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The brain extends the perception of the body to the tools that we have in hand
the MILAN - the tactile Sensations, as if it were a part of the body. Is what perceives the brain when it has in hand a tool that is loaded externally. To say it is the study of Somatosensory cortex efficiently processes touch is located beyond the body published in Current Biology. Sixteen people have tightened among the hands a stick which was subjected to external shock, and all of the participants were able to localize the impact with a precision, almost perfect, as if the touch happens on the arm. At the same time researchers, using the electroencephalography (EEG), they found that the location of the impact on the instrument was being decrypted through the neural dynamics of the primary somatosensory cortex and from the parietal regions to the rear. The same that are activated when the contact is made directly on the body.

The study, conducted by an international research team which also participated in the Psychology Department of Milano-Bicocca, italy, has shown that our brain applies the tactile perception of the body to an object, such as an extension of the body. The experiment opens up new avenues for the realization of prosthesis more and more precise, able to adapt to your body. It has been shown that to recognize the exact position of the impacts on the stick can also a person devoid of sensibility to an arm, thus confirming that the impacts on the instrument are encoded only through the mode of touch.

"These results," commented Nadia Bolognini , professor of Psychobiology and physiological psychology, Milan-Bicocca and co-author of the study - suggest that it will be possible in the not too distant future, designing neuro-prostheses, less-invasive and high-performance generating them touch signals that provide optimal answers in the contact with the objects. This could be achieved by exploiting the mechanism identified in our study, which will allow the patient to localize tactile stimuli on a prosthesis in a natural way and facilitado so the use of the prosthesis as if it were a real sensory organ extended".

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