Some of our recent work with the Enactive Torch will be presented by Marek McGann at The International Conference of the European SKILLS Project, which will be held in Montpellier, France, on December 15-16, 2011. The title and abstract are as follows:
The Use of a Distal-to-Tactile Sensory Substitution Interface Does Not Lead to Extension of Body Image
Marek McGann, Tom Froese, William Bigge, Adam Spiers and Anil K. Seth
A range of studies in the past decade and a half indicate significant impacts of tool use on body image. In cases of intentional action, contractions of near space or experienced extensions of limbs have been shown when using tools such as rakes. It remains unclear whether the changes in body image are effected by the tool enabling perception at a distance or action/manipulation of the environment at a distance. We studied this issue using a new research tool, the Enactive Torch, a sensory substitution device specifically designed for research into perception and bodily action. The Enactive Torch allows perception at a distance without the capacity for distal action. We report a first experiment indicating that its use on a navigation task has no effect on body image.
The conference paper can be downloaded here.