Accessibility navigation


The brain’s fingers and hands

Haggard, P., Kitadono, K., Press, C. and Taylor-Clarke, M. (2006) The brain’s fingers and hands. Experimental Brain Research, 172 (1). pp. 94-102. ISSN 1432-1106

Full text not archived in this repository.

To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s00221-005-0311-8

Abstract/Summary

The brain keeps track of the changing positions of body parts in space using a spatial body schema. When subjects localise a tactile stimulus on the skin, they might either use a somatotopic body map, or use a body schema to identify the location of the stimulation in external space. Healthy subjects were touched on the fingertips, with the hands in one of two postures: either the right hand was vertically above the left, or the fingers of both hands were interwoven. Subjects made speeded verbal responses to identify either the finger or the hand that was touched. Interweaving the fingers significantly impaired hand identification across several experiments, but had no effect on finger identification. Our results suggest that identification of fingers occurs in a somatotopic representation or finger schema. Identification of hands uses a general body schema, and is influenced by external spatial location. This dissociation implies that touches on the finger can only be identified with a particular hand after a process of assigning fingers to hands. This assignment is based on external spatial location. Our results suggest a role of the body schema in the identification of structural body parts from touch.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Perception and Action
ID Code:22058
Publisher:Springer

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation