Applied Information Sciences

Cognitive Psychology D06

  • Prof. Kazumichi Matsumiya      
KeywordsHuman behavior, Psychophysics, Bodily awareness, Decision-making

Understanding human behavior through the principle of psychophysics

The question of how our body interacts with objects in the world is a fundamental problem in psychology and neuroscience. We have shown that the sense of owning one’s own body can affect visual perception, which suggests the importance of considering body-in-mind in perceptual processing. Based on this finding, we are now investigating human perceptual processes linked to body-in-mind. Our recent study has investigated whether the process underlying body awareness is shared between body localization and body ownership. To address this issue, we used a perceptual illusion in which ownership over a computer graphics hand is experienced (this illusion is referred to as the rubber hand illusion), and combined this illusion with a statistical model of optimal multisensory integration process. This study revealed that there are separate multisensory integration processes between body localization and body ownership in the human brain. This finding has implications for understanding the underlying mechanisms for body self-awareness. We promote the research and teaching of understanding human behavior, human body, and human perception by means of psychophysics.
  • Experimental setups, and the concept of multiple representations of the body schema.

  • The solid line indicates the mean shape of the actual hand, and the dotted line indicates the mean shape of the represented hand shape inferred from eye and reach movements. The resulting hand map was more distorted for reach movements than for eye movements (Matsumiya, PNAS, 2022).