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Not that heart-stopping after all: visuo-cardiac synchrony does not boost self-face attribution


Porciello, G; Daum, Moritz M; Menghini, C; Brugger, P; Lenggenhager, Bigna (2016). Not that heart-stopping after all: visuo-cardiac synchrony does not boost self-face attribution. PLoS ONE, 11(8):e0160498.

Abstract

Recent experimental evidence and theoretical models suggest that an integration of exteroceptive and interoceptive signals underlies several key aspects of the bodily self. While it has been shown that self-attribution of both the hand and the full-body are altered by conflicting extero-exteroceptive (e.g. visuo-tactile) and extero-interoceptive (e.g. visuo-cardiac) information, no study has thus far investigated whether self-attribution of the face might be altered by visuo-cardiac stimulation similarly to visuo-tactile stimulation. In three independent groups of participants we presented ambiguous (i.e. morphed with a stranger's face) self-faces flashing synchronously or asynchronously with the participants' heartbeat. We then measured the subjective percentages of self-face attribution of morphed stimuli. To control for a potential effect of visuo-cardiac synchrony on familiarity, a task assessing the attribution of a familiar face was introduced. Moreover, different durations of visuo-cardiac flashing and different degrees of asynchronicity were used. Based on previous studies showing that synchronous visuo-cardiac stimulation generally increases self-attribution of the full-body and the hand, and that synchronous visuo-tactile stimulation increases self-face attribution, we predicted higher self-face attribution during the synchronous visuo-cardiac flashing of the morphed stimuli. In contrast to this hypothesis, the results showed no difference between synchronous and asynchronous stimulation on self-face attribution in any of the three studies. We thus conclude that visuo-cardiac synchrony does not boost self-attribution of the face as it does that of hand and full-body.

Abstract

Recent experimental evidence and theoretical models suggest that an integration of exteroceptive and interoceptive signals underlies several key aspects of the bodily self. While it has been shown that self-attribution of both the hand and the full-body are altered by conflicting extero-exteroceptive (e.g. visuo-tactile) and extero-interoceptive (e.g. visuo-cardiac) information, no study has thus far investigated whether self-attribution of the face might be altered by visuo-cardiac stimulation similarly to visuo-tactile stimulation. In three independent groups of participants we presented ambiguous (i.e. morphed with a stranger's face) self-faces flashing synchronously or asynchronously with the participants' heartbeat. We then measured the subjective percentages of self-face attribution of morphed stimuli. To control for a potential effect of visuo-cardiac synchrony on familiarity, a task assessing the attribution of a familiar face was introduced. Moreover, different durations of visuo-cardiac flashing and different degrees of asynchronicity were used. Based on previous studies showing that synchronous visuo-cardiac stimulation generally increases self-attribution of the full-body and the hand, and that synchronous visuo-tactile stimulation increases self-face attribution, we predicted higher self-face attribution during the synchronous visuo-cardiac flashing of the morphed stimuli. In contrast to this hypothesis, the results showed no difference between synchronous and asynchronous stimulation on self-face attribution in any of the three studies. We thus conclude that visuo-cardiac synchrony does not boost self-attribution of the face as it does that of hand and full-body.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:21 Nov 2016 10:54
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 04:56
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160498
PubMed ID:27541587
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPZ00P3_142601
  • : Project TitleBinding body and self by vestibular and multisensory stimulation

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