Spinal cord lesions shrink peripersonal space around the feet, passive mobilization of paraplegic limbs restores it.

7 aprile 2016


Scandola M, Aglioti SM, Bonente C, Avesani R, Moro V.


Peripersonal space (PPS) is the space surrounding us within which we interact with objects. PPS may be modulated by actions (e.g. when using tools) or sense of ownership (e.g. over a rubber hand). Indeed, intense and/or prolonged use of a tool may induce a sense of ownership over it. Conversely, inducing ownership over a rubber hand may activate brain regions involved in motor control. However, the extent to which PPS is modulated by action-dependent or ownership-dependent mechanisms remains unclear. Here, we explored the PPS around the feet and the sense of ownership over lower limbs in people with Paraplegia following Complete spinal cord Lesions (PCL) and in healthy subjects. PCL people can move their upper body but have lost all sensory-motor functions in their lower body (e.g. lower limbs). We tested whether PPS alterations reflect the topographical representations of various body parts. We found that the PPS around the feet was impaired in PCL who however had a normal representation of the PPS around the hands. Significantly, passive mobilization of paraplegic limbs restored the PPS around the feet suggesting that activating action representations in PCL brings about short-term changes of PPS that may thus be more plastic than previously believed.

Nature Scientific Reports

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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