Changing hands: persistent alterations to body image following brief exposure to multisensory distortions

Perera, A. Treshi-marie and Newport, Roger and McKenzie, Kirsten J. (2017) Changing hands: persistent alterations to body image following brief exposure to multisensory distortions. Experimental Brain Research, 235 (6). pp. 1809-1821. ISSN 0014-4819

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The dynamic flexibility of body representation
has been highlighted through numerous lines of research
that range from clinical studies reporting disorders of body
ownership, to experimentally induced somatic illusions that
have provided evidence for the embodiment of manipulated
representations and even fake limbs. While most studies
have reported that enlargement of body parts alters somatic
perception, and that these can be more readily embodied,
shrunken body parts have not been found to consistently
alter somatic experiences, perhaps due to reduced feelings
of ownership over smaller body parts. Over two experiments,
we aimed to investigate the mechanisms responsible
for altered somatic representations following exposure to
both enlarged and shrunken body parts. Participants were
given the impression that their hand and index finger were
either longer or shorter than veridical length and asked to
judge veridical finger length using online and offline size
estimation tasks, as well as to report the degree of ownership
towards the distorted finger and hand representations.
Ownership was claimed over all distorted representations
of the hand and finger and no differences were seen across
ownership ratings, while the online and offline measurements
of perceived size demonstrated differing response
patterns. These findings suggest that ownership towards manipulated body representations is more bidirectional
than previously thought and also suggest differences in perceived
body representation with respect to the method of
measurement suggesting that online and offline tasks may
tap into different aspects of body representation.

Keywords:Body representation, Multisensory illusions, MIRAGE, Body ownership, Embodiment, Finger stretching
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:26973
Deposited On:17 Apr 2017 19:58

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