Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Body Schema

  • John E. Mendoza
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_713



General term for the personal awareness of one’s body, including the location and orientation of its various parts and their relative motion in space and time, as well as its functional integrity.

Current Knowledge

Although usually taken for granted, to effectively carry out normal motor activities one needs to appreciate both the static and kinetic state of the body as a whole as well as its individual parts. This information is derived from a number of sensory feedback loops, including signals from receptors in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and the skin (proprioceptive, kinesthetic, and tactile information), the inner ear or vestibular sense (orientation, direction, and speed of movement of the head), and vision. Perhaps as a result of collective experiences with such discrete sensory input, it has been suggested that individuals eventually develop what might be considered a superordinate sense of one’s own body, independent of its movement in space...

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References and Readings

  1. Adair, J. C., Schwartz, R. L., & Barrett, A. (2003). Anosognosia. In K. M. Heilman & E. Valenstein (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology (4th ed., pp. 185–214). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Denburg, N. L., & Tranel, D. (2003). Acalculia and disturbances of body schema. In K. M. Heilman & E. Valenstein (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology (4th ed., pp. 161–184). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Goldenberg, G. (2003). Disorders of body perception and representation. In T. E. Feinberg & M. J. Farah (Eds.), Behavioral neurology and neuropsychology (2nd ed., pp. 285–294). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Prigatano, G. P., & Schacter, D. L. (Eds.). (1991). Awareness of deficit after brain injury: Clinical and theoretical issues. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Mendoza
    • 1
  1. 1.SE LA Veterans Healthcare System Department of Psychiatry and NeurologyTulane University Medical CenterNew OrleansUSA