Left caloric vestibular stimulation as a tool to reveal implicit and explicit parameters of body representation

Anna Sedda, Diana Tonin, Gerardo Salvato, Martina Gandola, Gabriella Bottini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Homeostatic parameters, such as temperature, are related to body representation. In thisstudy, we measured whether caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) alters body temperatureand tactile processing, and if in the direction predicted by a holistic body matrix representation.Skin temperature and tactile two-point discrimination (TPD) acuity were measured forboth arms before, immediately after and with a delay from CVS. Participants were alsoadministered a personality questionnaire and an anxiety inventory to rule out confoundingfactors. Two control experiments were planned to exclude casual variations.Our results show that temperature drops significantly in both arms after CVS. CVS alsoinduces a bilateral improvement in tactile acuity (even though not immediately after butin the delayed condition). Finally, these effects are not due to learning, as demonstratedby the control experiment.In summary, our results suggest that vestibular stimulation updates body representation,supporting the evidence in favor of a body matrix.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalConsciousness and Cognition
    Volume41
    Early online date5 Feb 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

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