Cognitive neuroprosthetics for investigating and restoring body perception

Our brain constantly receives and integrates a flow of multisensory bodily inputs that are responsible for the way our body is represented and consciously experienced. However, in some pathological conditions, patients might experience altered perceptions of their body or suffer from abnormal bodily sensations such as chronic pain. Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience demonstrate that it is possible to modulate bodily self-consciousness and related bodily experiences by experimentally manipulating multisensory bodily inputs. Using such approaches, this work aims to investigate abnormal body experiences and to develop new therapeutic solutions for patients suffering from distorted body representation and chronic pain. First, we manipulated visuo-tactile information to investigate alterations of bodily self-consciousness in spinal cord injured patients and demonstrated the potential analgesic effects of such multisensory stimulation (Study 1). Then, we combined neuro-tactile stimulation with visual stimulation via virtual reality in amputees to induce embodiment for their prosthetic hands, and to improve abnormal phantom limb perceptions (Study 2). We then used a similar approach in patients with chronic leg pain and combined spinal cord stimulation with visual stimulation via virtual reality to in-crease analgesia induced by neuromodulation (Study 3). In another series of studies, we investigated the role of inter-oceptive signals in chronic pain. First, we demonstrated that patients suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) had reduced abilities in perceiving and processing their heartbeat (Study 4). Then, we manipulated interocep-tive information with visual stimulation via virtual reality to reduced CRPS symptoms (Study 5). Collectively, these five studies demonstrate the possibility to use the latest research on the neuroscience of embodi-ment and virtual technology to study disorders of body representation. Furthermore we aim to develop new cognitive neuroprosthetic approaches including restoring normal body perception, inducing embodiment for a prosthetic limb, and alleviating chronic pain.


Directeur(s):
Blanke, Olaf
Année
2019
Publisher:
Lausanne, EPFL
Mots-clefs:
Laboratoires:
LNCO


Note: Le statut de ce fichier est: Seulement EPFL


 Notice créée le 2019-06-13, modifiée le 2019-10-04

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