Conclusions

I began this article by postulating three different purposes of body perception and representation: motor control, awareness of the configuration of one's own body, and imitation of the configuration of other persons' bodies. The data support the validity of this classification by showing that the nervous system employs different sensory channels and different central representations for each of these purposes. Perception of one and the same body state can yield different and even contradictory results in representations at different levels of the central nervous system.

There is no such thing as a master map of one's body in the brain. Not only do the neural mechanisms subserving each of the purposes of body perception differ but also there is more than one representation of the body involved in each of them. Most, if not all, of these representations are incomplete and devoted to only limited portions or limited aspects of the body. Some of them seem to be specific to body perception, but others are shared with perception. and representation of other objects. The intuitively given unity and uniqueness of our bodies does not seem to correspond with the neural substrates of body perception.

See Also the Following Articles

AGNOSIA • APRAXIA • CONSCIOUSNESS • HALLUCINATIONS • HAND MOVEMENTS • MOTOR CONTROL • OBJECT PERCEPTION • PHANTOM LIMB PAIN • SPATIAL COGNITION • TACTILE PERCEPTION

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