Navigation Links
To translate touch, the brain can quickly rearrange its sense of the body

The brain is bombarded by information about the physical proportions of our bodies. The most familiar sensations, such as a puff of wind or the brush of our own shirt sleeve, serve to constantly remind the brain of the body's outer bounds, creating a sense of what is known as proprioception. In a new study, researchers report this week that the brain's ability to interpret external signals and update its sense of bodily self is more dynamic than had been previously thought and that such updates can happen very quickly, altering within a matter of seconds how body parts and individual touch sensations are perceived.

The work is reported by researchers Frederique de Vignemont, Henrik Ehrsson, and Patrick Haggard at University College London.

The information that is integrated in the course of proprioception comes from several different senses, including touch, pain, vision, information from muscles, and so on. The brain must combine all these information inputs to accurately perceive the external world through our body's interaction with it and also to produce a coherent sense of self. Because all these signals carry such different kinds of information, the brain must perform a constant juggling act in order to make sense of the body and the world.

In the new study, the research team used a method called tendon vibration to induce a distortion of healthy volunteers' sense of their own bodies. When the biceps tendon of the right arm was vibrated, the subjects in the experiments felt within seconds that their right elbow was rotating away from the body, even though the arm was actually quite still. If subjects held their left index finger with their right hand while this happened, they felt their left index finger getting longer as they felt their arm move.

The team then tested how these bodily illusions rearranged the sense of touch. They touched subjects with two metal rods on the left index finger, and asked them to judge whether the di stance between the rods was greater or smaller than the distance between two additional rods touched on the forehead. When tendon vibration made the index finger seem longer than it really was, subjects overestimated the tactile distance on the index finger, relative to the forehead. The sense of touch was altered within seconds of applying the vibration, suggesting a very strong and fast link between the brain systems for touch and body position.

The observations showed that abnormal input into one of the body's sensory systems produced a rapid and profound change in another sensory system: The brain had changed the way it interpreted the signals from the sense of touch. These links between different bodily senses show that the brain constantly updates its internal map, and they shed light on the dynamic and flexible nature of the body map that is used to interpret each new perception.

de Vignemont et al.: "Bodily illusions modulate tactile perception." Publishing in Current Biology, Vol. 15, pages 1286?290, July 26, 2005. DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2005.06.067 www.current-biology.com


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Controversial drug shown to act on brain protein to cut alcohol use
2. Mouse brain cells rapidly recover after Alzheimers plaques are cleared
3. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
4. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
5. First atlas of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases
6. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
7. Stem cells from brain transformed to produce insulin at Stanford
8. Birds brains reveal source of songs
9. Loves all in the brain: fMRI study shows strong, lateralized reward, not sex, drive
10. Revolutionary nanotechnology illuminates brain cells at work
11. A puzzle piece found in unraveling the wiring of the brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data ... precision engineering platform, detected a statistically significant ... product prior to treatment and objective response ... the potential to predict whether cancer patients ... to treatment, as well as to improve ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market to ... AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein recognition, ... industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, health ... and by region ( North America , ... , and the Rest of the World) ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... The University ... researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated with the 21 ... to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is the first multi-institutional ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal ... at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, Senior ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, ... including food and dairy, munitions, and pharmaceutical/biotech, recently introduced The Revolution Lift™, a ... use. The improvement in technology comes on the heels of HOLLOWAY’s release of ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Genedata, a leading provider of advanced software ... Meetings, which will be held in Boston, Cambridge/UK, Shanghai, and Tokyo. These forums ... analysis and learn about the latest advances in screening technologies and applications. They ...
Breaking Biology Technology: