Date: 22 nov 2023
Speaker: Lídia Arroyo Prieto, Gender and ICT Research Group, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Title: Perception of extra body parts & body part weight
Speaker: Denise Cadete, PhD student at the Body Representation Lab, Birkbeck
University of London
Abstract: In everyday life, we have a constant and reliable experience of our own
bodies. However, the perception of our body can be instantly altered using
multisensory illusions or Virtual Reality. This flexibility is not restricted to the human
body configuration, with recent studies showing we can also feel extra body parts. In
the first part of the presentation, I will present the six finger illusion and what our
findings tell us about how supernumerary body parts are represented in the brain.
We will make a case for the independence and flexibility of how we represent extra
body parts, also aiming to determine what are its limits.
In the second part, I will introduce our studies looking into how we perceive the
weight of body parts. Perception of object’s weight has been studied for over a
century, however little is known about weight perception of body parts. A recent
study of our lab showed that we systematically and dramatically underestimate hand
weight by 49% (Ferrè et al., 2023) , an effect we called weightedness, for how light we
experience body parts, on Earth. We further investigated how perceived hand size
changed felt hand weight, and in another study we looked at perceived hand volume.
We will propose a model of constant density in the perception of body part weight.