Cerebral representations for egocentric space: Functional-anatomical evidence from caloric vestibular stimulation and neck vibration

G. Bottini, H. O. Karnath, G. Vallar, R. Sterzi, C. D. Frith, R. S J Frackowiak, E. Paulesu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The internal representation of space involves the integration of different sensory inputs - visual, somatosensory/proprioceptive, vestibular - yielding reference frames which are not based on individual peripheral sensory codes, being organized instead in ego-centred (e.g. head, trunk, arm) and object- or environment-centred coordinates. Lateralized or direction-specific stimulation of peripheral sensory systems, such as caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS), posterior neck muscle mechanical vibration (NV) and optokinetic stimulation, can induce a distortion of egocentric coordinates, causing, for example, a deviation of the subjective straight ahead in pointing tasks. Appropriate forms of this stimulation can also temporarily improve a variety of pathological manifestations of unilateral neglect. We used PET measurements of regional cerebral blood flow changes in normal volunteers to measure the brain responses shared by CVS and NV. We show that somatosensory areas of the perisylvian cortex including the insula and retroinsular cortex, the temporoparietal junction and somatosensory area II receive signals from both sensory channels. We propose that these anatomical sites contribute to egocentric representation of space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1182-1196
Number of pages15
JournalBrain
Volume124
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Caloric vestibular stimulation
  • Cerebral representations
  • Egocentric space
  • Neck muscle mechanical vibration
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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