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Interdisciplinary Network of Researchers in Touch

Program detail

Friday 26th July, 2019

10:45-11:00: Symposium in Lecture Theatre, A01Topology of remote tactile improvement induced by passive somatosensory stimulation

Macchione S, Muret D, Dinse HR, Koun E, Reilly KT, Farnè A

Repetitive somatosensory stimulation consists of a few hours of passive stimulation which improves the tactile acuity of a stimulated fingertip without involving any effort or attention by the subject. This experimentally-induced perceptual improvement has long been thought to be highly specific to the stimulated region as, when applied to the right-D2, RSS boosts the spatial tactile perception of this finger but not of the homologous left-D2, neither of the adjacent right-D3, nor of the far right-D5. Contrary to the large evidence for its high specificity, recent work from our group challenged this view since in two experiments we found that both fingers adjacent to the stimulated right-D2 in the opposite hand (left-D1 and left-D3) were also improved. These findings have led to several hypotheses regarding the mechanisms underlying the improvement transfer, and future investigations will attempt to disentangle the various hypotheses proposed here.

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