Simone Pernigo, Valentina Moro

Body representation disorders: clinical reports and experimental studies

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Keywords: Body representation disorders, body schema, body image, proprioception, extrastriate body area.

Since the end of the 19th century, when the idea that the human body could have a specific mental representation was formulated, the debate about the existence of a body representation and its neural network has become more and more heated and meaningful. In recent years a lot of experimental approaches have been planned to support clinical reports of patients suffering from body representation disorders. These methods permit us to study and even cause anomalous body perceptions both in patients and in healthy subjects. In this paper we report the latest clinical and experimental data regarding this issue and we describe the most important theories formulated over the years to explain how a stable and coherent but also dynamic and mutable body representation can be built and updated in the mind.

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