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Full Access Developmental change in multisensory body representations in early childhood

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Developmental change in multisensory body representations in early childhood

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A number of recent findings indicate that the multisensory processes underlying our ability to localize our limbs continue to undergo development beyond infancy and across childhood. Here we review findings from our recent investigations of the development of multisensory bodily illusions in early life (see Bremner et al., 2013; Cowie et al., in press). Studies of the mirror hand illusion and the rubber hand illusion in children show that children’s reliance on visual information about the hand continues to change dramatically until 12 to 13 years of age. There are early increases up to 5 years in children’s reliance on visual cues (in the mirror hand illusion), followed by a much greater reliance on visual cues (in the rubber hand illusion even when the fake hand is presented in an implausible posture) in middle childhood, and a subsequent decline into early adolescence and adulthood. In explaining these developmental changes we discuss the development of representations of the canonical layout of the body, and an ability to represent the limbs across dynamic changes in posture, making specific reference to the changing role of vision in guiding action in the environment across early childhood.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK; 2: 2Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK

A number of recent findings indicate that the multisensory processes underlying our ability to localize our limbs continue to undergo development beyond infancy and across childhood. Here we review findings from our recent investigations of the development of multisensory bodily illusions in early life (see Bremner et al., 2013; Cowie et al., in press). Studies of the mirror hand illusion and the rubber hand illusion in children show that children’s reliance on visual information about the hand continues to change dramatically until 12 to 13 years of age. There are early increases up to 5 years in children’s reliance on visual cues (in the mirror hand illusion), followed by a much greater reliance on visual cues (in the rubber hand illusion even when the fake hand is presented in an implausible posture) in middle childhood, and a subsequent decline into early adolescence and adulthood. In explaining these developmental changes we discuss the development of representations of the canonical layout of the body, and an ability to represent the limbs across dynamic changes in posture, making specific reference to the changing role of vision in guiding action in the environment across early childhood.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0034
2013-05-16
2016-12-04

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