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Multimodal Contributions to Body Representation

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Our body is a unique entity by which we interact with the external world. Consequently, the way we represent our body has profound implications in the way we process and locate sensations and in turn perform appropriate actions. The body can be the subject, but also the object of our experience, providing information from sensations on the body surface and viscera, but also knowledge of the body as a physical object. However, the extent to which different senses contribute to constructing the rich and unified body representations we all experience remains unclear. In this review, we aim to bring together recent research showing important roles for several different sensory modalities in constructing body representations. At the same time, we hope to generate new ideas of how and at which level the senses contribute to generate the different levels of body representations and how they interact. We will present an overview of some of the most recent neuropsychological evidence about multisensory control of pain, and the way that visual, auditory, vestibular and tactile systems contribute to the creation of coherent representations of the body. We will focus particularly on some of the topics discussed in the symposium on Multimodal Contributions to Body Representation held on the 15th International Multisensory Research Forum (2015, Pisa, Italy).

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, WC1E 7HX, London, UK ; 2: 3Neuromi: Milan Center for Neuroscience, Milano, Italy ; 3: 2Department of Psychology, Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy ; 4: 4Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, UK ; 5: 6Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London, UK ; 6: 5Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK ; 7: 8UCL Interaction Centre, University College London, UK ; 8: 7Laboratorio de Neurociencia Humana, Departamento de Psicología, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Spain

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:;

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