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Neural correlates of distorted body representations underlying tactile distance perception

Tamè, Luigi, Tucciarelli, Raffaele, Sadibolova, Renata, Sereno, Martin I., Longo, Matthew R. (2017) Neural correlates of distorted body representations underlying tactile distance perception. In: Workshop, Ten Years of Mind/Brain Sciences at the University of Trento, 19 October - 21 October 2017, Rovereto, Italy. (KAR id:98827)


Tactile distance perception is believed to require that immediate afferent signals be referenced to a stored representation of body size and shape (the body model). For this ability, recent studies have reported that the stored body representations involved are highly distorted, at least in the case of the hand, with the hand dorsum represented as wider and squatter than it actually is. Here, we aim to define the neural basis of this phenomenon. In a behavioural experiment participants estimated the distance between touches on two points by adjusting the length of a visually-presented line on the screen. The technique of multidensional scaling (MDS) was used to reconstruct a perceptual map of tactile space. Analysis of spatial distortion using Procrustes alignment showed that maps were stretched in the mediolateral hand axis. In order to determine the neural correlates of these body distortions, we performed an fMRI study. For each participant, we used a searchlight pattern classifier with Euclidean distance on pre-defined regions of interests (ROIs). In order to relate the representations between the different points and to computational models, we compare response-pattern dissimilarity matrices in these ROIs. Similar to the behavioural experiment, we used MDS to reconstruct maps of the neural representation of tactile space using the values from the dissimilarities matrices. We were able to reconstruct the perceptual map of tactile space in the contralateral primary somatosensory and motor cortices. This suggests that these areas are critical to generate the tactile representations of the dorsum of the hand.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Speech)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Luigi Tame
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2022 05:59 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2022 16:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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