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Response to [Body schema and body image: …] by Paillard



  1. In suggesting that the first step in working out a distinction between body image and body schema is to distinguish between a conscious awareness of one’s own body and a non-conscious performance of the body;
  2. The “Body Schema” as “a combined standard against which a combined standard against which all subsequent changes of posture are measured … before the changes of posture enter consciousness.”
  3. … “two visual systems”, one for object perception and one for spatial localization.
  4. We suggested that the location of body parts in a body schema (a “where” problem in the body space) could be differently processed in the CNS than the perceptual identification of the body features in a body image (a “what” problem)
  5. Then we assumed that proprioceptive information is obviously necessary for updateing the postural body frame (or schema), whereas exteroceptive multimodal information, mainly visual, underpins the central representation and percept of the body image.


Body schema and body image can be seen as two fundamental ways of how we perceive our body, both of which lead to sufficient knowledge of our body as well as the capability of accomplishing certain body-based actions.

When it comes to body-centric interaction, body schema enables the interaction (such as using the right hand to reach the left elbow) while body image informs the interaction (such as a change of color on the sleeve means an incoming email). For the time being, the latter part is less considered.


About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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