Different tool training induces specific effects on body metric representation

Romano, Daniele; Uberti, Elena; Caggiano, Pietro; Cocchini, Gianna and Maravita, Angelo. 2019. Different tool training induces specific effects on body metric representation. Experimental Brain Research, 237(2), pp. 493-501. ISSN 0014-4819 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Morphology and functional aspects of the tool have been proposed to be critical factors modulating tool use-induced plasticity. However, how these aspects contribute to changing body representation has been underinvestigated. In the arm bisection task, participants have to estimate the length of their own arm by indicating its midpoint, a paradigm used to investigate the representation of the metric properties of the body. We employed this paradigm to investigate the impact of different actions onto tool embodiment. Our findings suggest that a training requiring actions mostly with proximal (shoulder) or distal (wrist) parts induces a different shift in the perceived arm midpoint. This effect is independent of, but enhanced by, the use of the tool during the training and in part influenced by specific demands of the task. These results suggest that specific motor patterns required by the training can induce different changes of body representation, calling for rethinking the concept of tool embodiment, which would be characterized not simply by the morphology of the tools, but also by the actions required for their specific use.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Embodiment, Tool use, Body representation, Body schema, Arm bisection task

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture (CCCC)


15 October 2018Accepted
20 November 2018Published Online
1 February 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2018 12:59

Last Modified:

24 Feb 2020 10:20

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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