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    Implicit body representations and tactile spatial remapping

    Longo, Matthew R. and Mancini, F. and Haggard, P. (2015) Implicit body representations and tactile spatial remapping. Acta Psychologica 160 , pp. 77-87. ISSN 0001-6918.

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    To perceive the location of a tactile stimulus in external space (external tactile localisation), information about the location of the stimulus on the skin surface (tactile localisation on the skin) must be combined with proprioceptive information about the spatial location of body parts (position sense) - a process often referred to as ‘tactile spatial remapping’. Recent research has revealed that both of these component processes rely on highly distorted implicit body representations. For example, on the dorsal hand surface position sense relies on a squat, wide hand representation. In contrast, tactile localisation on the same skin surface shows large biases towards the knuckles. These distortions can be seen as behavioural ‘signatures’ of these respective perceptual processes. Here, we investigated the role of implicit body representation in tactile spatial remapping by investigating whether the distortions of each of the two component processes (tactile localisation and position sense) also appear when participants localise the external spatial location of touch. Our study reveals strong distortions characteristic of position sense (i.e., overestimation of distances across vs along the hand) in tactile spatial remapping. In contrast, distortions characteristic of tactile localisation on the skin (i.e., biases towards the knuckles) were not apparent in tactile spatial remapping. These results demonstrate that a common implicit hand representation underlies position sense and external tactile localisation. Furthermore, the present findings imply that tactile spatial remapping does not require mapping the same signals in a frame of reference centered on a specific body part.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Proprioception, Touch, Tactile remapping, Somatosensory, 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: 22 Jul 2015 12:27
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:17


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