The Psychological Reality of the Body Schema: A Test With Normal Participants

Document Type



Psychology (CMC)

Publication Date



Neuropsychological dissociations suggest the existence of a body schema, a representation of the spatial relations among body parts, not used for other spatial stimuli. Four experiments verify the psychological reality of the body schema in normal participants. In Experiments 1 and 2, proprioceptive information concerning one's own body position influences visual perception of others' body positions. Contrary to expectations, facilitation is observed rather than interference in the dual-performance task. Experiment 3 eliminates the possibility that the effect is due to a particular mnemonic strategy. In Experiment 4, this effect is shown to be specific to the perception of bodies, as opposed to other complex 3-dimensional forms.

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© 1995 American Psychological Association