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Essay: What makes your body 'yours'?

Swart, J.M. (2015) Essay: What makes your body 'yours'? Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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What makes your body ‘yours’? The neurodevelopmental mechanisms of body ownership sensation and the mismatch in Body Integrity Identity Disorder Abstract: A correct representation of the body in the brain is necessary for the feeling of body ownership. This sensation seems to arise from the detection of congruency of information coming in through different sensory systems, particularly the visual, tactile and proprioceptive pathway. The congruency is detected by multisensory neurons that integrate input from these systems. This integrative function develops after birth, along with the fine-tuning of the separate sensory systems; both require stimulation experience to reach an optimal state. In Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), a mismatch exists between the body representation in the brain and the real situation, with an onset of this feeling in childhood or early puberty. The feeling of ownership for one of the limbs is missing, and the patient desires an amputation or paralysis of this limb. Activity in the premotor cortex is decreased when the non-belonging limb is stimulated, suggesting a malfunctioning of multisensory integration. The onset of BIID later in life indicates a disturbance during the development of the multisensory integration system. Currently there are no effective treatment options for BIID, only amputation of the limb resolves the mismatch completely. Deep brain stimulation could be effective, but due to its invasiveness transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct-current stimulation might be better options. Furthermore, research should be done to examine the plasticity of multisensory neurons in the adult premotor cortex, and a possible genetic origin of BIID could give more insight into the developmental mechanism and potential drug targets.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:03

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