Changes in Body Representation of the Human Upper Limb as a Function of Movement and Visual Hand Position
Shunsuke Hamasaki*, Qi An*, Wen Wen*, Yusuke Tamura*, Hiroshi Yamakawa*, Satoshi Unenaka**, Satoshi Shibuya***, Yukari Ohki***, Atsushi Yamashita*, and Hajime Asama*
*Department of Precision Engineering, The University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
**Department of Sport Education, School of Lifelong Sport, Hokusho University
23 Bunkyodai, Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8511, Japan
***Department of Integrative Physiology, Kyorin University School of Medicine
6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-8611, Japan
Several disease presentations are linked to a mismatch between the real body and the body’s internal representation of itself. In order to develop effective rehabilitation therapies, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms underlying changes in body representation. In this study, we focused on changes in body representation of the upper limb as a large part of the body and investigated the conditions under which such changes occur. Participants were presented four conditions which differentially affected their sense of ownership and agency, including a movement condition related to their sense of agency, and a visual hand information condition related to the sense of ownership. In the experiment, participants were asked to move their upper limb forward and backward on a manipulandum. Results of the study showed that visual hand position affected changes in body representation relevant to both conscious and unconscious body parts. In addition, changes in the representation of the unconscious body part occurred with, and were dependent on, active movement.
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