this information could account for the distal bias observed here and by Mancini and colleagues (2011). The observed distal bias increased in magnitude when visual information was restricted, without a corresponding decrease in precision. In a separate task, the same participants indicated, from memory, knuckle locations on a silhouette image of their hand. Analogous distal biases were also seen in the knuckle localisation task. The accuracy of conceptual joint knowledge was not correlated with tactile localisation bias magnitude, although a similarity in observed bias direction suggests that both tasks may rely on a common, higher-order body representation. These results also suggest that distortions of conceptual body representation may be more common in healthy individuals than previously thought.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Touch, Tactile localisation, Body representation
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2014 08:19
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:12


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