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Embodiment and Multisensory Perception of Synchronicity: Biological Features Modulate Visual and Tactile Multisensory Interaction in Simultaneity Judgements

Joly-Mascheroni, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-3539-5810, Abad-Hernando, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2579-8824, Forster, B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5126-7854 & Calvo-Merino, B. ORCID: 0000-0003-4669-4573 (2021). Embodiment and Multisensory Perception of Synchronicity: Biological Features Modulate Visual and Tactile Multisensory Interaction in Simultaneity Judgements. Multisensory Research, 34(5), pp. 493-510. doi: 10.1163/22134808-bja10020


The concept of embodiment has been used in multiple scenarios, but in cognitive neuroscience it normally refers to the comprehension of the role of one’s own body in the cognition of everyday situations and the processes involved in that perception. Multisensory research is gradually embracing the concept of embodiment, but the focus has mostly been concentrated upon audiovisual integration. In two experiments, we evaluated how the likelihood of a perceived stimulus to be embodied modulates visuotactile interaction in a Simultaneity Judgement task. Experiment 1 compared the perception of two visual stimuli with and without biological attributes (hands and geometrical shapes) moving towards each other, while tactile stimuli were provided on the palm of the participants’ hand. Participants judged whether the meeting point of two periodically-moving visual stimuli was synchronous with the tactile stimulation in their own hands. Results showed that in the hand condition, the Point of Subjective Simultaneity (PSS) was significantly more distant to real synchrony (60 ms after the Stimulus Onset Asynchrony, SOA) than in the geometrical shape condition (45 ms after SOA). In experiment 2, we further explored the impact of biological attributes by comparing performance on two visual biological stimuli (hands and ears), that also vary in their motor and visuotactile properties. Results showed that the PSS was equally distant to real synchrony in both the hands and ears conditions. Overall, findings suggest that embodied visual biological stimuli may modulate visual and tactile multisensory interaction in simultaneity judgements.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted manuscript of an article published by Brill at
Publisher Keywords: Embodiment, visuotactile interaction, multisensory integration, simultaneity judgement, body, biological motion
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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