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The Use of a Distal-to-Tactile Sensory Substitution Interface Does Not Lead to Extension of Body Image February 7, 2012

Posted by Tom Froese in Presentations.
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Marek McGann presented our team’s ongoing research at the The International Conference SKILLS 2011, which was held in Montpellier, France, December 15-16, 2011.

The Use of a Distal-to-Tactile Sensory Substitution Interface Does Not Lead to Extension of Body Image

Marek McGann, Tom Froese, William Bigge, Adam Spiers, and Anil K. Seth

A range of studies in the past decade and a half indicate significant impacts of tool use on body image. In cases of intentional action, contractions of near space or experienced extensions of limbs have been shown when using tools such as rakes. It remains unclear whether the changes in body image are effected by the tool enabling perception at a distance or action/manipulation of the environment at a distance. We studied this issue using a new research tool, the Enactive Torch, a sensory substitution device specifically designed for research into perception and bodily action. The Enactive Torch allows perception at a distance without the capacity for distal action. We report a first experiment indicating that its use on a navigation task has no effect on body image.

The full paper can be downloaded as a PDF here.

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