Unlocking the Potential of 'Passive' Modulation: How Sensory Stimulation Shapes Hand and Face Size

Mora, Laura; Committeri, Giorgia; L'Abbate, Teresa and Cocchini, Gianna. 2024. Unlocking the Potential of 'Passive' Modulation: How Sensory Stimulation Shapes Hand and Face Size. Journal of Neuropsychology, ISSN 1748-6653 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Knowledge of the body size is intricately tied to multisensory integration processes that rely on the dynamic interplay of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms. Recent years have seen the development of passive sensory stimulation protocols aimed at investigating the modulation of various cognitive functions, primarily inducing perceptual learning and behaviour change without the need for extensive training. Given that reductions in sensory input have been associated with alterations in body size perception, it is reasonable to hypothesize that increasing sensory information through passive sensory stimulation could similarly influence the perception of the size of body parts. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the potential modulatory effects of passive sensory stimulation on the perception of hand and face size in a group of young adults. Passive sensory stimulation effectively modulated the size representation of the stimulated hand, supporting the notion that access to somatosensory and proprioceptive information is prioritized for the hands but may not extend to the face. Increased somatosensory input resulted in a reduction of distortion, providing evidence for bottom-up modulation of size representation. Passive sensory stimulation can induce subjective changes in body size perception without the need for extensive training. This paradigm holds promise as a potential alternative for modulating distorted size representation in individuals with body representational deficits.

Item Type:



body representation, body size modulation, passive sensory stimulation, somatosensory information, body size distortions, multisensory integration

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Centre for Cognition, Computation and Culture (CCCC)


5 June 2024Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2024 15:35

Last Modified:

07 Jun 2024 06:44

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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