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John Plass, David Brang, Andrew Bryant, Satoru Suzuki, Zach Taich, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Marcia Grabowecky; Frontoparietal connectivity supports dynamic body representation. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1108. doi: 10.1167/14.10.1108.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Body representation processes underlie individuals' coherent sense of body ownership and knowledge of the spatial boundaries of the body. These experiences are highly dynamic, changing throughout development or due to damage and disease. Indeed, large individual differences exist in the ability to dynamically update one's body representation, typically measured with the rubber hand illusion. In this effect, watching touches applied to a rubber hand while receiving the same pattern of touches on one's own hand engenders the experience that the rubber hand is part of the body, providing a trait-like marker of body representation plasticity. Functional neuroimaging studies highlight the role of the intraparietal sulcus and ventral premotor cortex in this illusion, and body representation disorders are associated with reduced activity in similar regions in addition to altered connectivity between frontoparietal areas. However, it remains unknown whether subclinical reductions in connectivity in some individuals accounts for individual differences in body representation plasticity. Examining the relationship between neuroanatomical connectivity, as measured with diffusion tensor imaging, and the intensity of the rubber hand illusion, we identified a significant positive relationship between illusion intensity and the coherence of connectivity along the frontoparietal network, implicating this pathway in individual differences in body representation plasticity. Results suggest that multisensory body representation processes are facilitated by coherent connectivity in the frontoparietal network and that the presence of large individual differences in the rubber hand illusion may account for some individuals' susceptibility to body representation disorders.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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