The representation of space near the body through touch and vision

E. Macaluso, A. Maravita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review discusses how visual and the tactile signals are combined in the brain to ensure appropriate interactions with the space around the body. Visual and tactile signals converge in many regions of the brain (e.g. parietal and premotor cortices) where multisensory input can interact on the basis of specific spatial constraints. Crossmodal interactions can modulate also unisensory visual and somatosensory cortices, possibly via feed-back projections from fronto-parietal areas. These processes enable attentional selection of relevant locations in near body space, as demonstrated by studies of spatial attention in healthy volunteers and in neuropsychological patients with crossmodal extinction. These crossmodal spatial effects can be flexibly updated taking into account the position of the eyes and the limbs, thus reflecting the spatial alignment of visuo-tactile stimuli in external space. Further, studies that manipulated vision of body parts (alien, real or fake limbs) have demonstrated that passive viewing of the body can influence the perception of somatosensory stimuli, again involving areas in the premotor and parietal cortices. Finally, we discuss how tool-use can expand the region of visuo-tactile integration in near body space, emphasizing the flexibility of this system at the single-neuron level in the monkey's parietal cortex, with corresponding multisensory effects in normals and neuropsychological patients. We conclude that visuo-tactile crossmodal links dominate the representation of near body space and that this is implemented functionally in parietal and premotor brain regions. These integration processes mediate the orienting of spatial attention and generate an efficient and flexible representation the space around the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-795
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Fingerprint

Touch
Parietal Lobe
Motor Cortex
Brain
Extremities
Somatosensory Cortex
Body Image
Visual Cortex
Human Body
Haplorhini
Healthy Volunteers
Neurons

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Body
  • Frontal
  • Parietal
  • Peripersonal space
  • Posture
  • Tool-use
  • Touch
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

The representation of space near the body through touch and vision. / Macaluso, E.; Maravita, A.

In: Neuropsychologia, Vol. 48, No. 3, 02.2010, p. 782-795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Macaluso, E. ; Maravita, A. / The representation of space near the body through touch and vision. In: Neuropsychologia. 2010 ; Vol. 48, No. 3. pp. 782-795.
@article{157d4cd6dca14da6bf305071127d4698,
title = "The representation of space near the body through touch and vision",
abstract = "This review discusses how visual and the tactile signals are combined in the brain to ensure appropriate interactions with the space around the body. Visual and tactile signals converge in many regions of the brain (e.g. parietal and premotor cortices) where multisensory input can interact on the basis of specific spatial constraints. Crossmodal interactions can modulate also unisensory visual and somatosensory cortices, possibly via feed-back projections from fronto-parietal areas. These processes enable attentional selection of relevant locations in near body space, as demonstrated by studies of spatial attention in healthy volunteers and in neuropsychological patients with crossmodal extinction. These crossmodal spatial effects can be flexibly updated taking into account the position of the eyes and the limbs, thus reflecting the spatial alignment of visuo-tactile stimuli in external space. Further, studies that manipulated vision of body parts (alien, real or fake limbs) have demonstrated that passive viewing of the body can influence the perception of somatosensory stimuli, again involving areas in the premotor and parietal cortices. Finally, we discuss how tool-use can expand the region of visuo-tactile integration in near body space, emphasizing the flexibility of this system at the single-neuron level in the monkey's parietal cortex, with corresponding multisensory effects in normals and neuropsychological patients. We conclude that visuo-tactile crossmodal links dominate the representation of near body space and that this is implemented functionally in parietal and premotor brain regions. These integration processes mediate the orienting of spatial attention and generate an efficient and flexible representation the space around the body.",
keywords = "Attention, Body, Frontal, Parietal, Peripersonal space, Posture, Tool-use, Touch, Vision",
author = "E. Macaluso and A. Maravita",
year = "2010",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.10.010",
language = "English",
volume = "48",
pages = "782--795",
journal = "Neuropsychologia",
issn = "0028-3932",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The representation of space near the body through touch and vision

AU - Macaluso, E.

AU - Maravita, A.

PY - 2010/2

Y1 - 2010/2

N2 - This review discusses how visual and the tactile signals are combined in the brain to ensure appropriate interactions with the space around the body. Visual and tactile signals converge in many regions of the brain (e.g. parietal and premotor cortices) where multisensory input can interact on the basis of specific spatial constraints. Crossmodal interactions can modulate also unisensory visual and somatosensory cortices, possibly via feed-back projections from fronto-parietal areas. These processes enable attentional selection of relevant locations in near body space, as demonstrated by studies of spatial attention in healthy volunteers and in neuropsychological patients with crossmodal extinction. These crossmodal spatial effects can be flexibly updated taking into account the position of the eyes and the limbs, thus reflecting the spatial alignment of visuo-tactile stimuli in external space. Further, studies that manipulated vision of body parts (alien, real or fake limbs) have demonstrated that passive viewing of the body can influence the perception of somatosensory stimuli, again involving areas in the premotor and parietal cortices. Finally, we discuss how tool-use can expand the region of visuo-tactile integration in near body space, emphasizing the flexibility of this system at the single-neuron level in the monkey's parietal cortex, with corresponding multisensory effects in normals and neuropsychological patients. We conclude that visuo-tactile crossmodal links dominate the representation of near body space and that this is implemented functionally in parietal and premotor brain regions. These integration processes mediate the orienting of spatial attention and generate an efficient and flexible representation the space around the body.

AB - This review discusses how visual and the tactile signals are combined in the brain to ensure appropriate interactions with the space around the body. Visual and tactile signals converge in many regions of the brain (e.g. parietal and premotor cortices) where multisensory input can interact on the basis of specific spatial constraints. Crossmodal interactions can modulate also unisensory visual and somatosensory cortices, possibly via feed-back projections from fronto-parietal areas. These processes enable attentional selection of relevant locations in near body space, as demonstrated by studies of spatial attention in healthy volunteers and in neuropsychological patients with crossmodal extinction. These crossmodal spatial effects can be flexibly updated taking into account the position of the eyes and the limbs, thus reflecting the spatial alignment of visuo-tactile stimuli in external space. Further, studies that manipulated vision of body parts (alien, real or fake limbs) have demonstrated that passive viewing of the body can influence the perception of somatosensory stimuli, again involving areas in the premotor and parietal cortices. Finally, we discuss how tool-use can expand the region of visuo-tactile integration in near body space, emphasizing the flexibility of this system at the single-neuron level in the monkey's parietal cortex, with corresponding multisensory effects in normals and neuropsychological patients. We conclude that visuo-tactile crossmodal links dominate the representation of near body space and that this is implemented functionally in parietal and premotor brain regions. These integration processes mediate the orienting of spatial attention and generate an efficient and flexible representation the space around the body.

KW - Attention

KW - Body

KW - Frontal

KW - Parietal

KW - Peripersonal space

KW - Posture

KW - Tool-use

KW - Touch

KW - Vision

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=74449093243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=74449093243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.10.010

DO - 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.10.010

M3 - Article

C2 - 19837101

AN - SCOPUS:74449093243

VL - 48

SP - 782

EP - 795

JO - Neuropsychologia

JF - Neuropsychologia

SN - 0028-3932

IS - 3

ER -