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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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Triadic body representations in the human cerebral cortex and peripheral nerves

Triadic body representations in the human cerebral cortex and peripheral nerves

(p.133) 9 Triadic body representations in the human cerebral cortex and peripheral nerves
Body Schema and Body Image

Noriaki Kanayama

Kentaro Hiromitsu

Oxford University Press

Is the body reducible to neural representation in the brain? There is some evidence that the brain contributes to the functioning of the body from neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and lesion studies. Well-known dyadic taxonomy of the body schema and the body image (hereafter BSBI) is based primarily on the evidence in brain-damaged patients. Although there is a growing consensus that the BSBI exists, there is little agreement on the dyadic taxonomy because it is not a concrete and common concept across various research fields. This chapter tries to investigate the body representation in the cortex and nervous system in terms of sensory modality and psychological function using two different approaches. The first approach is to review the neurological evidence and cortical area which is related to body representation, regardless of the BSBI, and then to reconsider how we postulate the BSBI in our brain. It can be considered that our body representation could be constructed by the whole of the neural system, including the cortex and peripheral nerves. The second approach is to revisit the BSBI conception from the viewpoint of recent neuropsychology and propose three types of body representation: body schema, body structural description, and body semantics. This triadic taxonomy is considered consistent with the cortical networks based on the evidence of bodily disorders due to brain lesions. These two approaches allow to reconsider the BSBI more carefully and deeply and to give us the possibility that the body representation could be underpinned with the network in the brain.

Keywords:   peripheral nerve, somatotopy, retinotopy, body schema, body image, body structural description, body semantics, triadic taxonomy, brain damage, out-of-body experience

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