Journal article

I feel who I see: visual body identity affects visual-tactile integration in peripersonal space

Recent studies have shown the importance of integrating multisensory information in the body representation for constituting self-consciousness. However, one idea that has received only scant attention is that our body representation is also constituted by knowledge of bodily visual characteristics (i.e. 'what I look like'). Here in two experiments we used a full body crossmodal congruency task in which visual distractors were presented on a photograph of the participant, another person, who was either familiar or unfamiliar, or an object. Results revealed that during the 'self-condition' CCEs were enhanced compared to the 'other condition'. The CCE was similar for unfamiliar and familiar others. CCEs for the object condition were significantly smaller. The results show that presentation of an irrelevant image of a body affects multimodal processing and that the effect is enhanced when that image is of the self. The results hold intriguing implications for body representation in social situations.

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