Friday, July 6, 2012

Symposium 4: ch. Lopez

Friday, July 6 2012 14:00-16:00 @ Dome Theatre

Symposium 4: "Balancing the Self: Vestibular Contributions to Self-Consciousness"

Chair: Christophe Lopez (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Provence France)


Introduction by Christophe Lopez.

Recent developments in cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind have highlighted some of the bodily foundations of the subjective experience of being a self (bodily self-consciousness). Yet, past research has focused on the convergence of visual, tactile and proprioceptive signals for aspects of bodily self-consciousness such as the sense of body ownership, self-identification, and self-location. However, recent work suggests a fundamental importance of vestibular signals for bodily self-consciousness. The fact that the vestibular system has been neglected until recently is surprising because this sensory system encodes one’s body position with respect to gravity as well as translations and rotations of the body in space. We will present data from cognitive neuroscience, neurology and neuroimaging showing the importance of the interactions of vestibular signals with visual and somatosensory signals to reflect bodily self-consciousness, including the first-person perspective. Bigna Lenggenhager will describe recent data on experimentally-induced changes in self-location and first-person perspective that were induced via visuo-vestibular and tactile conflicts. The importance of vestibular signals in perspective taking, self-other and self-environment distinctions will be discussed by Christophe Lopez. Gabriella Bottini will demonstrate the possibility to manipulate bodily consciousness, and various bodily deficits of neurological origin, using vestibular stimulation. The three speakers will discuss the convergence of vestibular signals in brain areas underpinning body representations. The convergence of the data presented during this symposium should stimulate the inclusion of vestibular signals into current models of body representations and pre-reflective forms of bodily self-consciousness.

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