On the Role of Interoception in Body and Object Perception: A Multisensory-Integration Account

Author: Wladimir Kirsch1, Wilfried Kunde1
1 Department of Psychology, University of Würzburg.
Conference/Journal: Perspect Psychol Sci
Date published: 2022 Aug 22
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/17456916221096138. , Word Count: 173

Various "embodied perception" phenomena suggest that what people sense of their body shapes what they perceive of the environment and that what they perceive of the environment shapes what they perceive of their bodies. For example, an observer's own hand can be felt where a fake hand is seen, events produced by own body movements seem to occur earlier than they did, and feeling a heavy weight at an observer's back may prompt hills to look steeper. Here we argue that such and various other phenomena are instances of multisensory integration of interoceptive signals from the body and exteroceptive signals from the environment. This overarching view provides a mechanistic description of what embodiment in perception means and how it works. It suggests new research questions while questioning a special role of the body itself and various phenomenon-specific explanations in terms of ownership, agency, or action-related scaling of visual information.

Keywords: action-specific perception; body perception; embodied perception; intentional binding; multisensory integration; multisensory perception; object perception; perception and action; rubber-hand illusion; temporal binding.

PMID: 35994810 DOI: 10.1177/17456916221096138