Friday, July 6, 2012

Symposium 4 Talk 1: Lenggenhager

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

Symposium 4: "Balancing the Self: Vestibular Contributions to Self-Consciousness"
Talk 1: "Vestibular contribution to multisensory mechanisms underlying the sense of self"

Bigna Lenggenhager (Social and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Psychology Department, Sapienza University, Italy)


Data in neurological patients with disturbances in the bodily self suggest an important role of vestibular processes in global aspects of the self such as self-location and first-person perspective. We used mental imagery and multisensory bodily illusions to simulate aspects of such neurological conditions in healthy participants to investigate underlying functional and neural mechanisms. In these experiments both vestibular stimulation as well as visuo-vestibular conflicts interfered with global aspects of the self, confirming a contribution of vestibular processing to a stable sense of self, localized at a specific position in space with a single perspective on the world. Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) activity reflected experimental changes in self-location and first-person perspective due to multisensory conflicts. This finding relates again to data in neurological patients that suggest integration of vestibular, somatosensory and visual signals in the TPJ are crucial for a stable sense of self.

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