Visual similarity and memory in body model distortions

Do systematic distortions in implicit hand maps reflect somatosensation, or are they visual and memory biases?

The ability to localise our own body in space is crucial for perception and action. Localisation judgments related to our body parts are based on a combination of both proprioceptive signals and stored representation of body size and shape.

However, perception of one’s own hand is distorted in proprioceptive localisation tasks – it appears fatter and shorter, with the fingers perceived as progressively shorter moving laterally. These distortions are thought to mirror somatosensory anisotropies.

Recent studies have questioned whether such distortions were specific to the human body? The aim of the current study was to investigate the influences of visual similarity and memory on the distortions observed in the real hand, a rubber hand and a rake.

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