We experience our own body through both touch and vision. We further see that others’ bodies are similar to our own body, but we have no direct experience of touch on others’ bodies. Therefore, relations between vision and touch are important for the sense of self and for mental representation of one’s own body. For example, seeing the hand improves tactile acuity on the hand, compared to seeing a non-hand object. While several studies have demonstrated this visual enhancement of touch (...) effect, its relation to the ‘bodily self’, or mental representation of one’s own body remains unclear. We examined whether VET is an effect of seeing a hand, or of seeing my hand, using the rubber hand illusion. In this illusion, a prosthetic hand which is brushed synchronously—but not asynchronously—with one’s own hand is felt to actually be one’s hand. Thus, we manipulated whether or not participants felt like they were looking directly at their hand, while holding the actual stimulus they viewed constant. Tactile acuity was measured by having participants judge the orientation of square-wave gratings. Two characteristic effects of VET were observed: cross-modal enhancement from seeing the hand was inversely related to overall tactile acuity, and participants near sensory threshold showed significant improvement following synchronous stroking, compared to asynchronous stroking or no stroking at all. These results demonstrate a clear functional relation between the bodily self and basic tactile perception. (shrink)
Plasticity of body representation fundamentally underpins human tool use. Recent studies have demonstrated remarkably complex plasticity of body representation in humans, showing that such plasticity (1) occurs flexibly across multiple time scales and (2) involves multiple body representations responding differently to tool use. Such findings reveal remarkable sophistication of body plasticity in humans, suggesting that Vaesen may overestimate the similarity of such mechanisms in humans and non-human primates.
L'immagine del "grembo materno della natura" da cui la ragione umana si deve emancipare per guadagnare la libertà è usata da Kant in uno scritto polemico contro Herder, Mutmasslicher Anfang der Menschengeschichte , che può essere considerato una risposta al libro decimo delle Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, uscito nel 1785. Seguendo il racconto biblico, anche Kant pone la prima coppia umana in un "giardino", un luogo sicuro e ben fornito di alimenti; ma il vero inizio della storia (...) è fatto consistere nella rottura di questo equilibrio ad opera della ragione che gradualmente si è sottratta alla tutela della natura, imparando un po' alla volta a dominarla. Kant dichiara di condividere l'ideale rousseauiano di una cultura che non neghi la natura dell'uomo ma la promuova in quella che dovrà diventare la sua condizione fondamentale di esistenza, che è la libertà. Pone tuttavia questo ideale come termine finale del processo storico, non come condizione da recuperare nella sua purezza iniziale, ritornando alle origini, come invece appariva nella visione della storia proposta da Herder, che avrebbe su questo punto frainteso il pensiero di Rousseau. The image of the "womb of nature", from which human reason must emancipate itself in order to gain freedom, is used by Kant in a pamphlet against Herder. This was the Mutmasslicher Anfang der Menschengeschichte , which can be considered a response to the tenth book of Herder's Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, published in 1785. Following the biblical account, Kant imagines the first two human beings in a "garden", a place safe and well-stocked with food; but the real beginning of history consists in the disruption of this balance produced by reason. Human reason gradually removes itself from the protection of nature, learning gradually to dominate nature. Kant shares Rousseau's idea of a culture that does not deny the nature of man, but promotes it in order to attain the fundamental condition of human existence, which is freedom. However, this ideal remains only as the final term of historical process, not as a condition to be regained in its original purity. The latter was the vision of history proposed by Herder, who on this point misunderstood the thought of Rousseau. (shrink)
Schilbach et al. contrast second-person and third-person approaches to social neuroscience. We discuss relations between second-person and first-person approaches, arguing that they cannot be studied in isolation. Contingency is central for converging first- and second-person approaches. Studies of embodiment show how contingencies scaffold first-person perspective and how the transition from a third- to a second-person perspective fundamentally involves first-person contributions.
The empirical support for the shared circuits model (SCM) is mixed. We review recent results from our own lab and others supporting a central claim of SCM that mirroring occurs at multiple levels of representation. By contrast, the model is silent as to why human infants are capable of showing imitative behaviours mediated by a mirror system. This limitation is a problem with formal models that address neither the neural correlates nor the behavioural evidence directly.
We question the generalizability of Glover's model because it fails to distinguish between different forms of planning. The highly controlled experimental situations on which this model is based, do not reflect some important factors that contribute to planning. We discuss several classes of action that seem to imply distinct planning mechanisms, questioning Glover's postulation of a single “planning system.”.
How do we acquire a mental representation of our own face? Recently, synchronous, but not asynchronous, interpersonal multisensory stimulation between one’s own and another person’s face has been used to evoke changes in self-identification. We investigated the conscious experience of these changes with principal component analyses that revealed that while the conscious experience during synchronous IMS focused on resemblance and similarity with the other’s face, during asynchronous IMS it focused on multisensory stimulation. Analyses of the identified common factor structure revealed (...) significant quantitative differences between synchronous and asynchronous IMS on self-identification and perceived similarity with the other’s face. Experiment 2 revealed that participants with lower interoceptive sensitivity experienced stronger enfacement illusion. Overall, self-identification and body-ownership rely on similar basic mechanisms of multisensory integration, but the effects of multisensory input on their experience are qualitatively different, possibly underlying the face’s unique role as a marker of selfhood. (shrink)