Action Shapes the Sense of Body Ownership Across Human Development

Elena Nava, Chiara Gamberini, Agnese Berardis, Nadia Bolognini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this study we investigated, both in childhood and adulthood, the role of action in promoting and shaping the sense of body ownership, which is traditionally viewed as dependent on multisensory integration. By means of a novel action-based version of the rubber hand illusion (RHI), in which participants could actively self-stroke the rubber hand, with (Version 1) or without visual feedback (Version 2) of their own actions, we showed that self-generated actions promote the emergence of a sense of ownership over the rubber hand in children, while it interferes with the embodiment of the rubber hand in adults. When the movement is missing (Version 3, i.e., mere view of the rubber hand being stroked concurrently with one's own hand), the pattern of results is reversed, with adults showing embodiment of the rubber hand, but children lacking to do so. Our novel findings reveal a dynamic and plastic contribution of the motor system to the emergence of a coherent bodily self, suggesting that the development of the sense of body ownership is shaped by motor experience, rather than being purely sensory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2507
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Ownership
Human Development
Rubber
Hand
Sensory Feedback
Plastics
Stroke

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Action Shapes the Sense of Body Ownership Across Human Development. / Nava, Elena; Gamberini, Chiara; Berardis, Agnese; Bolognini, Nadia.

In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 9, 2018, p. 2507.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nava, Elena ; Gamberini, Chiara ; Berardis, Agnese ; Bolognini, Nadia. / Action Shapes the Sense of Body Ownership Across Human Development. In: Frontiers in Psychology. 2018 ; Vol. 9. pp. 2507.
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