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Looking for Myself: Current Multisensory Input Alters Self-Face Recognition

By Manos Tsakiris


How do I know the person I see in the mirror is really me? Is it because I know the person simply looks like me, or is it because the mirror reflection moves when I move, and I see it being touched when I feel touch myself? Studies of facerecognition suggest that visual recognition of stored visual features inform self-face recognition. In contrast, bodyrecognition studies conclude that multisensory integration is the main cue to selfhood. The present study investigates for the first time the specific contribution of current multisensory input for self-face recognition. Participants were stroked on their face while they were looking at a morphed face being touched in synchrony or asynchrony. Before and after the visuotactile stimulation participants performed a self-recognition task. The results show that multisensory signals have a significant effect on self-face recognition. Synchronous tactile stimulation while watching another person’s face being similarly touched produced a bias in recognizing one’s own face, in the direction of the other person included in the representation of one’s own face. Multisensory integration can update cognitive representations of one’s body, such as the sense of ownership. The present study extends this converging evidence by showing that the correlation of synchronous multisensory signals also updates the representation of one’s face. The face is a key feature of our identity, but at the sam

Year: 2008
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