Selective impairment of self body-parts processing in right brain-damaged patients

Francesca Frassinetti, Manuela Maini, Mariagrazia Benassi, Stefano Avanzi, Anna Cantagallo, Alessandro Farnè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To investigate whether the processing of the visual appearance of one's own body, that is the corporeal self is a unified or modular function we submitted eight right brain-damaged (RBD) patients and a group of fourteen age-matched neurologically healthy subjects, to a visual matching-to-sample task testing for corporeal self processing. If corporeal self processing is a unique function (i.e., body- and face-parts are processed by the same network), patients impaired in self body-parts (i.e., showing no self-advantage) should be impaired also in self face-parts; alternatively, if corporeal self processing is a modular function (i.e., body- and face-parts are processed by different networks), patients impaired in self body-parts should be unimpaired in self face-parts, unless the face-module is also damaged by the lesion. Results showed that healthy participants were more accurate in processing pictures representing their own as compared to other people's body- and face-parts, showing the so-called self-advantage. The patients' findings revealed a simple dissociation, in that patients who were impaired in the processing of self-related body-parts showed a preserved self-advantage when processing self-related face-parts, thus providing initial evidence of a modular representation of the corporeal self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalCortex
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Body
  • Corporeal self
  • Face
  • Right hemisphere lesion
  • Self-other

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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