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Experimental Psychology

Internships looking for students

This proposal includes 2 potential projects for Master’s students.

Body representations arise from the integration of multimodal bodily input. Consequently, these representations can be measured in various ways. Several methods of investigation have been used to assess the underlying representation of the hands. For instance, in a task where participants are asked to localise unseen parts of the hand, large distortions in perceived hand length and width are observed. Similar distortions are found when participants are asked to judge tactile distances on the hand, suggesting that these measures of body representation are intimately linked. Yet, when participants are asked to make explicit, visually-based judgements about the shape of the hand, performance is fairly veridical. But are all body parts represented in a similar manner? For example, the lower limbs are functionally and structurally different from the hands, and therefore it is possible their body representation (and the way space around them are processed) might be reflective of these differences. Curiously, little is known about the underlying representation of the lower limbs. In this project, you will be investigating how sensory and spatial information on and around the body contributes to the representation of the upper and lower limbs. Previous courses in experimental design and statistics are strongly recommended. Experience with MATLAB is an asset.

Project 1: This project will focus on the sensory (visual, tactile, proprioceptive) contributions to upper (forearm) and lower body (leg) representation. Participants will be asked to: 1) make maps of the limb while it is placed underneath of a computer screen, 2) judge the distance of two tactile points that have been applied to the limb, and 3) make judgements about the width of the limb when an image of it is presented on a computer screen.

Project 2: This project will focus on visuo-tactile integration near the hand and the foot. Participants will be asked to discriminate the temporal order of two sequential visual (flashing LED) and tactile (vibrotactile) stimuli (applied to the hand or foot) when the visual stimulus is close to and far away from the body.

Contact: Kayla Stone, k.d.stone@uu.nl

CV, motivation, and e-mail in English.