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Multisensory body representation in autoimmune diseases

Finotti, G and Costantini, M (2016) 'Multisensory body representation in autoimmune diseases.' Scientific Reports, 6. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

© 2016, Nature Publishing Group. All rights reserved. Body representation has been linked to the processing and integration of multisensory signals. An outstanding example of the pivotal role played by multisensory mechanisms in body representation is the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI). In this paradigm, multisensory stimulation induces a sense of ownership over a fake limb. Previous work has shown high interindividual differences in the susceptibility to the RHI. The origin of this variability remains largely unknown. Given the tight and bidirectional communication between the brain and the immune system, we predicted that the origin of this variability could be traced, in part, to the immune system's functioning, which is altered by several clinical conditions, including Coeliac Disease (CD). Consistent with this prediction, we found that the Rubber Hand Illusion is stronger in CD patients as compared to healthy controls. We propose a biochemical mechanism accounting for the dependency of multisensory body representation upon the Immune system. Our finding has direct implications for a range of neurological, psychiatric and immunological conditions where alterations of multisensory integration, body representation and dysfunction of the immune system co-exist.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2016 15:59
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 20:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16210

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