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Body Schema and Body ImageNew Directions$
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Yochai Ataria, Shogo Tanaka, and Shaun Gallagher

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198851721

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198851721.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

The embodied and social self: insights on body image and body schema from neurological conditions

The embodied and social self: insights on body image and body schema from neurological conditions

Chapter:
(p.229) 14 The embodied and social self: insights on body image and body schema from neurological conditions
Source:
Body Schema and Body Image
Author(s):

Jonathan Cole

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198851721.003.0014

In neurological illnesses, the body may present itself to perception in ways which allows insights into the concepts of body image and body schema. Three such conditions are explored. From those who live with spinal cord injury, paralysed and insentient from the neck down, aspects of the importance of the body in one’s sense of self are revealed. Some also describe a coming to terms with their altered bodies. When considering the body image, its adaptability and this reconciliation to a new normal should be considered. Studies on acquired severe sensory loss explore how conscious control, at the body image level, may partially replace the deafferented body schema. There is little evidence, however, for these subjects extending access to previously non-conscious motor schema. Lastly, some narratives from those with congenital absence of movement of facial muscles describe reduced emotional experience and felt embodiment as children. These can be developed as young adults, through shared social interactions. The importance of the social in elaboration of the body image is further implicit in a consideration of the stigma associated with facial disfigurement. Others’ responses to one’s body are crucial in developing our body image and sense of self.

Keywords:   neurological impairment, tetraplegia, deafferentation, Moebius

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