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Observed Touch on a Non-Human Face Is Not Remapped onto the Human Observer's Own Face

Beck, Brianna, Bertini, Caterina, Scarpazza, Cristina, Làdavas, Elisabetta (2013) Observed Touch on a Non-Human Face Is Not Remapped onto the Human Observer's Own Face. PLoS ONE, 8 (11). e73681. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073681)

Abstract

Visual remapping of touch (VRT) is a phenomenon in which seeing a human face being touched enhances detection of tactile stimuli on the observer's own face, especially when the observed face expresses fear. This study tested whether VRT would occur when seeing touch on monkey faces and whether it would be similarly modulated by facial expressions. Human participants detected near-threshold tactile stimulation on their own cheeks while watching fearful, happy, and neutral human or monkey faces being concurrently touched or merely approached by fingers. We predicted minimal VRT for neutral and happy monkey faces but greater VRT for fearful monkey faces. The results with human faces replicated previous findings, demonstrating stronger VRT for fearful expressions than for happy or neutral expressions. However, there was no VRT (i.e. no difference between accuracy in touch and no-touch trials) for any of the monkey faces, regardless of facial expression, suggesting that touch on a non-human face is not remapped onto the somatosensory system of the human observer.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073681
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Brianna Beck
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 12:07 UTC
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 08:24 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70410 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Beck, Brianna: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6784-6583
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