Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Tool use induces complex and flexible plasticity of human body representations

Matthew R. Longoa1 and Andrea Serinoa2a3

a1 Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.

a2 Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Bologna, 40127, Bologna.

a3 Centro studi e ricerche in Neuroscienze Cognitive, Polo Scientifico-Didattico di Cesena, 47521, Cesena


Plasticity of body representation fundamentally underpins human tool use. Recent studies have demonstrated remarkably complex plasticity of body representation in humans, showing that such plasticity (1) occurs flexibly across multiple time scales and (2) involves multiple body representations responding differently to tool use. Such findings reveal remarkable sophistication of body plasticity in humans, suggesting that Vaesen may overestimate the similarity of such mechanisms in humans and non-human primates.

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