•  1918
    The distinction between the body schema and the body image has become the stock in trade of much recent work in cognitive neuroscience and philosophy. Yet little is known about the interactions between these two types of body representations. We need to account not only for their dissociations in rare cases, but also for their convergence most of the time. Indeed in our everyday life the body we perceive does not conflict with the body we act with. Are the body image and the body schema then som…Read more
  •  433
    The empathic brain: how, when and why?
    with Tania Singer
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10): 435-441. 2006.
    Recent imaging results suggest that individuals automatically share the emotions of others when exposed to their emotions. We question the assumption of the automaticity and propose a contextual approach, suggesting several modulatory factors that might influence empathic brain responses. Contextual appraisal could occur early in emotional cue evaluation, which then might or might not lead to an empathic brain response, or not until after an empathic brain response is automatically elicited. We …Read more
  •  376
    Is social cognition embodied?
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (4): 154-159. 2009.
    Theories of embodied cognition abound in the literature, but it is often unclear how to understand them. We offer several interpretations of embodiment, the most interesting being the thesis that mental representations in bodily formats (B-formats) have an important role in cognition. Potential B-formats include motoric, somatosensory, affective and interoceptive formats. The literature on mirroring and related phenomena provides support for a limited-scope version of embodied social cognition u…Read more
  •  313
    A self for the body
    Metaphilosophy 42 (3): 230-247. 2011.
    Abstract: What grounds the experience of our body as our own? Can we rationally doubt that this is our own body when we feel sensations in it? This article shows how recent empirical evidence can shed light on issues on the body and the self, such as the grounds of the sense of body ownership and the immunity to error through misidentification of bodily self-ascriptions. In particular, it discusses how bodily illusions (e.g., the Rubber Hand Illusion), bodily disruptions (e.g., somatoparaphrenia…Read more
  •  306
    Habeas corpus: The sense of ownership of one's own body
    Mind and Language 22 (4): 427-449. 2007.
    What grounds my experience of my body as my own? The body that one experiences is always one’s own, but it does not follow that one always experiences it as one’s own. One might even feel that a body part does not belong to oneself despite feeling sensations in it, like in asomatognosia. The article aims at understanding the link between bodily sensations and the sense of ownership by investigating the role played by the body schema
  •  257
    The mark of bodily ownership
    Analysis 73 (4): 643-651. 2013.
    I am aware that this hand is my own. But is the sense of ownership of my hand manifested to me in a more primitive form than judgements? On the deflationary view recently defended by Martin and Bermúdez in their works, the sense of bodily ownership has no counterpart at the experiential level. Here I present a series of cases that the deflationary account cannot easily accommodate, including belief-independent illusions of ownership and experiences of disownership despite the presence of bodily …Read more
  •  249
    "'Unless I put my hand into his side, I will not believe'. The Epistemic Privilege of Touch
    In Dimitria Gatzia & Berit Brogaard (eds.), The Epistemology of Non-visual Perception, Oxford University Press. pp. 165-188. 2020.
    Touch seems to enjoy some epistemic advantage over the other senses when it comes to attest to the reality of external objects. The question is not whether only what appears in tactile experiences is real. It is that only whether appears in tactile experiences feels real to the subject. In this chapter we first clarify how exactly the rather vague idea of an epistemic advantage of touch over the other senses should be interpreted. We then defend a “muscular thesis”, to the effect that only the e…Read more
  •  215
    Body Mereology
    In Günther Knoblich, Ian Thornton, Marc Grosjean & Maggie Shiffrar (eds.), Human Body Perception From the Inside Out, Oxford University Press. 2006.
    The body is made up of parts. This basic assumption is central in most neuroscientific studies of bodily sensation, body representation and motor action. Yet, the assumption has rarely been considered explicitly. We may indeed ask how the body is internally segmented and how body parts can be defined. That is, how can we sketch the mereology of the body? Here we distinguish between a somatosensory mereology and a motor mereology.
  •  213
    What Is It like to Feel Another’s Pain?
    Philosophy of Science 79 (2): 295-316. 2012.
    We offer an account of empathetic pain that preserves the distinctions among standard pain, contagious pain, empathetic pain, sympathy for pain, and standard pain ascription. Vicarious experiences of both contagious and empathetic pain resemble to some extent experiences of standard pain. But there are also crucial dissimilarities. As neuroscientific results show, standard pain involves a sensorimotor and an affective component. According to our account, contagious pain consists in imagining the…Read more
  •  193
    The co-consciousness hypothesis
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (1): 97-114. 2004.
    Self-knowledge seems to be radically different from the knowledge of other people. However, rather than focusing on the gap between self and others, we should emphasize their commonality. Indeed, different mirror matching mechanisms have been found in monkeys as well as in humans showing that one uses the same representations for oneself and for the others. But do these shared representations allow one to report the mental states of others as if they were one''s own? I intend in this essay to ad…Read more
  •  172
    Embodying the mind and representing the body
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1): 1-13. 2012.
    Does the existence of body representations undermine the explanatory role of the body? Or do certain types of representation depend so closely upon the body that their involvement in a cognitive task implicates the body itself? In the introduction of this special issue we explore lines of tension and complement that might hold between the notions of embodiment and body representations, which remain too often neglected or obscure. To do so, we distinguish two conceptions of embodiment that either…Read more
  •  168
    A multimodal conception of bodily awareness
    Mind 123 (492): 00-00. 2014.
    One way to characterize the special relation that one has to one's own body is to say that only one's body appears to one from the inside. Although widely accepted, the nature of this specific experiential mode of presentation of the body is rarely spelled out. Most definitions amount to little more than lists of the various body senses (including senses of posture, movement, heat, pressure, and balance). It is true that body senses provide a kind of informational access to one's own body, which…Read more
  •  161
    Embodiment, ownership and disownership
    Consciousness and Cognition 20 (1): 1-12. 2011.
    There are two main pathways to investigate the sense of body ownership, (i) through the study of the conditions of embodiment for an object to be experienced as one's own and (ii) through the analysis of the deficits in patients who experience a body part as alien. Here, I propose that E is embodied if some properties of E are processed in the same way as the properties of one's body. However, one must distinguish among different types of embodiment, and only self-specific embodiment can lead to…Read more
  •  142
    Embodying the Mind and Representing the Body
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1): 1-13. 2012.
    Does the existence of body representations undermine the explanatory role of the body? Or do certain types of representation depend so closely upon the body that their involvement in a cognitive task implicates the body itself? In the introduction of this special issue we explore lines of tension and complement that might hold between the notions of embodiment and body representations, which remain too often neglected or obscure. To do so, we distinguish two conceptions of embodiment that either…Read more
  •  139
    Touch
    In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception, Oxford University Press Uk. 2015.
    Since Aristotle, touch has been found especially hard to define. One of the few unchallenged intuition about touch, however, is that tactile awareness entertains some especially close relationship with bodily awareness. This article considers the relation between touch and bodily awareness from two different perspectives: the body template theory and the body map theory. According to the former, touch is defined by the fact that tactile content matches proprioceptive content. We raise some objec…Read more
  •  130
    The philosophical world is indebted to Alvin Goldman for a number of reasons, and among them, his defense of the relevance of cognitive science for philosophy of mind. In Simulating minds , Goldman discusses with great care and subtlety a wide variety of experimental results related to mindreading from cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology. No philosopher has done more to display the resourcefulness of mental simulation. I am sympathetic wit…Read more
  •  114
    How many representations of the body?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (2): 204-205. 2007.
    Based on functional differences, Dijkerman and de Haan emphasize the duality of somatosensory processing and therefore of body representations. But how many body representations do we really have? And what kind of criterion can we use to distinguish them? I review here the empirical and conceptual difficulties in drawing such distinctions and the way to progress
  •  112
    Pain and Bodily Care: Whose Body Matters?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3): 542-560. 2015.
    Pain is unpleasant. It is something that one avoids as much as possible. One might then claim that one wants to avoid pain because one cares about one's body. On this view, individuals who do not experience pain as unpleasant and to be avoided, like patients with pain asymbolia, do not care about their body. This conception of pain has been recently defended by Bain [2014] and Klein [forthcoming]. In their view, one needs to care about one's body for pain to have motivational force. But does one…Read more
  •  111
    The Rubber Hand Illusion: Two’s a company, but three’s a crowd
    with Alessia Folegatti, Alessandro Farnè, and R. Salemme
    Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2): 799-812. 2012.
    On the one hand, it is often assumed that the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) is constrained by a structural body model so that one cannot implement supernumerary limbs. On the other hand, several recent studies reported illusory duplication of the right hand in subjects exposed to two adjacent rubber hands. The present study tested whether spatial constraints may affect the possibility of inducing the sense of ownership to two rubber hands located side by side to the left of the subject's hand. We f…Read more
  •  108
    Egocentrism, allocentrism, and Asperger syndrome
    with Uta Frith
    Consciousness and Cognition 14 (4): 719-738. 2005.
    In this paper, we attempt to make a distinction between egocentrism and allocentrism in social cognition, based on the distinction that is made in visuo-spatial perception. We propose that it makes a difference to mentalizing whether the other person can be understood using an egocentric (‘‘you'') or an allocentric (‘‘he/ she/they'') stance. Within an egocentric stance, the other person is represented in relation to the self. By contrast, within an allocentric stance, the existence or mental sta…Read more
  •  101
    A Review of Shaun Gallagher: How the Body Shapes the Mind (review)
    PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 12 1-7. 2006.
    With 'How the body shapes the mind', Shaun Gallagher provides a general panoptic of the importance of the body in cognition, based on significant experimental results. His main goals here are (1) to describe body awareness in detail and (2) to investigate the influence of the body on self-consciousness, perception, language and social cognition. Here, I focus on two points: the distinction between the body schema and the body image and the structuring role of the body
  •  79
    Peripersonal perception in action
    Synthese 198 (Suppl 17): 4027-4044. 2018.
    Philosophy of perception is guilty of focusing on the perception of far space, neglecting the possibility that the perception of the space immediately surrounding the body, which is known as peripersonal space, displays different properties. Peripersonal space is the space in which the world is literally at hand for interaction. It is also the space in which the world can become threatening and dangerous, requiring protective behaviours. Recent research in cognitive neuroscience has yielded a va…Read more
  •  73
    A Minimal Sense of Here-ness
    Journal of Philosophy 118 (4): 169-187. 2021.
    In this paper, I give an account of a hitherto neglected kind of ‘here’, which does not work as an intentional indexical. Instead, it automatically refers to the immediate perceptual environment of the subject’s body, which is known as peripersonal space. In between the self and the external world, there is something like a buffer zone, a place in which objects and events have a unique immediate significance for the subject because they may soon be in contact with her. I argue that seeing object…Read more
  •  72
    The sense of agency: A philosophical and empirical review of the “Who” system
    with Pierre Fourneret
    Consciousness and Cognition 13 (1): 1-19. 2004.
    How do I know that I am the person who is moving? According to Wittgenstein (1958), the sense of agency involves a primitive notion of the self used as subject, which does not rely on any prior perceptual identification and which is immune to error through misidentification. However, the neuroscience of action and the neuropsychology of schizophrenia show the existence of specific cognitive processes underlying the sense of agency—the ‘‘Who'' system (Georgieff & Jeannerod, 1998) which is disrupt…Read more
  •  71
    What Phenomenal Contrast for Bodily Ownership?
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1): 117-137. 2020.
    In a 1962 article, ‘On Sensations of Position’, G. E. M. Anscombe claimed that we do not feel our legs crossed; we simply know that they are that way. What about the sense of bodily ownership? Do we directly know that this body is our own, or do we know it because we feel this body that way? One may claim, for instance, that we are we aware that this is our own body thanks to our bodily experiences that ascribe the property of myness to the body that they represent. Here I approach this issue fr…Read more
  •  59
    A Mosquito Bite Against the Enactive Approach to Bodily Experiences
    Journal of Philosophy 108 (4): 188-204. 2011.
    The enactive approach aims at providing a unified account of perceptual experiences in terms of bodily activities. Most enactive arguments come from the analysis of visual experiences, but there is one domain of consciousness where the enactive theses seem to be less controversial, namely, bodily experiences. After drawing the agenda for an enactive view of tactile experiences, I shall highlight the difficulties that it has to face, both conceptual and empirical.
  •  58
    Mental rotation in schizophrenia
    with Tiziana Zalla, Andrés Posada, Anne Louvegnez, Olivier Koenig, Nicolas Georgieff, and Nicolas Franck
    Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2): 295-309. 2006.
    Motor imagery provides a direct insight into action representations. The aim of the present study was to investigate the level of impairment of action monitoring in schizophrenia by evaluating the performance of schizophrenic patients on mental rotation tasks. We raised the following questions: Are schizophrenic patients impaired in motor imagery both at the explicit and at the implicit level? Are body parts more difficult for them to mentally rotate than objects? Is there any link between the p…Read more
  •  50
    There seems to be no dimension of bodily awareness that cannot be disrupted. To account for such variety, there is a growing consensus that there are at least two distinct types of body representation that can be impaired, the body schema and the body image. However, the definition of these notions is often unclear. The notion of body image has attracted most controversy because of its lack of unifying positive definition. The notion of body schema, onto which there seems to be a more widespread…Read more