Tool use alters brain's map of body

Researchers claim to have the first direct evidence of a century-old idea that using tools changes the way the human brain perceives the size and configuration of our body parts, according to a linkurl:study;http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(09)01109-9 published in the June 23 issue of __Current Biology__. Holding the tool at an elongatedarm's lengthImage: Lucilla Cardinali"To be accurate in doing an action with a tool, you need to make the tool become a part of your body,

Elie Dolgin
Jun 21, 2009
Researchers claim to have the first direct evidence of a century-old idea that using tools changes the way the human brain perceives the size and configuration of our body parts, according to a linkurl:study;http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(09)01109-9 published in the June 23 issue of __Current Biology__.
Holding the tool at an elongated
arm's length

Image: Lucilla Cardinali
"To be accurate in doing an action with a tool, you need to make the tool become a part of your body," the study's first author linkurl:Lucilla Cardinali;http://u864.lyon.inserm.fr/Members/LucillaCardinali of the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Bron and Claude Bernard University in Lyon told __The Scientist__. "Your brain needs to take into account that the action is performed with something added to your body part." In 1911, British neurologists linkurl:Henry Head;http://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/69/5/578 and linkurl:Gordon Holmes;http://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/75/10/1502 introduced the theory that body image is mutable. Our brains are constantly processing visual and tactile feedback about...

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