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    Vestibular modulation of somatosensory perception

    Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella and Bottini, G. and Haggard, P. (2011) Vestibular modulation of somatosensory perception. European Journal of Neuroscience 34 (8), pp. 1337-1344. ISSN 0953-816X.

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    Functional imaging studies show that vestibular and somatosensory projections overlap in the human brain. However, it remains unclear whether and how vestibular inputs affect somatosensory function. To address this issue, we studied the effects of left caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) on detection of near-threshold somatosensory stimuli delivered to the left and right hands of healthy volunteers. To investigate whether these effects were somatosensory specific, or supramodal, we also tested CVS modulation of visual contrast detection. Signal detection analyses showed increased somatosensory perceptual sensitivity immediately after CVS, both ipsilaterally and contralaterally. No statistically reliable effects on visual contrast sensitivity were found. These findings suggest that vestibular stimulation has a specific facilitatory effect on somatosensory detection, distinct from non-specific arousal and spatial attentional effects of CVS. Thus, the overlap in brain activations for vestibular and somatosensory inputs is not simply an anatomical curiosity, but may reflect a functional cross-modal perceptual interaction.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Elisa Raffaella Ferre
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 11:23
    Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 10:15


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