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    Body perception in newborns

    Filippetti, Maria Laura and Johnson, Mark H. and Lloyd-Fox, Sarah and Dragovic, D. and Farroni, T. (2013) Body perception in newborns. Current Biology 23 (23), pp. 2413-2416. ISSN 0960-9822.

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    Body ownership and awareness has recently become an active topic of research in adults using paradigms such as the “rubber hand illusion” and “enfacement” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11]. These studies show that visual, tactile, postural, and anatomical information all contribute to the sense of body ownership in adults [12]. While some hypothesize body perception from birth [13], others have speculated on the importance of postnatal experience [14 and 15]. Through studying body perception in newborns, we can directly investigate the factors involved prior to significant postnatal experience. To address this issue, we measured the looking behavior of newborns presented with visual-tactile synchronous and asynchronous cues, under conditions in which the visual information was either an upright (body-related stimulus; experiment 1) or inverted (non-body-related stimulus; experiment 2) infant face. We found that newborns preferred to look at the synchronous condition compared to the asynchronous condition, but only when the visual stimulus was body related. These results are in line with findings from adults and demonstrate that human newborns detect intersensory synchrony when related to their own bodies, consistent with the basic processes underlying body perception being present at birth.


    Item Type: Article
    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: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 09:17
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:08


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