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Haptic Perception in Extreme Obesity: qEEG Study Focused on Predictive Coding and Body Schema

  • Autori: Giuditta Gambino; Giuseppe Giglia; Girolamo Schiera; Danila Di Majo; Maria Stella Epifanio; Sabina La Grutta; Rosa Lo Baido; Giuseppe Ferraro; Pierangelo Sardo
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Haptic perception (HP) is a perceptual modality requiring manual exploration to elaborate the physical characteristics of external stimuli through multisensory integrative cortical pathways. Cortical areas exploit processes of predictive coding that collect sensorial inputs to build and update internal perceptual models. Modifications to the internal representation of the body have been associated with eating disorders. In the light of this, obese subjects were selected as a valid experimental model to explore predictive coding in haptic perception. To this purpose, we performed electroencephalographic (EEG) continuous recordings during a haptic task in normally weighted versus obese subjects. EEG power spectra were analyzed in different time intervals. The quality of haptic performance in the obese group was poorer than in control subjects, though exploration times were similar. Spectral analysis showed a significant decrease in theta, alpha and beta frequencies in the right temporo‐parietal areas of obese group, whereas gamma bands significantly increased in the left frontal areas. These results suggest that severe obesity could be characterized by an impairment in haptic performances and an altered activation of multisensory integrative cortical areas. These are involved in functional coding of external stimuli, which could interfere with the ability to process a predicted condition.