Updating peripersonal space and body representation during acute pain

Axel Vitterso

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The representations of our body and its surround space are constantly updated as we interact with external space, for instance during active tool-use. People with certain painful conditions, such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, can present with distorted representations of their body and peripersonal space when compared to pain-free individuals. It is not known how such distorted representations may arise, and if they reflect a difference in cognitive processing, or are a direct consequence of pain. To test the latter, we induced acute pain in healthy individuals using 1% Capsaicin cream and examined its effect on participants’ abilities to update the representation of their body (using tactile distance judgements on their arms) and peripersonal space (using a crossmodal congruency task). Our findings showed that acute pain did not interfere with updating the representations of the body and peripersonal space when compared to two control conditions. Therefore, this suggests that acute pain is not sufficient to account for the distorted representations of the body and its surrounding space commonly observed in people with painful condition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2018
EventNeuronus - Krakow, Poland
Duration: 20 Apr 201822 Apr 2018


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