Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Body Perception: Disorders
Laurel J. Buxbaum
The brain computes at least three distinct types of representation of the human body. One type of representation, known as body semantics (or body image in the classical literature) codes long-term explicit knowledge about body parts, their functions, and their associates (e.g., the wrist is the place where a watch or bracelet is worn). The second type of representation provides a dynamic, constantly updated (“online”) mapping of the current locations of body parts in space (the body schema ). The third kind of representation codes more stable, long-term topological information about the structural positions of body parts on the body surface ( body structural descriptions ). Although the brain structures mediating these representations are not firmly established, several lines of evidence suggest that the body schema and body structural descriptions rely on the integrity of the parietal lobes, whereas body semantics are likely mediated primarily by the temporal lobes. Damage ...