Aikaterini Fotopoulou

Aikaterini Fotopoulou
University College London | UCL · Division of Psychology and Language Sciences

PhD

About

197
Publications
50,673
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,487
Citations
Citations since 2016
117 Research Items
4291 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
20162017201820192020202120220200400600800
Introduction
Katerina runs KatLab (see www.fotopoulou.com), a group of researchers that conduct studies on topics and disorders that lie at the borders between neurology and psychology. The group is particularly interested in understanding how our embodiment, including the rooting of the mind in our embodied interactions with other people, influence the function of our brain and ultimately shape how we understand ourselves.
Additional affiliations
April 2010 - December 2012
King's College London
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (197)
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies suggest a stronger influence of visual signals on body image in individuals with eating disorders (EDs) than healthy controls; however, the influence of other exteroceptive sensory signals remains unclear. Here we used an illusion relying on auditory (exteroceptive) signals to manipulate body size/weight perceptions and investigate...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our perception of our personal space extends beyond the body to incorporate the space where inter-actions with the environment occur, i.e. peripersonal space (PPS), and the distance we feel comforta-ble in maintaining while interacting with other people, termed interpersonal space. Studies suggest that after positive interpersonal exchanges, PPS ex...
Preprint
In this chapter, we build upon empirical findings on the neurological syndrome of anosognosia for hemiplegia (lack of awareness into one’s paralysis; AHP) and recent neuroscientific theories of self-awareness to propose that the experience of ones’ self entails at least two normally integrated levels of inference. Namely, inferences about the here-...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder with high mortality and morbidity rates, partly due to treatment resistance and high relapse rates. Treatment adherence and recovery has been found to be hindered by insight deficits, a lack of appreciation of one’s illness, or its consequences, most frequent in restrictive AN. However, to date, insight d...
Preprint
The therapeutic effects of touch have been long reported. However, in the field of psychotherapy touch is the exception and talking therapies are the norm. Critically, evidence on clients’ experiences and perspectives of touch during psychotherapy is scarce and reliant on small samples. Moreover, despite converging evidence on the associations betw...
Article
In recent decades, the research traditions of (first-person) embodied cognition and of (third-person) social cognition have approached the study of self-awareness with relative independence. However, neurological disorders of self-awareness offer a unifying perspective to empirically investigate the contribution of embodiment and social cognition t...
Preprint
Our emotional state can influence how we understand other people’s emotions, leading to biases in social understanding. Yet these biases have not been studied in specific relationships such as parent-child dyads, where not only understanding but also emotional and bodily regulation is key. We first conducted two experiments in adult stranger’s dyad...
Article
We reviewed publicly available information from the top 50 journals worldwide in psychology and neuroscience to infer the proportions of editors by gender and country of affiliation. In both fields, the proportions of male and female editors differed significantly, both across editorial roles and within various role categories. Moreover, for 76% of...
Article
We focus on social touch as a paradigmatic case of the embodied, cognitive, and metacognitive processes involved in social, affective regulation. Social touch appears to contribute three interrelated but distinct functions to affective regulation. First, it regulates affects by fulfilling embodied predictions about social proximity and attachment....
Article
Full-text available
Intranasal oxytocin is attracting attention as a potential treatment for several brain disorders due to promising preclinical results. However, translating findings to humans has been hampered by remaining uncertainties about its pharmacodynamics and the methods used to probe its effects in the human brain. Using a dose-response design (9, 18 and 3...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that there may be a relationship between the timing of motor events and phases of the cardiac cycle. This relationship has thus far only been researched using simple isolated movements such as key-presses in reaction-time tasks and only in a single subject acting alone. Other research has shown both movement and cardiac c...
Article
Full-text available
Social touch has positive effects on social affiliation and stress alleviation. However, its ubiquitous presence in human life does not allow the study of social touch deprivation ‘in the wild’. Nevertheless, COVID-19-related restrictions such as social distancing allowed the systematic study of the degree to which social distancing affects tactile...
Preprint
In recent decades, the research traditions of (first-person) embodied cognition and of (third-person) social cognition have approached the study of self-awareness with relative independence. However, neurological disorders of self-awareness offer a unifying perspective to empirically investigate the contribution of embodiment and social cognition t...
Preprint
We focus on social touch as a paradigmatic case of a unifying perspective on the embodied, cognitive and metacognitive processes involved in social, affective regulation. Social touch appears to have three interrelated but distinct functions in affective regulation. First, it regulates affects by fulfilling embodied expectations about social proxim...
Article
Full-text available
The syndrome of anosognosia for hemiplegia, or the lack of awareness for one’s paralysis following right hemisphere stroke, can provide unique insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms of self-awareness. Yet it remains unclear whether anosognosia for hemiplegia is a modality-specific deficit of sensorimotor monitoring, or whether domain-general p...
Article
Full-text available
Peripersonal space (PPS) is the space immediately surrounding the body, conceptualised as a sensory-motor interface between body and environment. PPS size differs between individuals and contexts, with intrapersonal traits and states, as well as social factors having a determining role on the size of PPS. Testosterone plays an important role in reg...
Article
Introduction A three-level model of interoception has recently been defined. We aim to study the interoceptive processing in individuals with functional motor disorder (FMD). Methods Twenty-two patients with FMD were compared to 23 healthy controls. They underwent a protocol measuring different levels of interoception including: accuracy (an heart...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social touch has positive effects on social affiliation and stress alleviation. However, its ubiquitous presence in human life does not allow the study of social touch deprivation ‘in the wild’. Nevertheless, COVID-19-related restrictions such as social distancing allowed the systematic study of the degree to which social distancing affects tactile...
Preprint
Full-text available
While certain metrics of diversity have seen great improvement in recent years in academic psychology and neuroscience, unequal representation remains for many positions of power. Here, we reviewed publicly available information in order to infer the proportion of editors by gender and their country of affiliation in the top 50 journals worldwide i...
Article
Introduction: Anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP) is a condition in which patients with paralysis are unaware of their motor deficits. Research into AHP is important for improving its treatment and providing insight into the neurocognitive mechanism of motor awareness. Unfortunately, most studies use assessments with widely recognized limitations. Th...
Article
Lay abstract: More research has been conducted on how autistic people understand and interpret other people's emotions, than on how autistic people experience their own emotions. The experience of emotion is important however, because it can relate to difficulties like anxiety and depression, which are common in autism. In neurotypical adults and...
Article
Previous studies have highlighted that affective touch delivered at slow velocities (1–10 cm/s) enhances body-part embodiment during multisensory illusions, yet its role towards whole-body embodiment is less established. Across two experiments, we investigated the role of affective touch towards subjective embodiment of a whole mannequin body withi...
Article
Aberrations of self-experience are considered a core feature of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While prominent etiologic accounts of BPD, such as the mentalization based approach, appeal to the developmental constitution of self in early infant-caregiver environments, they often rely on a conception of self that is not explicitly articulate...
Preprint
The syndrome of anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP), or the lack of awareness for one's paralysis following right hemisphere stroke, can provide unique insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms of self-awareness. Yet it remains unclear whether AHP is a modality-specific deficit of sensorimotor monitoring, or whether domain-general processes of atten...
Article
Full-text available
Self–other distinction (SOD) refers to the ability to distinguish one’s own body, actions, and mental representations from those of others. Problems with SOD are considered to be a key feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, empirical studies on SOD in BPD are scarce. Here, we present a study providing preliminary support for the...
Article
Full-text available
Erogenous zones of the body are sexually arousing when touched. Previous investigations of erogenous zones were restricted to the effects of touch on one’s own body. However, sexual interactions do not just involve being touched, but also involve touching a partner and mutually looking at each other’s bodies. We take a novel interpersonal approach...
Preprint
Eating decisions depend on both appetitive and social motivation processes but the interactions between these motivations are poorly understood. We examine how women from nonclinical and clinical samples with variable levels of eating restriction make value-based decisions under uncertainty when monetary values are coupled with values related to bo...
Article
Full-text available
Disruptions in reward processing and anhedonia have long been observed in Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Interoceptive deficits have also been observed in AN, including reduced tactile pleasure. However, the extent to which this tactile anhedonia is specifically liked to an impairment in a specialized, interoceptive C-tactile system originating at the peri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Peripersonal space (PPS) is the space immediately surrounding the body, conceptualised as a sensory-motor interface between body and environment. PPS size differs between individuals and contexts, with intrapersonal traits and states, as well as social factors having a determining role on the size of PPS. Testosterone plays an important role in reg...
Article
Recently, a monothematic delusion of body ownership due to brain damage (i.e., the embodiment of someone else’s body part within the patient’s sensorimotor system) has been extensively investigated. Here we aimed at defining in-depth the clinical features and the neural correlates of the delusion. Ninety-six stroke patients in a sub-acute or chroni...
Article
Full-text available
Right hemisphere stroke can impair the ability to recognise one’s contralesional body parts as belonging to one’s self. The study of this so-called ‘disturbed sense of limb ownership’ can provide unique insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms of body ownership. Here, we address a hypothesis built upon experimental studies on body ownership in h...
Article
Full-text available
Could nose-to-brain pathways mediate the effects of peptides such as oxytocin (OT) on brain physiology when delivered intranasally? We address this question by contrasting two methods of intranasal administration (a standard nasal spray, and a nebulizer expected to improve OT deposition in nasal areas putatively involved in direct nose-to-brain tra...
Preprint
Full-text available
Disruptions in reward processing and anhedonia have long being considered as possible contributors to the aetiology and maintenance of Anorexia nervosa (AN). Recently, interoceptive deficits have also been observed in AN, including reduced tactile pleasure. However, the extent to which this tactile anhedonia is specifically liked to an impairment i...
Preprint
Full-text available
People tend to evaluate their own traits and abilities favourably and such favourable self-perceptions extend to attractiveness. However, the exact mechanism underlying this self-enhancement bias remains unclear and one possibility could be the identification with attractive others through blurring of self-other boundaries. Across two experiments,...
Article
People tend to evaluate their own traits and abilities favourably and such favourable self-perceptions extend to attractiveness. However, the exact mechanism underlying this self-enhancement bias remains unclear and one possibility could be the identification with attractive others through blurring of self-other boundaries. Across two experiments,...
Article
Full-text available
Interoception in autism is receiving increasing research attention. Previously, differences were identified in autism on both objective and subjective measures of interoception, and an association with anxiety. Yet, it is currently unknown how interoception relates to core autism features. Here, in 49 autistic children, we consider how interoceptiv...
Article
Full-text available
Specific, peripheral C-tactile afferents contribute to the perception of tactile pleasure, but the brain areas involved in their processing remain debated. We report the first human lesion study on the perception of C-tactile touch in right hemisphere stroke patients (N = 59), revealing that right posterior and anterior insula lesions reduce tactil...
Preprint
Full-text available
Right hemisphere stroke can impair the ability to recognise one's contralesional body parts as belonging to one's self. The study of this so-called 'disturbed sense of limb ownership' (DSO) can provide unique insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms of body ownership. Here, we address a hypothesis built upon experimental studies on body ownershi...
Article
Full-text available
The syndrome of Anosognosia for Hemiplegia (AHP) can provide unique insights into the neurocognitive processes of motor awareness. Yet, prior studies have only explored predominately discreet lesions. Using advanced structural neuroimaging methods in 174 patients with a right-hemisphere stroke, we were able to identify three neural systems that con...
Article
Full-text available
The vestibular system has been shown to contribute to multisensory integration by balancing conflictual sensory information. It remains unclear whether such modulation of exteroceptive (e.g., vision), proprioceptive, and interoceptive (e.g., affective touch) sensory sources is influenced by epistemically different aspects of tactile stimulation (i....
Preprint
Full-text available
Touch can give rise to different sensations including sensory, emotional and social aspects. Tactile pleasure typically associated with caress-like skin stroking of slow velocities (1-10 cm/s) has been hypothesised to relate to an unmyelinated, slow-conducting C-tactile afferent system (CT system), developed to distinguish affective touch from the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Specific, peripheral C-tactile afferents contribute to the perception of tactile pleasure, but the brain areas involved in their processing remain debated. We report the first human lesion study on the perception of C-tactile touch (N = 59), revealing that posterior and anterior right insula lesions reduce tactile, contralateral and ipsilateral ple...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that there may be a relationship between the timing of motor events and phases of the cardiac cycle. However, this relationship has thus far only been researched using simple isolated movements such as key-presses in reaction-time tasks and only in a single subject acting alone. Here, we investigated how the cardiac cycle...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The vestibular system has been shown to contribute to multisensory integration by balancing conflictual sensory information. It remains unclear whether such modulation of exteroceptive (e.g. vision), proprioceptive and interoceptive (e.g. affective touch) sensory sources is influenced by epistemically different aspects of tactile stimul...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder characterised by restriction of energy intake, fears of gaining weight and related body image disturbances. The oxytocinergic system has been proposed as a pathophysiological candidate for AN. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide involved in bodily processes (eg, breast feeding) and in the onset of soc...
Preprint
Do nose-to-brain pathways provide a privileged route of direct entry to the brain for peptides such as oxytocin (OT)? We addressed this question by contrasting two methods of intranasal administration (a standard nasal spray, and a nebulizer expected to improve OT deposition in nasal areas putatively involved in direct nose-to-brain transport) to i...
Preprint
Full-text available
The rare syndrome of Anosognosia for Hemiplegia (AHP) can provide unique insights into the neurocognitive processes of motor awareness. Yet, prior studies have only explored predominately discreet lesions. Using advanced structural neuroimaging methods in 174 patients with a right-hemisphere stroke, we were able to identify three neural networks th...
Article
Full-text available
Our sense of body ownership relies on integrating different sensations according to their temporal and spatial congruency. Nevertheless, there is ongoing controversy about the role of affective congruency during multisensory integration, i.e. whether the stimuli to be perceived by the different sensory channels are congruent or incongruent in terms...
Article
Full-text available
Correctly estimating the confidence we should have in our decisions has traditionally been viewed as a perceptual judgement based solely on the strength or quality of sensory information. However, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that the motor system contributes to judgements of perceptual confidence. Here, we manipulated the speed at which...
Article
Full-text available
Typically, multisensory illusion paradigms emphasise the importance of synchronous visuotactile integration to induce subjective embodiment towards another body. However, the extent to which embodiment is due to the visual capture of congruent visuoproprioceptive information alone remains unclear. Thus, across two experiments (total N = 80), we inv...
Article
Multisensory integration processes are fundamental to our sense of self as embodied beings. Bodily illusions, such as the rubber hand illusion (RHI) and the size-weight illusion (SWI), allow us to investigate how the brain resolves conflicting multisensory evidence during perceptual inference in relation to different facets of body representation....
Article
Our sense of body ownership relies on integrating different sensations according to their temporal and spatial congruency. Nevertheless, there is ongoing controversy about the role of affective congruency during multisensory integration, i.e. whether the stimuli to be perceived by the different sensory channels are congruent or incongruent in terms...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Affective touch supports affiliative bonds and social cognition. In particular, gentle, stroking touch, which has recently been associated with the C Tactile (CT) system, is typically perceived as pleasant and prosocial. However, it remains unknown whether pre-existing models of social relating influence the perception of CT-optimal touch....