The Development of a Cross-Modal Sense of Body Ownership

Elena Nava, Nadia Bolognini, Chiara Turati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigated the contribution of tactile and proprioceptive cues to the development of the sense of body ownership by testing the susceptibility of 4- to 5-year-old children, 8- to 9-year-old children, and adults to the somatic rubber-hand illusion (SRHI). We found that feelings of owning a rubber hand in the SHRI paradigm, as assessed by explicit reports (i.e., questionnaire), are already present by age 4 and do not change throughout development. In contrast, the effect of the illusion on the sense of hand position, as assessed by a pointing task, was present only in 8- to 9-year-old children and adults; the magnitude of such capture increased with age. Our findings reveal that tactile-proprioceptive interactions contributed differently to the two aspects characterizing the SRHI: Although the contribution of such interactions to an explicit sense of self was similar across age groups, their contribution to the more implicit recalibration of hand position is still developing by age 9.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • cognitive development
  • human body
  • perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Development of a Cross-Modal Sense of Body Ownership'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this