Disturbances of self-other distinction after stimulation of the extrastriate body area in the human brain

University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
Social neuroscience (Impact Factor: 2.87). 02/2009; 4(1):40-8. DOI: 10.1080/17470910801938023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In a recent experiment with functional magnetic-resonance imaging, we found that brain activity in the extrastriate body area (EBA) distinguished between observed self- and other-generated movements, being significantly higher during observation of someone else's movement. Here, we investigated further the role of EBA in self-other distinctions using low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). As compared with rTMS applied over a control site, rTMS applied over the EBA increased reaction times, without affecting accuracy, for the detection of other-generated movements. Performance on a control motion-direction detection task was unaffected. These findings provide additional evidence for the role of the EBA in processing information necessary for identifying ourselves as agents of self-generated movements.

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    • "led researchers to investigate its possible role in self-other discrimination. For instance, David et al. [35] showed that low frequency rTMS on the EBA decreased the subjects' performance on self-other discrimination task. Similar results were found by disrupting the functioning of the inferior parietal lobule [36] or the superior parietal lobule [37]. "
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    • "Ten years ago, a visual area located in the human occipito-temporal cortex was shown to respond selectively to body parts (extrastriate body area, EBA, [9]). More recently, the same area was proposed to perform a " sorting of body part images by identity " [19], either by itself [1] [5] [6] [19], or as part of a right hemisphere network [13] [14], thus adding to the rich neuroanatomical data on agency attribution [2] [7] [15] [16] [25]. "
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    • "In another study by the same group, observers had to discriminate between visual feedbacks congruent and incongruent with their own movements. rTMS applied over the left EBA increased the reaction time of the discrimination without affecting its accuracy, suggesting that EBA plays some role in monitoring the sensory consequences of one's own movements and thus may participate in the sense of agency and the self/other distinction (David et al. 2008). Yet other cortical regions, such as the insula, are probably more important than EBA for the sense of agency and the sense of body ownership, both of which are probably essential for self-consciousness. "
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