Poster Session B, Sunday, March 24, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Does your hand fit your body? The developmental trajectory of the body model.
Lara Coelho1, Claudia LR Gonzalez1; 1University of Lethbridge
The representation of the body’s spatial characteristics is referred to as the body model. Previous research has shown that the body model of our hands is distorted (Longo & Haggard, 2010). This distortion is characterized by an overestimation of hand width and an underestimation of finger length. This result has been replicated on numerous occasions (Saulton et al., 2016; Coelho et al., 2018; etc), but only adult participants have been tested. The purpose of the present study therefore, was to document the developmental trajectory of the body model of the hand. To do this we recruited three groups of participants: children (aged 8-16), young adults (aged 18-26), and older adults (aged 50-68). All participants completed a hand mapping task, where they placed their hands palm-up against a covered table top and pointed to the location where they believed ten landmarks were on their hands. The locations were recorded with an Optotrak© camera and XY coordinates were derived for every landmark. Results showed that children overestimated the width of their hands and the length of their fingers, significantly more than the other two groups. In addition, a significant correlation showing that as we age the body model decreases in size was found. Since children are in a period of rapid growth, perhaps body representation cannot match the changes in physical size. This could explain why children during periods of growth have been found to have motor-coordination issues. Further research including younger children and older seniors is underway.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory