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Synaesthesia in the normal limb

Mon-Williams, M., Wann, J.P., Jenkinson, M. and Rushton, K. (1997) Synaesthesia in the normal limb. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B (Biological Sciences), 264. pp. 1007-1010. ISSN 1471-2954

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We explored the degree to which vision may alter kinaesthetic perception by asking participants to view their hand through a prism, introducing different horizontal deviations, while trying to align their fingers above and below a thin table. When the visual image of one hand was displaced this overwhelmed kinaesthetic judgements and participants reliably reported that they felt their limbs were aligned, even when they were laterally misaligned by as much as 10 cm. This effect, however, was mediated by visual capture and when the task was attempted in a darkened room with limb position indicated by an LED taped to the finger, kinaesthesis dominated and participants reported that the LED seemed to become detached from their finger tip. In both light and dark conditions the finger was clearly visible and only the background detail was extinguished. Hence, in perceiving limb position, it appears that we believe in what we see, rather than in what we feel, when the visual background is rich, and in what we feel when the visual background is sparse.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Psychology (Leeds) > Cognitive Psychology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2009 14:46
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 17:29
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1997.0139
Status: Published
Publisher: The Royal Society
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.1997.0139
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8888

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