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Contingent sounds change the mental representation of one's finger length

Tajadura-Jiménez, A; Vakali, M; Fairhurst, MT; Mandrigin, A; Bianchi-Berthouze, N; Deroy, O; (2017) Contingent sounds change the mental representation of one's finger length. Scientific Reports , 7 , Article 5748. 10.1038/s41598-017-05870-4. Green open access

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Abstract

Mental body-representations are highly plastic and can be modified after brief exposure to unexpected sensory feedback. While the role of vision, touch and proprioception in shaping body-representations has been highlighted by many studies, the auditory influences on mental body-representations remain poorly understood. Changes in body-representations by the manipulation of natural sounds produced when one's body impacts on surfaces have recently been evidenced. But will these changes also occur with non-naturalistic sounds, which provide no information about the impact produced by or on the body? Drawing on the well-documented capacity of dynamic changes in pitch to elicit impressions of motion along the vertical plane and of changes in object size, we asked participants to pull on their right index fingertip with their left hand while they were presented with brief sounds of rising, falling or constant pitches, and in the absence of visual information of their hands. Results show an "auditory Pinocchio" effect, with participants feeling and estimating their finger to be longer after the rising pitch condition. These results provide the first evidence that sounds that are not indicative of veridical movement, such as non-naturalistic sounds, can induce a Pinocchio-like change in body-representation when arbitrarily paired with a bodily action.

Type: Article
Title: Contingent sounds change the mental representation of one's finger length
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05870-4
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05870-4
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Human behaviour, Perception, Sensory processing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566450
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