Research Topic

Body in Mind

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The sense of touch is vital in development, and for how we perceive the world and interact with others. The skin envelopes our body and is our largest organ providing us with information about our immediate environment. In addition to this ‘surface’ information our somatosensory system also processes ...

The sense of touch is vital in development, and for how we perceive the world and interact with others. The skin envelopes our body and is our largest organ providing us with information about our immediate environment. In addition to this ‘surface’ information our somatosensory system also processes information regarding body position and internal bodily states. This research topic aims to bring together research which investigates behavioural or neural correlates of information processing related to our body, in healthy individuals or patients. We are constantly bombarded with tactile information, such as from the clothes on our body, or the chair we sit upon, yet we are able to process only what is relevant to us. Research has found that selective attention to locations on our body may increase processing of stimuli presented at attended locations, however, we may still of course notice a tap on our shoulder. How we perceive and process somatosensory information can be influenced by several cognitive factors. In addition, information from other modalities has shown to impact perception of tactile information. For example, sound can alter the perceived dryness of the skin or vision of the body the perceived distance of two points on the skin. Where our body parts are in external space also influences tactile processing. There is thus a large variety of information coming from our body (e.g., tactile, proprioceptive, thermal, pain) and it is influence by the other senses and/or other cognitive factors like attention and memory. The ‘body sense’ incorporates information from the body’s outer limits (and in some cases beyond) as well as internal states and as such, is a major source for our sense of self.

This topic welcomes submissions of original research involving how we process information related to our body from a wide range of domains, such as tactile perception and attention, multisensory integration, introception, somatosensory and pain processing. We welcome research using various techniques and methods. Ranging from behavioural to brain measures, including neural correlates (e.g., EEG, fMRI) or invasive techniques (e.g., TMS or tDCS), as well as patient studies. With this research topic we aim to draw attention to perhaps the most important of our senses, and to further understand how our body interacts with the world.

Keywords: Touch, Tactile attention, Endogenous and exogenous orienting, Somatosensory processing, Introception, Somatotopic and external space, Multisensory integration, Visuotactile, Body processing, Pain, Proprioception, Temperature


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the specialty and field to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Manuscripts discovered during any stage of peer review to be outside of the scope may be transferred to a suitable section or field, or withdrawn from review.

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