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The structure of conscious body self-perception


Dobricki,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Dobricki, M. (2014). The structure of conscious body self-perception. Talk presented at Universitat de Barcelona: Experimental Virtual Environments (EVENT) Lab for Neuroscience and Technology. Barcelona, Spain.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-342D-3
What are the basic constituents of conscious body self-perception (BSP)? This question concerns the structure of conscious BSP and has so far received little attention. Studies on aspects of BSP such as bodily self-identification, self-localization or agency suggest that these aspects may be critical components of conscious BSP. However, none of the existing studies have investigated the relationship of these aspects to each other, i.e., whether they can be identified to be distinguishable components of the structure of conscious BSP. In multiple experiments we stroked the back of healthy individuals while they watched the back of a distant virtual body being synchronously stroked with a virtual stick. Subsequently, we have measured changes of the conscious BSP of our participants by means of a newly developed psychometric self-assessment questionnaire and two perceptual tasks. By analyzing the structure of the responses to our questionnaire we have found that conscious BSP has three distinct components: bodily self-identification, spatial presence, and agency (Dobricki de la Rosa, 2013, PLoS One, e83840 ). Moreover, we have found that changes in these BSP components are accompanied by alterations in our perceptual measures.