NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ965037
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
A 2.5-D Representation of the Human Hand
Longo, Matthew R.; Haggard, Patrick
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v38 n1 p9-13 Feb 2012
Primary somatosensory maps in the brain represent the body as a discontinuous, fragmented set of two-dimensional (2-D) skin regions. We nevertheless experience our body as a coherent three-dimensional (3-D) volumetric object. The links between these different aspects of body representation, however, remain poorly understood. Perceiving the body's location in external space requires that immediate afferent signals from the periphery be combined with stored representations of body size and shape. At least for the back of the hand, this body representation is massively distorted, in a highly stereotyped manner. Here we test whether a common pattern of distortions applies to the entire hand as a 3-D object, or whether each 2-D skin surface has its own characteristic pattern of distortion. Participants judged the location in external space of landmark points on the dorsal and palmar surfaces of the hand. By analyzing the internal configuration of judgments, we produced implicit maps of each skin surface. Qualitatively similar distortions were observed in both cases. The distortions were correlated across participants, suggesting that the two surfaces are bound into a common underlying representation. The magnitude of distortion, however, was substantially smaller on the palmar surface, suggesting that this binding is incomplete. The implicit representation of the human hand may be a hybrid, intermediate between a 2-D representation of individual skin surfaces and a 3-D representation of the hand as a volumetric object. (Contains 3 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Edinburgh Handedness Inventory