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Harriet Dempsey-Jones


Background

I am interested in how people form a coherent, unified perception of the self through the integration of inputs from multiple senses (vision, touch, proprioception and hearing). To what extent is this representation biologically constrained and resistant to change vs. malleable, meaning influenced by external and internal inputs?

I intend to investigate this using a number of experiments based on a modification of a classical psychological paradigm, the rubber hand illusion (RHI). This paradigm looks at how perception of the body can be manipulated though the presentation of incongruous visual and tactile inputs administered to participant's hands. Previous studies have found that feelings of self-ownership and location of body parts can be reliably manipulated using this illusion (Armel & Ramachandran, 2003; Botvinick & Cohen, 1998).

Additionally, I am interested in the extent to which there are individual differences in the way people experience the RHI. Variations in strength of the illusion, time of onset and intensity has already been demonstrated in certain clinical groups (schizophrenics, bulimics, and body dismorphics). I intend to extend these findings and explore susceptibility to the RHI in a range of sub-clinical groups.

Publications

Dempsey-Jones, H. & Kritikos, A. (2012). Handedness and proprioceptive position estimation: Are left handed people more accurate in self representation and is this representation resistant to manipulation by the Rubber Hand Illusion?. Front. Hum. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: ACNS-2012 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2012.208.00138

Conference Presentations

1. Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference (2011)
  • Poster Presentation: Like the back of my hand: Greater shifts in self-location away from the body than towards the body in The Rubber Hand Illusion
2. Experimental Psychology Conference (2012)
  • Poster Presentation: Proprioceptive drift towards the body is associated with changes in self-ownership and embodiment in the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) – but drift away from the body is not
3. Research Higher Degree Day (2012)
  • Oral Presentation: Proprioceptive and embodied position can be drawn away from the body: Top-down factors modulate subjective but not behavioural RHI outcomes
4. Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference (2011)
  • Poster Presentation: Handedness and proprioceptive position estimation: Are left handed people more accurate in self representation and is this representation resistant to manipulation by the Rubber Hand Illusion?
5. Experimental Psychology Conference (2013)
  • Oral Presentation: Visual biases override proprioceptive biases in the estimation of limb position following a visual illusion
6. Vision Sciences Symposium (2013)
  • Poster Presentation: Handedness and proprioceptive position estimation: Are left handed people more accurate in self representation and is this representation resistant to manipulation by the Rubber Hand Illusion?

Community Engagement Presentation

  • Queensland Academy of Science, Math and Technology (Indooroopilly) – Invited speaker for the Likeminds Program
    Academia, a great career for the ‘science-minded’: An introduction to psychology and neuroscience at UQ.
    [SMT Academy is a feeder-school to UQ. The Likeminds program aims to introduce adolescents who are gifted in math and science to potential future career paths, particularly involving study at UQ]



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