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Body perception in newborns

Filippetti, ML and Johnson, MH and Lloyd-Fox, S and Dragovic, D and Farroni, T (2013) 'Body perception in newborns.' Current Biology, 23 (23). 2413 - 2416. ISSN 0960-9822

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Abstract

Body ownership and awareness has recently become an active topic of research in adults using paradigms such as the "rubber hand illusion" and "enfacement" [1-11]. 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, 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
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 13:21
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2017 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20438

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