Workshop at conference IEEE ICDL EPIROB 2022

London, 12th september

Body Image & Cross-sensory Correspondences:

What about Infants and Robots


Our bodies constitute the interface between our mind and the surrounding world. To interact effectively with the world, babies and robots need to discover the relations between the different parts of their bodies, and between the different senses; i.e., cross-sensory correspondence.

For body representation, they need to know where their limbs are in space, how far they can extend, how they work, and what range of actions they can achieve with them. Such body representations are essential for developing a sense of the self and for defining the limits of the peripersonal space. These are important milestones in human development to construct efficient interactions with others and the world. For this construction to be complete, individuals need to extract from the different sense modalities a coherent representation of their surroundings. This is possible thanks to cross-sensory correspondences.

Cross-sensory correspondences occur very early on in development, but it is still unknown how they develop, whether some appear before others and why for example. Indeed, many events of the world, such as social interactions, involve perceiving common properties in different sense modalities. The size and shape of an object can, for example, be processed both visually and haptically, which leads to a unitary percept. The intensity of either light or sound can change over time and thus be perceived as a similar phenomenon. In fact, in everyday situations, contingent associations of different attributes simultaneously changing over time are experienced on a regular basis. A bouncing ball, for example, is perceived as regular up and down motion and as regular sound-silence alternation. Its movement generates a multimodal representation based on synchronous and analogous dynamic time variations in the visual and auditory experience.

Posters selected

Poster 1: Changes in Object-Directed Visual Attention during the Transition to Reaching. Asante Knowles and Daniela Corbetta (University of Tennessee)

Poster 2: Visual-tactile expectations and peripersonal space representations in infancy. Giulia Orioli, Irene Parisi, José L. van Velzen and Andrew J. Bremner (University of London, University of Birmingham)

Poster 3: Exploring the range of early, spontaneous self-touch behavior. Abigail DiMercurio, John P. Connell, & Daniela Corbetta (University of Tennessee)

Poster 4: Developing an online mirror rouge test of self-recognition in infants. Alice Cousins (University of Birmingham)

Poster 5: Changes in infants’ arm activity occurring before and after the emergence of goal-directed reaching. John P. Connell, Allison Tenorio, Avery Peffer, & Daniela Corbetta (University of Tennessee)

Plenary Talks

Area1: The development of body perception during infancy

Eszter Somogyi, University of Portsmouth

Maria Laura Filippetti, University of Essex

Daniela Corbetta, University of Tennessee

Jeff Lockman, Tulane University

Area 2: Cross-sensory integration and multimodal contingency

Bahia Guellai, Nanterre University

Sergiu T. Popescu, Czech Technical University in Prague

Andrew Bremner, University of Birmingham

Area 3: Developmental robotics as promising models of body perception and cross-sensory integration

Matej Hoffmann, Czech Technical University in Prague

Alex Pitti, CY Cergy University

Ganesh Gowrishankar, LIRMM CNRS, Montpellier

University of Portsmouth

University of Essex

The University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Czech Technical University in Prague

University of Birmingham

Nanterre University

Czech Technical University in Prague

Tulane University (JL)

Tulane University & University of Houston (LC)

CY Cergy-Paris University

LIRMM CNRS, Montpellier


Daniela Corbetta, Alexandre Pitti, Bahia Guellai, Sofiane Boucenna, Lorenzo Jamone


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