The neuroscience of body memory
Recent findings and conceptual advances
Keywords:body representation, body memory, body matrix, advanced technologies, interoception, bodily illusions
The body is a very special object, as it corresponds to the physical component of the self and it is the medium through which we interact with the world. Our body awareness includes the mental representation of the body that happens to be our own, and traditionally has been defined in terms of body schema and body image. Starting from the distinction between these two types of representations, the present paper tries to reconcile the literature around body representations under the common framework of body memory. The body memory develops ontogenetically from birth and across all the life span and is directly linked to the development of the self. Therefore, our sense of self and identity is fundamentally based on multisensory knowledge accumulated in body memory, so that the sensations collected by our body, stored as implicit memory, can unfold in the future, under suitable circumstances. Indeed, these sets of bodily information had been proposed as possible key factors underpinning several mental health illnesses. Following this perspective, the Embodied Medicine approach put forward the use of advanced technologies to alter the dysfunctional body memory to enhance people’s well-being. In the last sections, recent experimental pieces of evidence will be illustrated that targeted specifically bodily information for increasing health and wellbeing, by means of two strategies: interoceptive feedback and bodily illusions.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Claudia Repetto, Giuseppe Riva
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:
- The authors keep the copyright and grant the journal the right of first publication under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license, CC BY 4.0. This licencse permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.
- The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, and so forth in this publication, even if not specifically identified, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations.
- Because the advice and information in this journal are believed to be true and accurate at the time of publication, neither the authors, the editors, nor the publisher accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions presented in the publication. The publisher makes no guarantee, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.
- The authors can enter into additional contracts for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version by citing the initial publication in this journal (e.g. publishing in an institutional repository or in a book).