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Embodiment in a Child-Like Talking Virtual Body Influences Object Size Perception, Self-Identification, and Subsequent Real Speaking

Tajadura-Jimenez, A; Banakou, D; Slater, M; Berthouze, NL; (2017) Embodiment in a Child-Like Talking Virtual Body Influences Object Size Perception, Self-Identification, and Subsequent Real Speaking. Scientific Reports , 7 (9637) 10.1038/s41598-017-09497-3. Green open access

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Abstract

People’s mental representations of their own body are malleable and continuously updated through sensory cues. Altering one’s body-representation can lead to changes in object perception and implicit attitudes. Virtual reality has been used to embody adults in the body of a 4-year-old child or a scaled-down adult body. Child embodiment was found to cause an overestimation of object sizes, approximately double that during adult embodiment, and identification of the self with child-like attributes. Here we tested the contribution of auditory cues related to one’s own voice to these visually-driven effects. In a 2 × 2 factorial design, visual and auditory feedback on one’s own body were varied across conditions, which included embodiment in a child or scaled-down adult body, and real (undistorted) or child-like voice feedback. The results replicated, in an older population, previous findings regarding size estimations and implicit attitudes. Further, although auditory cues were not found to enhance these effects, we show that the strength of the embodiment illusion depends on the child-like voice feedback being congruent or incongruent with the age of the virtual body. Results also showed the positive emotional impact of the illusion of owning a child’s body, opening up possibilities for health applications.

Type: Article
Title: Embodiment in a Child-Like Talking Virtual Body Influences Object Size Perception, Self-Identification, and Subsequent Real Speaking
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-09497-3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09497-3
Language: English
Additional information: 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 © Te Author(s) 2017. 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571772
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