Objective: Following current model of body representations, we aimed to systematically investigate the association between brain modifications, in terms of grey matter loss, and body representation deficits, in terms of alterations of the body schema (BS) and of non-action oriented body representations (NA), in individuals with lower limb amputation (LLA). Method: BS and NA (both semantic and visuospatial NA) were evaluated in 11 healthy controls and in 14 LLA, considering the impact of clinical variables such as prosthesis use. The association between BS and NA deficits and grey matter loss was also explored in LLA by using Voxel Based Morphometry analysis. Results: LLA's performance was fine in terms of semantic NA, while it showed behavioural impairments both in BS and visuospatial NA as compared to healthy controls. Interestingly the visuospatial NA performance was related to the amount of prosthesis use. NA deficits in terms of visuospatial body map processing were associated with grey matter reduction in left (lobule VIII) and right (crus II) cerebellum, while BS deficits were associated with grey matter reduction in right anterior cingulate cortex and the bilateral cuneus. No significant association was detected for semantic NA. Conclusion: The study of BS and NA representations after limb loss has informed our understanding of the different dynamics (i.e., adjustments to body change) of such representations, supporting current cognitive models of body representation. The clinical relevance of present findings is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)