COSY online seminar by Lieve Filbrich


05 juin 2020


Lieve Filbrich [SSS/IONS/COSY] will talk about “Disturbed spatial perception and body representation in complex regional pain syndrome”.


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition associating sensory, motor, trophic and autonomic symptoms in one limb. Cognitive impairments have also been reported, affecting the patients’ ability to mentally represent, perceive and use their painful limb. However, the nature of these deficits is still a matter of debate. Recent studies suggested that cognitive deficits might be limited to body-related information and body perception, while not extending to external space perception. Furthermore, body representation impairments (as for example measured with hand laterality judgment tasks [HLT]) might not be as consistently found as previously thought, with studies obtaining contradictory results. Here I will present several studies that were aimed at (re)examining and clarifying some of these questions and inconsistencies. These studies were performed with upper-limb CRPS patients and relied on sensitive tasks that allow assessing the presence of cognitive biases in body and external space perception, as well as disrupted mental body representations by focusing on the perception of the physical biomechanics of the body. The results suggest that CRPS can affect the perception of the space external to the body, as demonstrated by the presence of visuo-spatial biases. We furthermore show that CRPS patients might present with non-lateralized impairments of hand representation, partly related to difficulties in perceiving the physical biomechanics of their upper limbs. At the same time, the results also highlight the importance of verifying the mechanisms and strategies that underlie the performance on the HLT, which should lead to more cautious interpretations of future findings. Implications for the potential use of cognitive-based rehabilitation strategies for CRPS will be discussed.

Funded by the Fund for Scientific Research of the French-speaking Community of Belgium (F.R.S.-FNRS)


Here is the link to the talk by Lieve Filbrich on Teams.