Research Topic

Body Representation and Interoceptive Awareness: Cognitive, Affective, and Social Implications

About this Research Topic

The understanding of how the brain represents the body has long fascinated researchers, but several aspects related to the development and dynamics of body representation are still a matter of debate. The body representation is the result of a complex multisensory system, integrating interoceptive, proprioceptive, tactile, vestibular and visual information, tightly integrated with the motor control system. In addition, several cognitive, affective and social aspects are associated with body representation processing. Neuropsychological studies on individuals with brain damage as well as behavioral and neuroimaging data on healthy individuals suggest to differentiate at least between two different representations: i) a body representation supporting action, also known as body schema, relevant for action and interaction with the environment; and ii) a non-action oriented body representation, named body image, relevant for perception/recognition, sense of body ownership and self-consciousness. Deficits of these body representations have been found as a consequence of brain and peripheral nervous system injury in several clinical conditions.

Furthermore, altered basic interoceptive processing, altered processing and integration of multisensory signals, and the deficit of implicit and explicit habit-body memory would lead to body representation concerns and disturbances impacting on social and cognitive processing. Therefore, an efficient body representation is central to adequately act in the environment, to construct a sense of self, and to interact with others.

The goal of this Research Topic is to welcome the most recent and advanced researches on body representation, to better understand its development and impairment in healthy individuals and in clinical populations.

We accept empirical articles, theoretical proposals, or scientific reviews that can provide significant new insights about body representation, its neural correlates, and how it relates to interoceptive awareness and to social and cognitive functioning.


Keywords: body representation, body schema, interoception, self-feeling, bodily awareness


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The understanding of how the brain represents the body has long fascinated researchers, but several aspects related to the development and dynamics of body representation are still a matter of debate. The body representation is the result of a complex multisensory system, integrating interoceptive, proprioceptive, tactile, vestibular and visual information, tightly integrated with the motor control system. In addition, several cognitive, affective and social aspects are associated with body representation processing. Neuropsychological studies on individuals with brain damage as well as behavioral and neuroimaging data on healthy individuals suggest to differentiate at least between two different representations: i) a body representation supporting action, also known as body schema, relevant for action and interaction with the environment; and ii) a non-action oriented body representation, named body image, relevant for perception/recognition, sense of body ownership and self-consciousness. Deficits of these body representations have been found as a consequence of brain and peripheral nervous system injury in several clinical conditions.

Furthermore, altered basic interoceptive processing, altered processing and integration of multisensory signals, and the deficit of implicit and explicit habit-body memory would lead to body representation concerns and disturbances impacting on social and cognitive processing. Therefore, an efficient body representation is central to adequately act in the environment, to construct a sense of self, and to interact with others.

The goal of this Research Topic is to welcome the most recent and advanced researches on body representation, to better understand its development and impairment in healthy individuals and in clinical populations.

We accept empirical articles, theoretical proposals, or scientific reviews that can provide significant new insights about body representation, its neural correlates, and how it relates to interoceptive awareness and to social and cognitive functioning.


Keywords: body representation, body schema, interoception, self-feeling, bodily awareness


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

24 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

24 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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