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The body schema is generated from a number of different sense modalities such as vision and proprioception. Botvinick and Cohen's rubber hand illusion (1998) demonstrates the relative contributions of vision, tactile perception and proprioception to body awareness. In this illusion, a participant's real hand is concealed from view and a prosthetic rubber hand is seen in its place. An experimenter simultaneously administers tactile stimulation to both the seen rubber hand and participant's actual hidden hand. The combination of this visual and tactile information overrides proprioceptive cues to body perception, creating a sense of ownership of the rubber hand. The present experiment extends research on the sensory inputs to the body schema by employing the rubber hand illusion to investigate the role of auditory information in construction of the body schema. Tactile stimulation was administered with sandpaper while a prerecorded scratching noise played from a concealed speaker. We found that the inclusion of a sound cue heightened the effects of the illusion and caused participants to more readily accept the rubber hand into the body schema. The findings of this study will contribute to the existing understanding of body perception by demonstrating the influence of the auditory system in limb localization.

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Honors Thesis

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Benjamin R Kunz

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Stander Symposium poster


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