This study investigates whether the electrophysiological correlates of visuo-tactile integration in near and far space are modulated by active tool use in healthy humans. Participants responded to a tactile target delivered to one hand while an irrelevant visual stimulus was presented in near or far space. This crossmodal task was performed after the use of either short or long tools. The use of tools resulted in systematic modulations of the somatosensory P100 component elicited over central electrodes by near and far visuo-tactile stimuli. After long tool use, enhanced P100 components were elicited by far as compared to near visuo-tactile stimuli, revealing increased neural responses in brain areas encoding tactile stimuli to the body. No such difference was present after short tool use. Thus, following the use of long tools, visuo-tactile integration appeared to be increased in far space, suggesting a transient remapping of multisensory space. We speculate that performing voluntary actions with long tools strengthens the representation of sensory information arising within portions of space (i.e. the hand and the tip of the tool) that are most functionally relevant to one’s behavioural goals.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2018|
|Event||BodyRepresentation Network - Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
Duration: 29 Jun 2018 → …
|Period||29/06/18 → …|