UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Gravitational cues modulate the shape of defensive peripersonal space

Bufacchi, RJ; Iannetti, GD; (2016) Gravitational cues modulate the shape of defensive peripersonal space. Current Biology , 26 (21) R1133-R1134. 10.1016/j.cub.2016.09.025. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S0960982216310740-main.pdf - ["content_typename_Published version" not defined]

Download (230kB) | Preview

Abstract

The potential damage caused by an environmental threat increases with proximity to the body, so animals perform more effective and stronger defensive responses when threatening stimuli occur nearby the body, in a region termed the defensive peripersonal space (DPPS). We recently characterized the fine-grained geometry of the face's DPPS by recording the enhancement of the blink reflex elicited by electrical stimulation of the median nerve (hand-blink reflex, HBR), when the hand is closer to the face. The resulting DPPS has the shape of a bubble, elongated asymmetrically along the rostro-caudal axis, extending further above eye-level. We hypothesized that this vertical asymmetry is determined by gravitational cues: the probability that a threat will hit the body is higher when it comes from above. By systematically altering body posture, we show that the extent of DPPS asymmetry is defined in an earth-centred coordinate frame. This observation suggests the brain takes gravitational cues to automatically update threat value in an adaptive mechanism that accounts for the simple fact that objects fall down.

Type: Article
Title: Gravitational cues modulate the shape of defensive peripersonal space
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.09.025
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.09.025
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1532745
Downloads since deposit
0Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item