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Interdisciplinary Network of Researchers in Touch

Program detail

Thursday 25th July, 2019

18:00-19:00: Posters & wine in Social Space, A22Somatosensory resonance paradigm taps into bodily sense of self

Gillmeister, H., Adler, J., Rigato, S.

Models of the self distinguish between psychological and physical (bodily) self-awareness. While the psychological self is abstract (the narrative self), our bodily sense of self is represented in multisensory-motor coordinates. Here we present a paradigm that allows researchers to investigate the neural dynamics of our bodily sense of self. It uses visual-tactile stimulation and EEG/ERPs to delineate how observers "resonate“ (ie. experience visual-tactile contingencies) with their own bodily experiences and with those of others (vicarious touch), and how they distinguish between self and non-self sources of bodily information. The somatosensory resonance paradigm may be used to explore, from a neural perspective, how our sense of bodily self develops, and how it differs in those with altered self experience (e.g. depersonalisation, schizophrenia, body image disorders). We show some examples of applications: effects of visual perspective of the body, differences in observers with depersonalisation and individual differences in interoceptive awareness on early cortical somatosensory ERPs (P45, P100) and on later stage cognitive processes (P200, P300, LPC).

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