Laura Crucianelli

Laura Crucianelli
Karolinska Institutet | KI · Department of Neuroscience

PhD

About

48
Publications
11,458
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703
Citations
Introduction
My postdoctoral research at the Brain, Body and Self Lab focuses on the relationship between multisensory integration, interoceptive processing and sense of body ownership. I completed my PhD at the Department of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire and University College London, UK. My PhD and first postdoc at KatLab (UCL) investigated affective touch, interoception and sense of body ownership in healthy and clinical population (e.g. Anorexia Nervosa). My background is in Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsycholgy. Before starting my PhD, I worked as research assistant at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, conducting research about awareness of illness following right-hemisphere stroke.
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - present
Karolinska Institutet
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2016 - September 2018
University College London
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2013 - July 2016
University of Hertfordshire
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
Full-text available
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disorder characterized by restricted eating, fears of gaining weight, and body image distortions. The etiology remains unknown; however impairments in social cognition and reward circuits contribute to the onset and maintenance of the disorder. One possibility is that AN is associated with reduced perceived pleasantness d...
Article
Full-text available
The sense of body ownership represents a fundamental aspect of our self-consciousness. Influential experimental paradigms, such as the rubber hand illusion (RHI), in which a seen rubber hand is experienced as part of one's body when one's own unseen hand receives congruent tactile stimulation, have extensively examined the role of exteroceptive, mu...
Article
Full-text available
Thermosensation has been redefined as an interoceptive modality that provides information about the homeostatic state of the body. However, the contribution of thermosensory signals to the sense of body ownership remains unclear. Across two rubber hand illusion (RHI) experiments (N = 73), we manipulated the visuo-thermal congruency between the felt...
Preprint
Full-text available
Blind individuals have superior abilities to perform perceptual tasks that rely on exteroceptive information, since visual deprivation is associated with massive cross-modal plasticity. However, it is unknown whether neuroplasticity after visual loss also affects interoception, i.e., the sensations arising from one's inner organs that convey inform...
Article
Interoception includes signals from inner organs and thin afferents in the skin, providing information about the body’s physiological state. However, the functional relationships between interoceptive submodalities are unclear, and thermosensation as skin-based interoception has rarely been considered. We used five tasks to examine the relationship...
Preprint
Touch is perceived most pleasant when delivered at velocities known to optimally activate C Tactile afferents. At the group level, pleasantness ratings of touch delivered at velocities in the range 0.3-30 cm/s follows an inverted-U shape curve, with maximum pleasantness between 1 and 10 cm/s. However, the prevalence, reliability, and stability of t...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the past two decades, interoception has received increasing attention in the fields of psychology and cognitive science, as well as neuroscience and physiology. A plethora of studies adopted the perception of cardiac signals as a proxy for interoception. However, recent findings have cast doubt to the methodological and intrinsic validity of the...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the present study, we investigated the effect of short-term visual deprivation on discriminative touch, cardiac interoception, and thermosensation by asking 64 healthy volunteers to perform four behavioral tasks. The experimental group contained 32 subjects who were blindfolded and kept in complete darkness for 110 minutes, while the control gro...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, we investigated the effect of short-term visual deprivation on discriminative touch, cardiac interoception, and thermosensation by asking 64 healthy volunteers to perform four behavioral tasks. The experimental group contained 32 subjects who were blindfolded and kept in complete darkness for 110 minutes, while the control gro...
Article
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. One possibility could be the identification with attractive others through blurring of self-other boundaries. Across two experiments, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Interoception, i.e., the perception of the physiological status of the body, includes signals originating both from inside the body and from its surface, the skin. Here, we focused on the perception of temperature, a crucial modality for the maintenance of homeostasis. We used a classic thermal detection task and developed a new thermal matching ta...
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...
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
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...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decade, philosophy, neuroscience and psychology alike have paid increasing attention to the study of interpersonal affective touch, which refers to the emotional and motivational facets of tactile sensation. Some aspects of affective touch have been linked to a neurophysiologically specialised system, namely the C tactile (CT) system. W...
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...
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
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
During childhood, children’s bodies undergo rapid physical growth, which may affect their ability to accurately perceive their own bodies as well as the external environment. Concurrently, multisensory processes underlying bodily self-consciousness gradually develop. However, little is known of the relation between changes in body size and correspo...
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...
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...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on the question of how do we perceive and represent ourselves at the most minimal, pre-reflective level. We first review recent work emphasizing the multisensory basis of our perceptual experiences and the embodied nature of self-awareness. We then focus on interoceptive and tactile signals, as key components of bodily self-con...
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
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...
Preprint
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...
Preprint
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
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
Increasing evidence shows that maternal touch may promote emotion regulation in infants, however less is known about how parental higher-order social cognition abilities are translated into tactile, affect-regulatory behaviours towards their infants. During 10 min book-reading, mother-infant sessions when infants were 12 months old (N = 45), we inv...
Article
Full-text available
The sense of body ownership represents a fundamental aspect of bodily self-consciousness. Using multisensory integration paradigms, recent studies have shown that both exteroceptive and interoceptive information contribute to our sense of body ownership. Interoception refers to the physiological sense of the condition of the body, including afferen...
Article
Full-text available
Touch is central to interpersonal interactions. Touch conveys specific emotions about the touch provider, but it is not clear whether this is a purely socially learned function or whether it has neurophysiological specificity. In two experiments with healthy participants (N = 76 and 58) and one neuropsychological single case study, we investigated...
Article
Background and aim: Patients with functional neurological symptoms are commonly seen in neurological practice. Nevertheless their aetiopathology remains unclear. We have recently shown that patients affected by functional motor symptoms (FMS) present lower interoceptive awareness and higher alexithymia levels than healthy controls. Nevertheless se...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on how interpersonal, affective touch shapes our sense of self as embodied beings. In the first section, we highlight the centrality of bodily representations for our psychological sense of self, with special emphasis on the role of internal bodily signals in forming the emotional, core of selfhood. The second section focuses o...
Article
Historically, emotional factors, such as trauma or psychological conflict, have been suggested as causal factors of functional motor disorders (FMD). More recent approaches have instead stressed potential neural and cognitive abnormalities in the allocation and maintenance of attention. Yet these studies have mostly focused on how attention is allo...
Article
Historically, emotional factors, such as trauma or psychological conflict, have been suggested as causal factors of functional motor disorders (FMD). More recent approaches have instead stressed potential neural and cognitive abnormalities in the allocation and maintenance of attention. Yet these studies have mostly focused on how attention is allo...
Article
Historically, emotional factors, such as trauma or psychological conflict, have been suggested as causal factors of functional motor disorders (FMD). More recent approaches have instead stressed potential neural and cognitive abnormalities in the allocation and maintenance of attention. Yet these studies have mostly focused on how attention is allo...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on how interpersonal, affective touch shapes our sense of self as embodied beings. In the first section, we highlight the centrality of bodily representations for our psychological sense of self, with special emphasis on the role of internal bodily signals in forming the emotional, core of selfhood. The second section focuses o...
Article
Objective Background and aims. Patients with functional (psychogenic) neurological symptoms are commonly seen in neurological practice. Though emotional/psychological causes are often proposed to underlie their symptoms, patients characteristically deny such problems, even when objective evidence for (for example) anxiety or panic is present. Inter...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbances in body awareness offer important insights into neurocognitive processes involved in the construction of the bodily self. This review will focus on a specific disorder of awareness, namely, anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP), or the denial of motor deficits contralateral to a brain lesion. Recently some progress has been made towards the...

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Project (1)
Project
This research aims to examine how affective touch contributes to the bodily self. The research examines pleasant touch in healthy individuals, right-hemisphere stroke patients, and patients with anorexia nervosa.