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Exp Brain Res. 2011 Sep;213(2-3):223-7. doi: 10.1007/s00221-011-2680-5. Epub 2011 Apr 23.

Misjudging where you felt a light switch in a dark room.

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Research Institute MOVE, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, VU University, Van der Boechorststraat 9, 1081, BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Previous research has shown that subjects systematically misperceive the location of visual and haptic stimuli presented briefly around the time of a movement of the sensory organ (eye or hand movements) due to errors in the combination of visual or tactile information with proprioception. These briefly presented stimuli (a flash or a tap on the finger) are quite different from what one encounters in daily life. In this study, we tested whether subjects also mislocalize real (static) objects that are felt briefly while moving ones hand across them, like when searching for a light switch in the dark. We found that subjects systematically mislocalized a real bar in a similar manner as has been shown with artificial haptic stimuli. This demonstrates that movement-related mislocalization is a real world property of human perception.

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