Multisensory mechanisms of body perception in somatoform disorders

  • Perepelkina O.
  • Romanov D.
  • Arina G.
  • Volel B.
  • Nikolaeva V.
Дата публикации:01.12.2019
Журнал: Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Ссылка: SCOPUS


© 2019 Objective: According to one of the hypotheses, somatoform disorders (SD) are related to disturbed perception of bodily signals. We suspect that the disturbances and abnormalities of multisensory integration dynamics may be an additional SD mechanism. The objective of the research was to investigate multisensory bodily illusion dynamics in SD patients. Methods: A clinical group of SD patients (n = 16) and a control group (n = 17) participated in experiments aimed at eliciting a visual-tactile rubber hand illusion (RHI) and a visual-kinesthetic virtual hand illusion (VHI). Results: For both illusions studied, the illusion dynamics in SD patients differed from those of healthy subjects. The visual-tactile illusion on the subjective level appeared to be less strong in SD patients, and no proprioceptive drift (PD) was detected. The subjective dynamics of the visual-kinesthetic illusion in patients were similar to those of the control group, but the PD dynamics were different: after the termination of stimuli from the artificial limb, the proprioceptive system did not return to its initial state; on the contrary, PD continued to increase. Conclusion: In comparison with the norm, patients with somatoform disorders display differences in multisensory mechanisms underlying the development of body perception. The results suggest that the disturbance of visual-tactile integration of the stimuli represents one of the mechanisms of body perception distortion in somatoform disorders. It may be assumed that one of the reasons for persistent symptom perception in SD patients is the rigidity of multisensory stimuli perception, at least in the visual-motor domain.

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