Alterations of the peripersonal space around the feet in paraplegics

8 maggio 2014

This poster was presentated at the CAOs 2014 conference, held Rovereto (TN), Italy, 8th – 11th of May.


Scandola M., Brunell G., Avesani R., Bonente C., Aglioti S.M., Moro V.


Cross-modal congruency paradigms (CMCP) are widely used to explore the boundary of peripersonal space (PPS, e.g. the spatial portion directly reachable without moving the body). PPS is enlarged by the habitual, active use of tools. Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) lead to a body-brain disconnection by interrupting below-lesion level afference and efference. SCI subjects live most of their life using wheelchairs but no objective indices of PPS expansion following this practice has been provided. We attempted to provide such indices by using a modified version of the CMCP. Two tactile stimuli were delivered on thumb or index (hand shaped in grasp position), and visual distracter stimuli on a platform placed on the floor, reachable by feet. Participants reported the position of the tactile stimuli (high = index, low = thumb) regardless the visual distracters. The performance of 18 paraplegics was compared with 18 age- and education-matched healthy subjects in three conditions defined by the position of the visual distracters: i) near the real feet; ii) near two fake feet; iii) on the empty platform. Reaction times were collected and compared with subjective responses to a questionnaire measuring the embodiment. While the control group shows the congruency effect only in the real feet condition, SCI show no crossmodal interference. Moreover, no indices of self-reported embodiment of the fake feet were revealed. The results suggest changes of PPS representation in SCI people. The habitual use of wheelchairs does not seem to preserve the PPS around the feet.


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The VR Pain Scale Validation

We are validating a new pain scale which discriminates among muscolo-skeletal, neuropathic and visceral pain in spinal cord injury patients.


Books and Monographs

Il test di coordinazione motoria di Charlop-Atwell: la standardizzazione italiana.
Colella R, Quadri G, Boscaini F, Moro V, Albaret JM, 2014

Tornare a scuola dopo una grave cerebrolesione Moro Valentina, Rodolfi Chiara, 2012

La plasticità cerebrale. Alle radici del cambiamento
Moro Valentina, Filippi Barbara, 2010

L'agire educativo nella riabilitazione neuropsicologica
Moro Valentina, 2005

Valentina Moro and Riccardo Sartori are directors for the SEID editor of the series "Strumenti in Psicologia, Educazione e Formazione" [Tools in Psychology, Education and Training].
The purpose of this series is to publish materials and tools for the intervention and evaluation in:

  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Training
  • Psychomotricity