The influence of psychosomatic symptoms on proprioception and body ownership
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) is characterized by distressing somatic symptoms with excessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, causing emotional distress and functional impairment. This pilot study explored the potential relationship between psychosomatic symptoms, proprioception and body ownership in the general population. Method: Forty-nine participants underwent a proprioceptive localization task and the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI), with somatic symptom severity assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 (PHQ-15) and the Somatic Symptom Disorder-B Criteria Scale (SSD-12). Results: Our study revealed successful RHI induction but no significant correlations between somatic symptom severity and proprioceptive task performance. However, a positive correlation emerged between PHQ-15 scores and the VAS difference during the asynchronous RHI, indicating that individuals with more psychosomatic symptoms felt stronger ownership over the rubber hand in the asynchronous condition. Additional analysis showed differences in proprioceptive localization between left-right and near-far dimensions, with better accuracy in the former. Discussion: Though most participants scored low on the PHQ-15 and SSD-12, findings offer promising insights into the interplay of psychosomatic symptoms, body ownership and proprioception. Sensory suggestibility may influence rubber hand ownership in those with higher psychosomatic symptom scores. Further investigation of the differences in the asynchronous RHI condition may enhance understanding of body experiences in SSD and related disorders. This study provides preliminary data for future research on psychosomatic symptoms, proprioception, and body ownership. Larger and more diverse samples are needed to validate and expand on these findings. Exploring the complexities of these relationships offers valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying SSD and related conditions.