Subjective experience of touch induced by hearing a sound
Department of Psychology, Nihon University
Department of Psychology, Tokyo Metropolitan University
Abstract ID Number: 102
Last modified: May 20, 2003
Evidence from psychophysics, neuropsychology and physiology suggests the existence of multisensory representation of the space around the body. In the present study, we report an illusion in which hearing a sound induces subjective touch experience. We tickled the left ear of a dummy head by a paint brush. The sound of tickling was recorded by a pair of microphones inserted in his ears and the scene of tickling was recorded on videotape. We presented either the sound (A), the images (V) or the both (AV) to subjects. The sound was presented through headphones. After hearing and/or seeing the stimulus, the subjects rated their subjective experience with a questionnaire. The rating of agreement for the statement "I felt tickling on my own ear" in A and AV conditions was higher than in V condition. The results suggest that only hearing a sound could induce a touch sensation.