Peripersonal space (PPS) as an interface for self-environment interactions

by Prof. Andrea Serino (University Hospital of Lausanne – CHUV)

When: July 6, 2023, at 3:00 pm

Where: Aula Magna Ederle (Via Belzoni 160, Padova)

Peripersonal space (PPS) is the region where body-environment interactions predominantly occur. It is represented by a specialized neural system that integrates external cues and tactile stimuli, acting as a fundamental interface between individuals and their surroundings.

This presentation examines the neural and computational mechanisms of PPS in humans, along with its primary functions and properties. I will present data about the dynamic nature of PPS and its optimization for body-environment interactions. I will explore the reciprocal relationship between PPS and social interactions, emphasizing its involvement in social cognition and susceptibility to social modulation.

Finally, I will discuss the pivotal role of PPS in self-consciousness, including a novel electrophysiological paradigm for measuring PPS. This paradigm has revealed markers of self-consciousness in newborns, during sleep stages, and in patients with disorders of consciousness.

Overall, this presentation offers insights into the multifaceted nature of PPS, its implications for social cognition, and its significance in self-consciousness.