Mental Representations of the Body and Malleability of the Sense of Body Ownership in Schizophrenia within the Embodied Subject Model

Author: Beata Mirucka
Institution: The John Paul II Catolic University of Lublin, Poland
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3903-1280
Author: Monika Kisielewska
Institution: University of Bialystok, Poland
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5221-1649
Year of publication: 2023
Source: Show
Pages: 97-119
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2023.04.06
PDF: kie/142/kie14206.pdf

The presented study was intended to shed some new light on the disturbance of body experience in persons with schizophrenia in reference to the Embodied Subject Model. The model proposes to complement theoretical linkages between concepts related to bodiness – body self and mental representations of the body (body schema, body image, body awareness) and a relatively new concept of body identity. The main research questions were: Given that persons with schizophrenia are characterised by the painful experience of their body as an external object, would they also manifest i/ weakened sensorimotor integration mechanisms, ii/ disordered mental representations of the body, iii/ weakened sense of body ownership? 41 individuals with schizophrenia and 41 matched controls participated in the Rubber Hand Illusion procedure. Body representations were measured with a Battery of Tests of the Body Self Representations. The individuals with schizophrenia showed lower scores in three body representations and greater susceptibility to the rubber hand illusion. It suggests that the explanation of susceptibility to disturbances in the sense of body ownership should be focused on the deficient structure of mental representations of the body.

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