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      Perceptual and Conceptual Distortions of Implicit Hand Maps


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          Recent studies have revealed that human position sense relies on a massively distorted representation of hand size and shape. By comparing the judged location of landmarks on an occluded hand, Longo and Haggard (2010) constructed implicit perceptual maps of represented hand structure, showing large underestimation of finger length and overestimation of hand width. Here, we investigated the contribution of two potential sources of distortions to such effects: perceptual distortions reflecting spatial warping of the representation of bodily tissue itself, perhaps reflecting distortions of somatotopic cortical maps, and conceptual distortions reflecting mistaken beliefs about the locations of different landmarks within the body. In Experiment 1 we compared distorted hand maps to a task in which participants explicitly judged the location of their knuckles in a hand silhouette. The results revealed the conceptual distortions are responsible for at least part of the underestimation of finger length, but cannot explain overestimation of hand width. Experiment 2 compared distortions of the participant’s own hand based on position sense with a prosthetic hand based on visual memory. Underestimation of finger length was found for both hands, providing further evidence that it reflects a conceptual distortion. In contrast, overestimation of hand width was specific to representation of the participant’s own hand, confirming it reflects a perceptual distortion. Together, these results suggest that distorted body representations do not reflect a single underlying cause. Rather, both perceptual and conceptual distortions contribute to the overall configuration of the hand representation.

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          The perception of phantom limbs. The D. O. Hebb lecture.

          Almost everyone who has a limb amputated will experience a phantom limb--the vivid impression that the limb is not only still present, but in some cases, painful. There is now a wealth of empirical evidence demonstrating changes in cortical topography in primates following deafferentation or amputation, and this review will attempt to relate these in a systematic way to the clinical phenomenology of phantom limbs. With the advent of non-invasive imaging techniques such as MEG (magnetoencephalogram) and functional MRI, topographical reorganization can also be demonstrated in humans, so that it is now possible to track perceptual changes and changes in cortical topography in individual patients. We suggest, therefore, that these patients provide a valuable opportunity not only for exploring neural plasticity in the adult human brain but also for understanding the relationship between the activity of sensory neurons and conscious experience. We conclude with a theory of phantom limbs, some striking demonstrations of phantoms induced in normal subjects, and some remarks about the relevance of these phenomena to the question of how the brain constructs a 'body image.'
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            Eating disorders.

            This Seminar adds to the previous Lancet Seminar about eating disorders, published in 2003, with an emphasis on the biological contributions to illness onset and maintenance. The diagnostic criteria are in the process of review, and the probable four new categories are: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorder not otherwise specified. These categories will also be broader than they were previously, which will affect the population prevalence; the present lifetime prevalence of all eating disorders is about 5%. Eating disorders can be associated with profound and protracted physical and psychosocial morbidity. The causal factors underpinning eating disorders have been clarified by understanding about the central control of appetite. Cultural, social, and interpersonal elements can trigger onset, and changes in neural networks can sustain the illness. Overall, apart from studies reporting pharmacological treatments for binge eating disorder, advances in treatment for adults have been scarce, other than interest in new forms of treatment delivery. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Somatoparaphrenia: a body delusion. A review of the neuropsychological literature.

              A review of published brain-damaged patients showing delusional beliefs concerning the contralesional side of the body (somatoparaphrenia) is presented. Somatoparaphrenia has been reported, with a few exceptions, in right-brain-damaged patients, with motor and somatosensory deficits, and the syndrome of unilateral spatial neglect. Somatoparaphrenia, most often characterized by a delusion of disownership of left-sided body parts, may however occur without associated anosognosia for motor deficits, and personal neglect. Also somatosensory deficits may not be a core pathological mechanism of somatoparaphrenia, and visual field disorders may be absent. Deficits of proprioception, however, may play a relevant role. Somatoparaphrenia is often brought about by extensive right-sided lesions, but patients with posterior (parietal-temporal), and insular damage are on record, as well as a few patients with subcortical lesions. Possible pathological factors include a deranged representation of the body concerned with ownership, mainly right-hemisphere-based, and deficits of multisensory integration. Finally, the rubber hand illusion, that brings about a bodily misattribution in neurologically unimpaired participants, as somatoparaphrenia does in brain-damaged patients, is briefly discussed.

                Author and article information

                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                16 December 2015
                : 9
                : 656
                [1] 1Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London London, UK
                [2] 2Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento Trento, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Christoph Braun, University of Tübingen, Germany/University of Trento, Italy

                Reviewed by: Elena Rusconi, University College London, UK; Catherine Preston, University of York, UK

                *Correspondence: Matthew R. Longo, m.longo@ 123456bbk.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2015 Longo, Mattioni and Ganea.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 03 August 2015
                : 18 November 2015
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 78, Pages: 12, Words: 0
                Funded by: European Research Council 10.13039/501100000781
                Award ID: ERC-2013-StG-336050
                Original Research

                body representation,position sense,perceptual distortions,somatosensation
                body representation, position sense, perceptual distortions, somatosensation


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