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    Seeing the body distorts tactile size perception

    Longo, Matthew R. and Sadibolova, Renata (2013) Seeing the body distorts tactile size perception. Cognition 126 (3), pp. 475-481. ISSN 0010-0277.

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    Vision of the body modulates somatosensation, even when entirely non-informative about stimulation. For example, seeing the body increases tactile spatial acuity, but reduces acute pain. While previous results demonstrate that vision of the body modulates somatosensory sensitivity, it is unknown whether vision also affects metric properties of touch, and if so how. This study investigated how non-informative vision of the body modulates tactile size perception. We used the mirror box illusion to induce the illusion that participants were directly seeing their stimulated left hand, though they actually saw their reflected right hand. We manipulated whether participants: (a) had the illusion of directly seeing their stimulated left hand, (b) had the illusion of seeing a non-body object at the same location, or (c) looked directly at their non-stimulated right-hand. Participants made verbal estimates of the perceived distance between two tactile stimuli presented simultaneously to the dorsum of the left hand, either 20, 30, or 40 mm apart. Vision of the body significantly reduced the perceived size of touch, compared to vision of the object or of the contralateral hand. In contrast, no apparent changes of perceived hand size were found. These results show that seeing the body distorts tactile size perception.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cognition, 126(3), pp.475-481, March 2013, DOI:10.1016/j.cognition.2012.11.013
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Touch, Multisensory, Body representation
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Matthew Longo
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2013 09:55
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:00


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