Body and Motor Awareness: Representation, Perception and Integration in the Human Brain

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensory and Motor Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 September 2023) | Viewed by 2862

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Royal Military Academy, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Interests: visuo-spatial attention; motor awareness; body awareness; brain stimulation; fMRI; EEG; multisensory integration; moral decision making
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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Via Verdi, 10, 10124 Turin, Italy
Interests: bodily self-awareness; body ownership; sense of agency; immersive virtual reality; electroencephalography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Understanding how body and motor awareness are built into the brain has long fascinated researchers. Despite the numerous findings from the studies of the last several decades, some aspects related to the development of body and motor awareness are still controversial. Indeed, body representation is the result of a complex multisensory integration in which proprioceptive, tactile, and visual information are closely linked to the motor control system. Similarly, a veridical construction of motor awareness is the result of a series of processes, and although we are aware that we are moving (motor awareness) and that we have a desire to act (motor intention), many of the processes underlying motor programming and execution are not accessible to consciousness. Since body and motor awareness are the core of human self-awareness, more research in the area is needed to better clarify how their integration contributes to the construction of the coherent and unitary sense of self.

The goal of this Special Issue is to welcome the most recent research (research articles, theoretical proposals and scientific reviews) on body representation and motor awareness, to better understand their development and impairment in both healthy individuals and in clinical populations.

Dr. Adriana Salatino
Dr. Maria Pyasik
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • body representation
  • motor awareness
  • self-awareness
  • multisensory integration

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 739 KiB  
Article
Modulation of Motor Awareness: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study in the Healthy Brain
by Adriana Salatino, Pietro Sarasso, Alessandro Piedimonte, Francesca Garbarini, Raffaella Ricci and Anna Berti
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(10), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13101422 - 7 Oct 2023
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Abstract
Previous studies on the mechanisms underlying willed actions reported that the premotor cortex may be involved in the construction of motor awareness. However, its exact role is still under investigation. Here, we investigated the role of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) in motor [...] Read more.
Previous studies on the mechanisms underlying willed actions reported that the premotor cortex may be involved in the construction of motor awareness. However, its exact role is still under investigation. Here, we investigated the role of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) in motor awareness by modulating its activity applying inhibitory rTMS to PMd, before a specific motor awareness task (under three conditions: without stimulation, after rTMS and after Sham stimulation). During the task, subjects had to trace straight lines to a given target, receiving visual feedback of the line trajectories on a computer screen. Crucially, in most trials, the trajectories on the screen were deviated, and to produce straight lines, subjects had to correct their movements towards the opposite direction. After each trial, participants were asked to judge whether the line seen on the computer screen corresponded to the line actually drawn. Results show that participants in the No Stimulation condition did not recognize the perturbation until 14 degrees of deviation. Importantly, active, but not Sham, rTMS significantly modulated motor awareness, decreasing the amplitude of the angle at which participants became aware of the trajectory correction. These results suggest that PMd plays a crucial role in action self-monitoring. Full article
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15 pages, 3128 KiB  
Article
Mu Rhythm Desynchronization while Observing Rubber Hand Movement in the Mirror: The Interaction of Body Representation with Visuo-Tactile Stimulation
by Satoshi Shibuya and Yukari Ohki
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(6), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13060969 - 19 Jun 2023
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Abstract
During rubber hand illusion (RHI), participants feel that a rubber (fake) hand is their own (i.e., embodiment of the rubber hand) if the unseen real hand and seen rubber hand are stroked synchronously (i.e., visuo-tactile stimuli). The RHI is also evoked if the [...] Read more.
During rubber hand illusion (RHI), participants feel that a rubber (fake) hand is their own (i.e., embodiment of the rubber hand) if the unseen real hand and seen rubber hand are stroked synchronously (i.e., visuo-tactile stimuli). The RHI is also evoked if the real and rubber hands are placed in the same position (i.e., visual-proprioceptive congruency), which can be performed using a mirror setting. Using electroencephalography (EEG) and mirror settings, we compared μ rhythm (8–13 Hz) event-related desynchronization (ERD; an index of sensorimotor activation) while watching the movements of embodied or non-embodied rubber hands, which was preceded by an observation of the rubber hand with or without synchronous visuo-tactile stimuli. The illusory ownership of the fake hand was manipulated using visual continuity with (RHI) and without (non-RHI) a fake forearm. Resultantly, an ownership-dependent μ rhythm ERD was found when delivering visuo-tactile stimuli; a greater and more persistent μ rhythm ERD during the rubber hand movement was identified in the RHI in comparison to the non-RHI condition. However, no difference was observed between the two when observing the fake hand alone. These findings suggest the possibility that a self-related multisensory interaction between body representation (top-down processing) and visuo-tactile inputs (bottom-up processing) before a fake hand movement produces ownership-dependent sensorimotor activations during subsequent movement observations. Full article
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