Body schema building during childhood and adolescence: A neurosensory approach


  • Assaiante Christine
  • Barlaam F.
  • Cignetti F.
  • Vaugoyeau M.


  • Infants
  • Preschooler
  • School aged children
  • Development
  • Adolescents
  • Kinematic analysis
  • EMG

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In order to perceive and act in its environment, the individual's body and its interactions with the sensory and social environment are represented in the brain. This internal representation of the moving body segments is labeled the body schema. Throughout life, body schema develops based on the sensory information used by the moving body and by its interactions with the environment including other people. Internal representations including body schema and representations of the outside world develop with learning and actions throughout ontogenesis and are constantly updated based on different sensory inputs. The aim of this review is to present some concepts and experimental data about body schema, internal representations and updating process during childhood and adolescence, as obtained using a neurosensory approach. From our developmental studies, it was possible to explore the slow maturation of the sensorimotor representations by examining the anticipatory control. By manipulating proprioceptive and visual information, which are at the heart of the construction of body schema, we wished to highlight notable differences between adolescents and young adults on both a postural and perceptual level, which confirms the late maturation of multisensory integration for central motor control.

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