Do conscious beliefs about the body affect defensive mechanisms within the body? To answer this question we took advantage from a monothematic delusion of bodily ownership, in which brain-damaged patients misidentify alien limbs as their own. We investigated whether the delusional belief that an alien hand is their own hand modulates a subcortical defensive response, such as the hand-blink reflex. The blink, dramatically increases when the threated hand is inside the defensive peripersonal-space of the face. In our between-subjects design, including patients and controls, the threat was brought near the face either by the own hand or by another person's hand. Our results show an ownership-dependent modulation of the defensive response. In controls, as well as in the patients' intact-side, the response enhancement is significantly greater when the threat was brought near the face by the own than by the alien hand. Crucially, in the patients' affected-side (where the pathological embodiment occurs), the alien (embodied) hand elicited a response enhancement comparable to that found when the threat is brought near the face by the real hand. These findings suggest the existence of a mutual interaction between our conscious beliefs about the body and the physiological mechanisms within the body

Bodily ownership modulation in defensive responses: Physiological evidence in brain-damaged patients with pathological embodiment of other's body parts

FOSSATARO, CARLOTTA;GINDRI, PATRIZIA;PIA, Lorenzo;GARBARINI, Francesca
2016-01-01

Abstract

Do conscious beliefs about the body affect defensive mechanisms within the body? To answer this question we took advantage from a monothematic delusion of bodily ownership, in which brain-damaged patients misidentify alien limbs as their own. We investigated whether the delusional belief that an alien hand is their own hand modulates a subcortical defensive response, such as the hand-blink reflex. The blink, dramatically increases when the threated hand is inside the defensive peripersonal-space of the face. In our between-subjects design, including patients and controls, the threat was brought near the face either by the own hand or by another person's hand. Our results show an ownership-dependent modulation of the defensive response. In controls, as well as in the patients' intact-side, the response enhancement is significantly greater when the threat was brought near the face by the own than by the alien hand. Crucially, in the patients' affected-side (where the pathological embodiment occurs), the alien (embodied) hand elicited a response enhancement comparable to that found when the threat is brought near the face by the real hand. These findings suggest the existence of a mutual interaction between our conscious beliefs about the body and the physiological mechanisms within the body
6
27737
1
11
www.nature.com/srep/index.html
Multidisciplinary, Human Body, Personal Space, Brain Injuries, Blinking
Fossataro, C.; Gindri, P.; Mezzanato, T.; Pia, L.; Garbarini, F.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Fossataro et al. Sci Rep 2016.pdf

Accesso aperto

Tipo di file: PDF EDITORIALE
Dimensione 1.21 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.21 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1586267
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 12
  • Scopus 30
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 29
social impact