Santa Lucia - Neurosciences and Rehabilitation Sapienza University of Rome

Brain Sci. 2021 Feb 19;11(2):255. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11020255

Interpersonal motor interactions Shape multisensory representations of the peripersonal space

This perspective review focuses on the proposal that predictive multisensory integration occurring in one's peripersonal space (PPS) supports individuals' ability to efficiently interact with others, and that integrating sensorimotor signals from the interacting partners leads to the emergence of a shared representation of the PPS. To support this proposal, we first introduce the features of body and PPS representations that are relevant for interpersonal motor interactions. Then, we highlight the role of action planning and execution on the dynamic expansion of the PPS. We continue by presenting evidence of PPS modulations after tool use and review studies suggesting that PPS expansions may be accounted for by Bayesian sensory filtering through predictive coding. In the central section, we describe how this conceptual framework can be used to explain the mechanisms through which the PPS may be modulated by the actions of our interaction partner, in order to facilitate interpersonal coordination. Last, we discuss how this proposal may support recent evidence concerning PPS rigidity in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and its possible relationship with ASD individuals' difficulties during interpersonal coordination. Future studies will need to clarify the mechanisms and neural underpinning of these dynamic, interpersonal modulations of the PPS.

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