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Somatosensory-guided tool use modifies arm representation for action

Martel, Marie and Cardinali, Lucilla and Bertonati, Giorgia and Jouffrais, Christophe and Finos, Livio and Farnè, Alessandro and Roy, Alice Somatosensory-guided tool use modifies arm representation for action. (2019) Scientific Reports, 9 (5517). 1-14. ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41928-1


Tool-use changes both peripersonal space and body representations, with several effects being nowadays termed tool embodiment. Since somatosensation was typically accompanied by vision in most previous tool use studies, whether somatosensation alone is sufficient for tool embodiment remains unknown. Here we address this question via a task assessing arm length representation at an implicit level. Namely, we compared movement's kinematics in blindfolded healthy participants when grasping an object before and after tool-use. Results showed longer latencies and smaller peaks in the arm transport component after tool-use, consistent with an increased length of arm representation. No changes were found in the hand grip component and correlations revealed similar kinematic signatures in naturally long-armed participants. Kinematics changes did not interact with target object position, further corroborating the finding that somatosensory-guided tool use may increase the represented size of the participants' arm. Control experiments ruled out alternative interpretations based upon altered hand position sense. In addition, our findings indicate that tool-use effects are specific for the implicit level of arm representation, as no effect was observed on the explicit estimate of the forearm length. These findings demonstrate for the first time that somatosensation is sufficient for incorporating a tool that has never been seen, nor used before.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-41928-1
HAL Id:hal-02382718
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale - INSERM (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès - UT2J (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - UT1 (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of Western Ontario - UWO (CANADA)
Other partners > Université Claude Bernard-Lyon I - UCBL (FRANCE)
Other partners > Hospices Civils de Lyon - HCL (FRANCE)
Other partners > Fondation Neurodis (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Lyon - UDL (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Lumière-Lyon 2 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Università degli Studi di Padova (ITALY)
Other partners > Università degli Studi di Trento (ITALY)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:21 Nov 2019 10:51

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