Peripersonal space (PPS) is a multisensory representation of the space near body parts facilitating interactions with the close environment. Studies on non-human and human primates agree in showing that PPS is a body part-centered representation that guides actions. Because of these characteristics, growing confusion surrounds peripersonal and arm-reaching space (ARS), that is the space one's arm can reach. Despite neuroanatomical evidence favoring their distinction, no study has contrasted directly their respective extent and behavioral features. Here, in five experiments (N = 140) we found that PPS differs from ARS, as evidenced both by participants' spatial and temporal performance and by its modeling. We mapped PPS and ARS using both their respective gold standard tasks and a novel multisensory facilitation paradigm. Results show that: (1) PPS is smaller than ARS; (2) multivariate analyses of spatial patterns of multisensory facilitation predict participants' hand locations within ARS; and (3) the multisensory facilitation map shifts isomorphically following hand positions, revealing hand-centered coding of PPS, therefore pointing to a functional similarity to the receptive fields of monkeys' multisensory neurons. A control experiment further corroborated these results and additionally ruled out the orienting of attention as the driving mechanism for the increased multisensory facilitation near the hand. In sharp contrast, ARS mapping results in a larger spatial extent, with undistinguishable patterns across hand positions, cross-validating the conclusion that PPS and ARS are distinct spatial representations. These findings show a need for refinement of theoretical models of PPS, which is relevant to constructs as diverse as self-representation, social interpersonal distance, and motor control.

Peripersonal and reaching space differ: Evidence from their spatial extent and multisensory facilitation pattern

Blini, E;
2021

Abstract

Peripersonal space (PPS) is a multisensory representation of the space near body parts facilitating interactions with the close environment. Studies on non-human and human primates agree in showing that PPS is a body part-centered representation that guides actions. Because of these characteristics, growing confusion surrounds peripersonal and arm-reaching space (ARS), that is the space one's arm can reach. Despite neuroanatomical evidence favoring their distinction, no study has contrasted directly their respective extent and behavioral features. Here, in five experiments (N = 140) we found that PPS differs from ARS, as evidenced both by participants' spatial and temporal performance and by its modeling. We mapped PPS and ARS using both their respective gold standard tasks and a novel multisensory facilitation paradigm. Results show that: (1) PPS is smaller than ARS; (2) multivariate analyses of spatial patterns of multisensory facilitation predict participants' hand locations within ARS; and (3) the multisensory facilitation map shifts isomorphically following hand positions, revealing hand-centered coding of PPS, therefore pointing to a functional similarity to the receptive fields of monkeys' multisensory neurons. A control experiment further corroborated these results and additionally ruled out the orienting of attention as the driving mechanism for the increased multisensory facilitation near the hand. In sharp contrast, ARS mapping results in a larger spatial extent, with undistinguishable patterns across hand positions, cross-validating the conclusion that PPS and ARS are distinct spatial representations. These findings show a need for refinement of theoretical models of PPS, which is relevant to constructs as diverse as self-representation, social interpersonal distance, and motor control.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3453000
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