Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 218, Issue 2, pp 273–282 | Cite as

Does tool use extend peripersonal space? A review and re-analysis

Research Article

Abstract

The fascinating idea that tools become extensions of our body appears in artistic, literary, philosophical, and scientific works alike. In the last 15 years, this idea has been reframed into several related hypotheses, one of which states that tool use extends the neural representation of the multisensory space immediately surrounding the hands (variously termed peripersonal space, peri-hand space, peri-cutaneous space, action space, or near space). This and related hypotheses have been tested extensively in the cognitive neurosciences, with evidence from molecular, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and behavioural fields. Here, I briefly review the evidence for and against the hypothesis that tool use extends a neural representation of the space surrounding the hand, concentrating on neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and behavioural evidence. I then provide a re-analysis of data from six published and one unpublished experiments using the crossmodal congruency task to test this hypothesis. While the re-analysis broadly confirms the previously reported finding that tool use does not literally extend peripersonal space, the overall effect sizes are small and statistical power is low. I conclude by questioning whether the crossmodal congruency task can indeed be used to test the hypothesis that tool use modifies peripersonal space.

Keywords

Vision Touch Multisensory Crossmodal Reference frames Perception 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Katherine Naish, Alessandro Farnè, and one anonymous reviewer for comments on previous versions of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

221_2012_3042_MOESM1_ESM.zip (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (ZIP 1207 kb)

References

  1. Ackroyd K, Riddoch MJ, Humphreys GW, Nightingale S, Townsend S (2002) Widening the sphere of influence: using a tool to extend extrapersonal visual space in a patient with severe neglect. Neurocase 8(1):1–12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aspell JE, Lenggenhager B, Blanke O (2009) Keeping in touch with one’s self: multisensory mechanisms of self-consciousness. PLoS ONE 4(8):e6488PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berti A, Frassinetti F (2000) When far becomes near: remapping of space by tool use. J Cogn Neurosci 12(3):415–420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonifazi S, Farnè A, Rinaldesi ML, Làdavas E (2007) Dynamic size-change of peri-hand space through tool-use: spatial extension or shift of the multisensory area? J Neuropsychol 1(1):101–114PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brozzoli C, Pavani F, Urquizar C, Cardinali L, Farnè A (2009) Grasping actions remap peripersonal space. NeuroReport 20(10):913–917PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brozzoli C, Cardinali L, Pavani F, Farnè A (2010) Action-specific remapping of peripersonal space. Neuropsychologia 48(3):796–802PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cardinali L, Frassinetti F, Brozzoli C, Urquizar C, Roy AC, Farnè A (2009a) Tool-use induces morphological updating of the body schema. Curr Biol 23(19):478–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cardinali L, Brozzoli C, Farnè A (2009b) Peripersonal space and body schema: two labels for the same concept? Brain Topog 21(3–4):252–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cardinali L, Jacobs S, Brozzoli C, Frassinetti F, Roy AC, Farnè A (2012) Grab an object with a tool and change your body: tool-use-dependent changes of body representation for action. Exp Brain Res. doi:10.1007/s00221-012-3028-5 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Farnè A, Làdavas E (2000) Dynamic size-change of hand peripersonal space following tool use. NeuroReport 11(8):1645–1649PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farnè A, Bonifazi S, Làdavas E (2005a) The role played by tool-use and tool-length on the plastic elongation of peri-hand space: a single case study. Cogn Neuropsychol 22(3–4):408–418PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Farnè A, Iriki A, Làdavas E (2005b) Shaping multisensory action-space with tools: evidence from patients with cross-modal extinction. Neuropsychologia 43(2):238–248PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Faul F, Erdfelder E, Lang A, Buchner A (2007) G*power 3: a flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behav Res Meth 39:175–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flaccus LW (1906) Remarks on the psychology of clothes. Pedagogical Seminary 13:61–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Forti S, Humphreys GW (2004) Visuomotor cuing through tool use in unilateral visual neglect. J Gen Psychol 131(4):379–410PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldenberg G, Iriki A (2007) From sticks to coffee-makers: mastery of tools and technology by human and non-human primates. Cortex 43(3):285–288PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Graziano MSA, Gross CG (1993) A bimodal map of space: somatosensory receptive fields in the macaque putamen with corresponding visual receptive fields. Exp Brain Res 97(1):96–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Graziano MSA, Hu XT, Gross CG (1997) Visuospatial properties of ventral premotor cortex. J Neurophysiol 77(5):2268–2292PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Graziano MSA, Cooke DF, Taylor CSR (2000) Coding the location of the arm by sight. Science 290(5497):1782–1786PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Head H, Holmes HG (1911) Sensory disturbances from cerebral lesions. Brain 34(2–3):102–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hihara S, Notoya T, Tanaka M, Ichinose S, Ojima H, Obayashi S, Fujii N, Iriki A (2006) Extension of corticocortical afferents into the anterior bank of the intraparietal sulcus by tool-use training in adult monkeys. Neuropsychologia 44:2636–2646PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holmes NP, Spence C (2004) The body schema and the multisensory representation(s) of peripersonal space. Cogn Process 5:94–105PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Holmes NP, Spence C (2006) Beyond the body schema: visual, prosthetic, and technological contributions to bodily perception and awareness. In: Knoblich G, Thornton IM, Grosjean M, Shiffrar M (eds) Human body perception from the inside out. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 15–64Google Scholar
  24. Holmes NP, Calvert GA, Spence C (2004) Extending or projecting peripersonal space with tools? Multisensory interactions highlight only the distal and proximal ends of tools. Neurosci Lett 372:62–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holmes NP, Calvert GA, Spence C (2007a) Tool use changes multisensory interactions in seconds: evidence from the crossmodal congruency task. Exp Brain Res 183:465–476PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Holmes NP, Sanabria D, Calvert GA, Spence C (2007b) Tool-use: capturing multisensory spatial attention or extending multisensory peripersonal space? Cortex 43(3):469–489PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Humphreys GW, Riddoch MJ, Forti S, Ackroyd K (2004) Action influences spatial perception: neuropsychological evidence. Vis Cogn 11(2):411–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Iriki A, Tanaka M, Iwamura Y (1996) Coding of modified body schema during tool use by macaque postcentral neurones. NeuroReport 7(14):2325–2330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Làdavas E (2002) Functional and dynamic properties of visual peripersonal space. Trends Cogn Sci 6(1):17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lotze RH (1885) Microcosmus: an essay concerning man and his relation to the world. T & T Clark, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  31. Maravita A (2006) From ‘body in the brain’ to ‘body in space’. Sensory and intentional components of body representation. In: Knoblich G, Thornton IM, Grosjean M, Shiffrar M (eds) Human body perception from the inside out. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 65–88Google Scholar
  32. Maravita A, Husain M, Clarke K, Driver J (2001) Reaching with a tool extends visual-tactile interactions into far space: evidence from cross-modal extinction. Neuropsychologia 39(6):580–585PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Maravita A, Clarke K, Husain M, Driver J (2002a) Active tool use with the contralesional hand can reduce crossmodal extinction of touch on that hand. Neurocase 8(6):411–416PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Maravita A, Spence C, Kennett S, Driver J (2002b) Tool-use changes multimodal spatial interactions between vision and touch in normal humans. Cognition 83(2):B25–B34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Maravita A, Spence C, Sergent C, Driver J (2002c) Seeing your own touched hands in a mirror modulates cross-modal interactions. Psychol Sci 13(4):350–355PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Maravita A, Spence C, Driver J (2003) Multisensory integration and the body schema: close to hand and within reach. Curr Biol 13(13):R531–R539PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McLuhan M (1964) Understanding media: the extensions of man. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  38. Melville H (1851) Moby dick. Richard Bentley, London, pp 16–943Google Scholar
  39. Milán EG, Sanabria D, Tornay F, Gonzalez A (2005) Exploring task-set reconfiguration with random task sequences. Acta Psychol 118(3):319–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Obayashi S, Tanaka M, Iriki A (2000) Subjective image of invisible hand coded by monkey intraparietal neurons. NeuroReport 11(16):3499–3505PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schicke T, Bauer F, Röder B (2009) Interactions of different body parts in peripersonal space: how vision of the foot influences tactile perception at the hand. Exp Brain Res 192(4):703–715PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Spence C, Kingstone AF, Shore DI, Gazzaniga MS (2001) Representation of visuotactile space in the split brain. Psychol Sci 12(1):90–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Spence C, Pavani F, Driver J (2004) Spatial constraints on visual-tactile cross-modal distractor congruency effects. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 4(2):148–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Spence C, Pavani F, Maravita A, Holmes NP (2008) Multisensory interactions. In: Lin MC, Otaduy MA (eds) Haptic rendering: foundations, algorithms, and applications. AK Peters, Wellesley MA, pp 21–52Google Scholar
  45. Townsend JT, Ashby FG (1983) The stochastic modelling of elementary psychological processes. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  46. Yue Z, Bischof G, Zhou X, Spence C, Röder B (2009) Spatial attention affects the processing of tactile and visual stimuli presented at the tip of a tool: an event-related potential study. Exp Brain Res 193(1):119–128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zhou Y, Fuster JM (2000) Visuo-tactile cross-modal associations in cortical somatosensory cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97(17):9777–9782PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySchool of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of ReadingReadingUK

Personalised recommendations