‘The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.’ –Antonio Gramsci


We do not have a veridical representation of our body in our mind. For instance, tactile distances of equal measure along the medial-lateral axis of our limbs are generally perceived as larger than those running along the proximal-distal axis. This anisotropy in tactile distances reflects distortions in body-shape representation, such that the body parts are perceived as wider than they are. While the origin of such anisotropy remains unknown, it has been suggested that visual experience could partially play a role in its manifestation.

To causally test the role of visual experience on body shape representation, we investigated tactile distance perception in sighted and early blind individuals […] Overestimation of distances in the medial-lateral over proximal-distal body axes were found in both sighted and blind people, but the magnitude of the anisotropy was significantly reduced in the forearms of blind people.

We conclude that tactile distance perception is mediated by similar mechanisms in both sighted and blind people, but that visual experience can modulate the tactile distance anisotropy.

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