The flubbed body: pathological body size representation in personal neglect

Mora, Laura; Gonzalez Alted, Carlos and Cocchini, Gianna. 2023. The flubbed body: pathological body size representation in personal neglect. Neuropsychologia, 183, 108522. ISSN 0028-3932 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Personal Neglect (PN) is a disorder in which patients fail to attend or explore the contralateral side of their body. An increasing number of studies have considered PN as a form of body representation disorder frequently observed following damage to parietal areas. The extent and the direction of the body misrepresentation is still unclear with recent studies suggesting a general reduction of contralesional hand size. However, little is known about the specificity of this representation and whether the misrepresentation also generalises to other body parts. We explored the features of the representation of the hands and face in a group of 9 right brain damaged patients with (PN+) and without PN (PN-), when compared to a healthy control group. For this, we used a body size estimation task with pictures, in which patients were required to choose the one that most closely matched the perceived size of their body part. We found that PN+ patients showed a labile body representation for both hands and face, having a larger distorted representational range. Interestingly, in comparison with PN+ patients and healthy controls, PN- patients also showed misrepresentation of the left contralesional hand which could be related to impaired motor performance of their upper limb. Our findings are discussed within a theoretical framework suggesting a reliance on multisensory integration (body representation, ownership, and motor influences) for an ordered representation of the size of the body.

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Data Access Statement:

Data availability: Data will be made available on request.


personal neglect, body representation, size distortions, hand size, face size, body size

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

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


20 February 2023Accepted
11 March 2023Published Online
May 2023Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2023 14:12

Last Modified:

21 Mar 2023 03:52

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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