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Body-maps of emotions in bilateral vestibulopathy

Abstract : Patients with a bilateral vestibulopathy (BVP) report a poorer quality of life, in both its physical and social dimensions, than healthy control participants [1]. BVP patients may report spatial anxiety with deficits in spatial cognition [2], and abnormal autonomous regulation [3]. Yet, they have lower anxiety related to vertigo [4] and less psychiatric comorbidities [5] than most patients with episodic vertigo. How BVP patients experience emotions—other than anxiety and depression—in an embodied way, is poorly documented, despite evidence of tight connections between vestibular, emotional, and embodiment processes [6]. Here, we investigated the embodiment of emotions in BVP patients. Emotions are strongly embodied: happiness, sadness and fear, for example, are associated with a variety of physiological changes [7] involving the interoceptive and somatosensory systems [8]. We used the computerized emBODY tool [9, 10] to document body-maps of emotions in BVP patients and healthy controls. Experiments with the emBODY tool in large samples of healthy participants revealed that different emotions are consistently associated with different body-maps [9, 10]. These body-maps of emotions are consistent across different cultures [9], developed between age 6 and 17 to become spatially specific [11], and they appear to be altered in clinical conditions [12].
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 5:46:50 PM
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Estelle Nakul, Charles Dabard, Michel Toupet, Charlotte Hautefort, Christian van Nechel, et al.. Body-maps of emotions in bilateral vestibulopathy. Journal of Neurology, Springer Verlag, 2020, 1, ⟨10.1007/s00415-020-09888-z⟩. ⟨hal-02988503⟩

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