Effect of prism adaptation on thermoregulatory control in humans

Elena Calzolari, Alberto Gallace, G. Lorimer Moseley, Giuseppe Vallar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The physiological regulation of skin temperature can be modulated not only by autonomic brain regions, but also by a network of higher-level cortical areas involved in the maintenance of a coherent representation of the body. In this study we assessed in healthy participants if the sensorimotor changes taking place during motor adaptation to the lateral displacement of the visual scene induced by wearing prismatic lenses (prism adaptation, PA), and the aftereffects, after prisms' removal, on the ability to process spatial coordinates, were associated with skin temperature regulation changes. We found a difference in thermoregulatory control as a function of the direction of the prism-induced displacement of the visual scene, and the subsequent sensorimotor adaptation. After PA to rightward displacing lenses, with leftward aftereffects (the same directional procedure efficaciously used for ameliorating left spatial neglect in right-brain-damaged patients) the hands' temperature decreased. Conversely, after adaptation to neutral lenses, and PA to leftward displacing lenses, with rightward aftereffects, the temperature of both hands increased. These results suggest a lateral asymmetry in the effects of PA on skin temperature regulation, and a relationship between body spatial representations and homeostatic control in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-350
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Body representation
  • Homeostatic control
  • Prism adaptation
  • Skin temperature
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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