Friday, July 6, 2012

Symposium 4 Talk 2: Lopez

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

Symposium 4: "Balancing the Self: Vestibular Contributions to Self-Consciousness"
Talk 2: "Vestibular and multisensory foundations of self-location and self-other distinction"

Christophe Lopez (Laboratoire de Neurosciences Intégratives et Adaptatives Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Provence, France)


The vestibular system provides concurrent signals about gravity and one’s body position and motion in space. I will argue that vestibular signals play a crucial role in unifying bodily and extracorporeal signals necessary for self-location and self-other distinction. The core vestibular cortex overlaps with the temporo-parietal region, insula and intraparietal sulcus, three brain regions involved in self-processing. First, I will show that artificial stimulation of the vestibular system (caloric and galvanic vestibular stimulation) can interfere with these brain regions and modulate self-location and the conscious experience of the body (mental representation of the body shape and size, body ownership). Finally, I will present psychophysical data showing that, by distinguishing self-motion from other- and environment-motion, vestibular signals contribute to the subjective experience of being a self.

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