Auditory-induced body distortions in children and adults Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2020

issue

  • 3024

volume

  • 10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322

abstract

  • Recent studies have shown that body-representations can be altered by dynamic changes in sound. In the so-called "auditory Pinocchio illusion" participants feel their finger to be longer when the action of pulling their finger is paired with a rising pitch. Here, we investigated whether preschool children - an age group in which multisensory body-representations are still fine-tuning - are also sensitive to this illusion. In two studies, sixty adult and sixty child participants heard sounds rising or falling in pitch while the experimenter concurrently pulled or pressed their index finger on a vertical (Experiment 1) or horizontal axis (Experiment 2). Results showed that the illusion was subjected to axis and age: both adults and children reported their finger to be longer in Experiment 1, but not in Experiment 2. However, while in adults the feeling of finger elongation corresponded to a recalibration of the fingertip's felt position upwards, this was not the case in children, who presented a dissociation between the feeling of finger elongation and the perceived fingertip position. Our results reveal that the 'auditory Pinocchio illusion' is constrained to the vertical dimension and suggest that multisensory interactions differently contribute to subjective feelings and sense of position depending on developmental stage.