The hand blink reflex is a subcortical defensive response, known to dramatically increase when the stimulated hand is statically positioned inside the defensive peripersonal space (DPPS) of the face. Here, we tested in a group of healthy human subjects the hand blink reflex in dynamic conditions, investigating whether the direction of the hand movements (up-to/down-from the face) could modulate it. We found that, on equal hand position, the response enhancement was present only when the hand approached to (and not receded from) the DPPS of the face. This means that, when the hand is close to the face but the subject is planning to move the hand down, the predictive motor system can anticipate the consequence of the movement: the "near" becomes "far." We found similar results both in passive movement condition, when only afferent (visual and proprioceptive) information can be used to estimate the final state of the system, and in motor imagery task, when only efferent (intentional) information is available to predict the consequences of the movement. All these findings provide evidence that the DPPS is dynamically shaped by predictive mechanisms run by the motor system and based on the integration of feedforward and sensory feedback signals.

Dynamic shaping of the defensive peripersonal space through predictive motor mechanisms: When the “near” becomes “far”

GARBARINI, Francesca;FOSSATARO, CARLOTTA;
2017-01-01

Abstract

The hand blink reflex is a subcortical defensive response, known to dramatically increase when the stimulated hand is statically positioned inside the defensive peripersonal space (DPPS) of the face. Here, we tested in a group of healthy human subjects the hand blink reflex in dynamic conditions, investigating whether the direction of the hand movements (up-to/down-from the face) could modulate it. We found that, on equal hand position, the response enhancement was present only when the hand approached to (and not receded from) the DPPS of the face. This means that, when the hand is close to the face but the subject is planning to move the hand down, the predictive motor system can anticipate the consequence of the movement: the "near" becomes "far." We found similar results both in passive movement condition, when only afferent (visual and proprioceptive) information can be used to estimate the final state of the system, and in motor imagery task, when only efferent (intentional) information is available to predict the consequences of the movement. All these findings provide evidence that the DPPS is dynamically shaped by predictive mechanisms run by the motor system and based on the integration of feedforward and sensory feedback signals.
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http://www.jneurosci.org/content/jneuro/37/9/2415.full.pdf
Defensive peripersonal space; Hand blink reflex; Motor imagery; Movement; Neuroscience (all)
Bisio, Ambra; Garbarini, Francesca; Biggio, Monica; Fossataro, Carlotta; Ruggeri, Piero; Bove, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1633176
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