About this Research Topic
Bodily self-awareness is a multidimensional construct defined as the feeling that conscious experiences are bound to the self as a unitary entity. A fundamental aspect of bodily self-awareness is the sense of body ownership, described as the awareness of one’s body as belonging to one’s self, and the feeling that a given body part belongs to one’s own body. Normally, we continuously have a robust sense of body ownership, including both implicit and explicit qualities, such that we tend to take this experience as granted. However, this ability to recognize our body as our own is the result of complex multisensory integration processes.
The way in which we build and maintain a coherent sense of body ownership is not fully understood. However, the last two decades have seen an exponential increase in trying to elucidate the underpinning mechanisms. It has been proposed that the integration of exteroceptive, interoceptive, and proprioceptive signals may play a fundamental role in giving rise to the feeling that our body belongs to ourselves. Nevertheless, several questions remain to be answered, such as: When does the sense of body ownership arise during childhood? What are the consequences of aging on body ownership? At which level the presence of a neurological disorder does impact the sense of body ownership? How do we maintain a sense of body ownership through the lifespan, despite the physical and psychological changes that occur? Which factors influence the sense of body ownership, and at which level? How are body ownership and action related? Can we re-construct a sense of body ownership using technology?
The main purpose of this research topic is to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art on the sense of body ownership in humans. We welcome submissions on the topic ranging from birth to aging, in healthy and pathological conditions, from behavioral, neurophysiological, neuroimaging and philosophical points of view. This Research Topic also aims to shed light on the multisensory integration process that promotes the maintenance of a coherent sense of body ownership. It will be open to behavioral, neuroimaging, physiological, pharmacological, developmental and clinical contributions on various aspects of the sense of body ownership (i.e. touch, action, interoception, as well as more recent virtual reality and technology-oriented research on the topic). Original research, reviews, case reports, hypothesis and theory, perspective, and opinion pieces are welcome.
Keywords: Body ownership, multisensory integration, lifespan, body representation, sense of self or bodily self-consciousness
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