Acta Scientific Neurology (ASNE) (ISSN: 2582-1121)

Review Article Volume 3 Issue 11

A New Definition of Body Schema with Respect to Body-Centered Vs External Frames of Reference

Rodrigues MRM

Physical Therapist, Faculty Lecturer, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

*Corresponding Author:Marcos R. M. Rodrigues, PT, MSc, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Received: September 29, 2020; Published: October 28, 2020



  Moving is a way of experiencing the world and the way we move, as well as the way we perceive the environment around us, is relevant to this experience. The world we live in, however, is more than an ensemble of coordinates and the body is more than a passive machine ruled by laws of mechanics. A pragmatic view arised in 1920, when Held implied that body schema plays an important role in the control of action, involving aspects of both central and peripheral nervous systems. This is typically a non-conscious process and is used primarily for spatial organization of action. The representation of one’s own body is quite different from any other type of representation. It arises from the continuous and constant update of bottom-up and top-down information, both from internal and external bodily inputs. These inputs encompass different sources of information (e.g. visual, proprioceptive, interoception, nociception, motor behavior, etc.) and their interaction allows for building up body representations. Due to the complexity of such representation, it is widely accepted that there is more than one single body representation and many studies have tried to functionally fractionate different body representations, although, up to now, there is not a universally accepted taxonomy [1]. The identification of components of body representation is a challenge and the main interest in studying the egocentric frame of reference relies on the necessity of better understanding the first-person experience [2]. The lack of a proper definition of body schema has been leading to enduring methodological and conceptual misunderstandings in various fields. In rehabilitation, this lack of definition, as well as the unclear contribution of the concept of body schema in the context of the different frames of reference, ego- and exocentric, create a gap in the translation of this knowledge in the context of improving patient care. Establishing a definition of body schema is still very challenging since there is not definitive evidence about the multiple factors directly influencing it, however a new definition might shed a light on this topic for it considers the contribution of both internal and external factors: Body schema is a spatiotemporal, continuously updated, modular and coherent representation of the physical body in the ventral nervous system, integrating a multitude of sensorimotor processes, serving as a guide for movements to be performed as accurately as possible while adapting to the constraints of the environment.

Keywords: Body Schema; Frames of Reference; Egocentric; Body-centered; Exocentric; Allocentric



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Citation: Rodrigues MRM. “A New Definition of Body Schema with Respect to Body-Centered Vs External Frames of Reference". Acta Scientific Neurology 3.11 (2020): 92-100.


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