The way human bodies are represented is central in everyday activities. The cognitive system must combine internal, visceral, and somatosensory, signals to external, visually driven information generated from the spatial placement of others’ bodies and the own body in the space. However, how different body representations covertly interact among them when observing human body parts is still unclear. Therefore, we investigated the implicit processing of body parts by manipulating either the body part stimuli’ posture (conditions a and b) or the participants’ response body posture (conditions c, d, and e) in healthy participants (N = 70) using a spatial compatibility task called Sidedness task. The task requires participants to judge the colour of a circle superimposed on a task-irrelevant body part picture. Responses are facilitated when the spatial side of the responding hand corresponds to the spatial code generated by the hand stimulus's position with respect to a body of reference. Results showed that the observation of the task-irrelevant body parts oriented participants’ attention and facilitated responses that were spatial compatible with the spatial position such body parts have within a configural representation of the body structure (i.e., Body Structural Representation) in all the five experimental conditions. Notably, the body part stimuli were mentally attached to the body according to the most comfortable and less awkward postures, following the anatomo-physiological constraints. Moreover, the pattern of the results was not influenced by manipulating the participants’ response postures, suggesting that the automatic and implicit coding of the body part stimuli does not rely on proprioceptive information about one's body (i.e., Body Schema). We propose that the human body's morphometry knowledge is enriched by biomechanical and anatomo-physiological information about the real body movement possibilities. Moreover, we discuss the importance of the automatic orienting of attention based on the sidedness within the context of imitational learning.

Does the body talk to the body? The relationship between different body representations while observing others’ body parts

Tessari, Alessia
;
Ottoboni, Giovanni
2022

Abstract

The way human bodies are represented is central in everyday activities. The cognitive system must combine internal, visceral, and somatosensory, signals to external, visually driven information generated from the spatial placement of others’ bodies and the own body in the space. However, how different body representations covertly interact among them when observing human body parts is still unclear. Therefore, we investigated the implicit processing of body parts by manipulating either the body part stimuli’ posture (conditions a and b) or the participants’ response body posture (conditions c, d, and e) in healthy participants (N = 70) using a spatial compatibility task called Sidedness task. The task requires participants to judge the colour of a circle superimposed on a task-irrelevant body part picture. Responses are facilitated when the spatial side of the responding hand corresponds to the spatial code generated by the hand stimulus's position with respect to a body of reference. Results showed that the observation of the task-irrelevant body parts oriented participants’ attention and facilitated responses that were spatial compatible with the spatial position such body parts have within a configural representation of the body structure (i.e., Body Structural Representation) in all the five experimental conditions. Notably, the body part stimuli were mentally attached to the body according to the most comfortable and less awkward postures, following the anatomo-physiological constraints. Moreover, the pattern of the results was not influenced by manipulating the participants’ response postures, suggesting that the automatic and implicit coding of the body part stimuli does not rely on proprioceptive information about one's body (i.e., Body Schema). We propose that the human body's morphometry knowledge is enriched by biomechanical and anatomo-physiological information about the real body movement possibilities. Moreover, we discuss the importance of the automatic orienting of attention based on the sidedness within the context of imitational learning.
2022
Tessari, Alessia; Ottoboni, Giovanni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/879247
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