New insight provided by sensory illusion study in body representation brain disorders

Washington, Sept 23 : Human brain does not require multiple signals to build a picture body ownership, as the illusion can be created using sensory inputs from the muscle alone, tricking people into believing an artificial finger is their own, a study has revealed.

The study published in 'The Journal of Physiology' has provided a new insight into clinical conditions where body representation in the brain is disrupted due to changes in the central or peripheral nervous systems e.g. stroke, schizophrenia and phantom limb syndrome following amputation.

Professor Simon Gandevia, Deputy Director of Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) said that the current finding has led to important insights into key brain functions, which could lead to new clinical interventions where the addition or the removal of specific sensory stimuli is used to change someone's body image.

Contrary to previous theories which used multiple sensory inputs including touch and vision, these results demonstrate that messages coming from muscle receptors are enough to change the internal body representation.

This experiment has revealed that that our brain is a thoughtful decision maker which uses available sensory information and memories of past experiences to decide what scenario is most likely.

--ANI (Posted on 23-09-2013)

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