Selective effects of a brain tumor on the metric representation of the hand: a pre- versus post-surgery comparison

Mora, Laura; Committeri, Giorgia; Ciavarro, Marco and Cocchini, Gianna. 2022. Selective effects of a brain tumor on the metric representation of the hand: a pre- versus post-surgery comparison. Experimental Brain Research, 240(12), pp. 3183-3192. ISSN 0014-4819 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Body representation disorders are complex, varied, striking and very incapacitating in most cases. Deficits of body representation have been described after lesions to multimodal and sensorimotor cortical areas. A few studies have reported the effects of tumors on the representation of the body, but little is known about the changes after tumor resection. Moreover, impact of brain lesions on the hand size representation has been investigated in few clinical cases. Hands are of special importance as no other body part has the ability for movement and interaction with the environment that the hands have, and we use them for a multitude of daily activities Studies with clinical population can add further knowledge into the way hands are represented. Here, we report a single case study of a patient (AM) who was an expert bodybuilder and underwent a surgery to remove a glioblastoma in the left posterior prefrontal and precentral cortex at the level of the hand’s motor region. Pre- (20 days) and post- (4 months) surgery assessment did not show any motor or cognitive impairments. A hand localization task was used, before and after surgery (12 months), to measure possible changes of the metric representation of his right hand. Results showed a modulation on the hand representation with an overall improvement after the surgery in the accuracy of the hand representation, especially on width dimension. These findings support the direct involvement of sensorimotor areas in the implicit representation of the body size and its relevance on defining specific size representation dimensions.

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Data Availability Statement: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.


body representation, brain tumor, hand size, metric representation, sensorimotor areas, localization task

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Cognitive Neuroscience Unit


30 September 2022Accepted
19 October 2022Published Online
December 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

07 Oct 2022 11:11

Last Modified:

09 Dec 2022 03:52

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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