Contact

Aurelie Saulton

Address: Spemannstr. 38
72076 Tübingen
Room number: 007
Phone: +49 7071 601 645
Fax: +49 7071 601 616
E-Mail: aurelie.saulton

 

Picture of Saulton, Aurelie

Aurelie Saulton

Position: PhD Student  Unit: Bülthoff

The nature of body representations in perception and action

 

Aurelie Saulton

 

 

Introduction

Accurate information about body structure and posture is fundamental for effective control of our actions. It is often assumed that healthy adults have accurate representations of their body. Although people’s abilities to visually recognize their own body size and shape are relatively good, the implicit spatial representation of their body is extremely distorted [1]. For instance, people’s tactile size perception of their hand is much larger in width and shorter in length than the actual size of the hand [2].

 

Goals

The aim of my research is to understand the nature of spatial distortions of the body. In particular, I investigate the perceptual-cognitive components contributing to distortions of implicit representation of the human hand.

 

Image of the experimental setup
Figure 1. Images of the items used in the experiment. From left to right: hand, rake, post-it, box presented to the participant in upright (top row) and rotated (bottom row) orientation. The yellow and red lines on the items were not present during experimentation and have been drawn to illustrate the item-centric width and length dimensions used to calculate the aspect ratio of the item.

Methods

To examine whether previously observed distortions only occur with the human body, I investigated whether similar distortions are observable with non-body items such as objects (Rake, post-it block and CD case). The distortions of the implicit spatial representation of these items were assessed with a localization task (see figure 1.A). I also assessed the explicit visual bias in perception of each item in a template matching task. The comparison of the distortions of the localization task and the template matching task reveals whether implicit spatial distortions are owed to a bias in explicit visual perception.

 

Image of the experimental setup
Figure 2. Actual and estimated landmarks for the upright hand (left) and rake (right) averaged across 16 participants in the localization task. The filled circles indicate the mean location of actual landmarks (blue) and estimated landmarks (red).

Initial results

Distortions in the localization task were found with both the hand and non-body items. No distortions were found in the visual template matching task. Interestingly the distortions measured on the objects in the localization task present a similar pattern of distortion to the one previously measured on the hand. This is especially the case of the rake who shares a similar structure to the human hand. Both the rake and the hand had slight overestimation of their width and an underestimation of their length. Moreover the distortions present on the rake were a significant predictor of the distortions measured on the human hand.

 

Initial conclusion

Overall, these results show that distortions of implicit spatial representations can be observed with body and non-body objects. These results have implications for theoretical accounts associating previously observed distortions with somatosensation: because localizing points on an object is unlikely to be aided by somatosensation, the assessed representations might reflect the contribution of other cognitive processes (e.g. visual spatial memory) to the distortion of the body model [3; 4].

 

References


1. Longo, M. R., & Haggard, P. (2010). An implicit body representation underlying human position sense. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(26), 11727–11732. doi:10.1073/pnas.1003483107

2. Longo, M. R., & Haggard, P. (2011). Weber’s illusion and body shape: Anisotropy of tactile size perception on the hand. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37(3), 720–726. doi:10.1037/a0021921

3. Saulton A, de la Rosa S and Bülthoff H (August-2013): Implicit spatial representation of objects and hand size, 36th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2013), Bremen, Germany, Perception, 42(ECVP Abstract Supplement) 176.

4.Saulton A, Dodds T ,Bülthoff HH , and de la Rosa S.(2015). Objects exhibit body model like shape distortions. Experimental brain research (in press).



Current situation

2013: Phd Student at the Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics;Social and Spatial Cognition Group.

2012-2013 : Internship in the Space and Body Perception group; EU-Vr-Hyperspace Project (supervision: Betty Mohler);

Education

5-16 Sept. 2011: Barcelona Cognition, Brain and Technology summer school; Robotics and virtual systems; Pompeu Fabra University; Spain.

2009-2011: MSc in cognitive science with a major in experimental psychology; Cogmaster;Paris Descartes University – Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) – Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)

2006-2009: BA in cognitive anthropology; Nice Sophia Antipolis University

2004-2006: 2 year degree (Deug) in physics with a major in astrophysics; Paris 11 university

2003-2004: High-school degree (scientific baccalaureat); major in physics and music

Awards

Sept.2011: 3rd prize best group project; Real-time visualization of a DAC-based robot brain activity. Pompeu Fabra University; Spain.

 

Scientific & work experience


Cognitive science

2010-2011: Influence of optic flow on newborns stepping, Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception, Paris; Tutor: Marianne Barbu-Roth

2009-2010: fMRI study of neural correlates associated to the feeling of doubt in patients with Obsessional-Compulsives Disorder (OCD), Behavior, Emotion & Basal Ganglia, INSERM, Paris; Tutors: Luc Mallet & Karim N’Diaye

August-September 2009: Perception of numerical quantities in newborns, Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception, Paris; Tutor: Arlette Streri

June-July 2009: Study of moral judgments in young children, Jean Nicod Institute, Paris; Tutor: Nicolas Baumard

 

Anthropology

January-May 2009: Study of emotional contagion in street music, Nice; Tutor: Arnaud Alloy

June- August 2008: Study of a religious ritual “Le kourbani des saints”, Skyros Island (Greece)

2007-2008: Epidemiological representations associated to the controversial debate on Genetically Modified Organisms, France; Tutor: Joel Candau

 

Astrophysics

Summer 2006: Measurement of the sun diameter with an helioscopic telescope; Pic du Midi Observatory; Tutor: Jean Pierre Rozelot

Summer 2005: Analyses of micrometeorites using transmission electron microscopy; CSNSM, Orsay; Tutors: Cecile Engrand & Jean Duprat

Summer 2004: Stratospheric and tropospheric temperatures analyses; Côte d’Azur Observatory; Tutor: Jean Pierre Rozelot

 

Relevant skills

Good experience in experimental design, data collection and analyses (behavioral studies with healthy and patient adults, infants; inter-cultural field work)

Good knowledge in programming (Unity C#; python; matlab)

Good knowledge in statistics analysis (excel, statistica, R studio)


Languages

French: native language

English: fluent

German: proficient


Jobs scientific animation for children (robotics, nature, basic physics); permanent member of an association in astronomy (observation/star-party animation/conferences); girl au Pair (Greece); Factory work (Dusseldorf-Germany); Waitress


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Show abstracts

Articles (4):

Saulton A and de la Rosa S (January-2017) Conceptual biases explain distortion differences between hand and objects in localization tasks Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance . accepted
Saulton A, Mohler B, Bülthoff HH and Dodds TJ (April-2016) Egocentric biases in comparative volume judgments of rooms Journal of Vision 16(6:2) 1-16.
Saulton A, Longo MR, Wong HY, Bülthoff HH and de la Rosa S (February-2016) The role of visual similarity and memory in body model distortions Acta Psychologica 164 103–111.
Saulton A, Dodds TJ, Bülthoff HH and de la Rosa S (May-2015) Objects exhibit body model like shape distortions Experimental Brain Research 233(5) 1471-1479.

Posters (8):

Saulton A, Bülthoff HH and de la Rosa S (November-12-2016): Objects vs. hand: the effect of knuckle misconceptions on localization task distortions, 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2016), San Diego, CA, USA.
Meilinger T, Strickrodt M, Hinterecker T, Chang D-S, Saulton A, Fademrecht L and de la Rosa S (July-27-2016): Using Virtual Reality to Examine Social and Spatial Cognition, Virtual Environments: Current Topics in Psychological Research: VECTOR Workshop, Tübingen, Germany.
de la Rosa S, Lubkull M, Streuber S, Saulton A, Meilinger T, Bülthoff HH and Cañal-Bruland R (September-2015): Motor planning and control: Humans interact faster with a human than a robot avatar, 15th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2015), St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, Journal of Vision, 15(12) 52.
de la Rosa S, Wahn Y, Bülthoff HH, Fademrecht L, Saulton A, Meilinger T and Chang D-S (July-2-2015): Does the two streams hypothesis hold for joint actions?, 6th Joint Action Meeting (JAM 2015), Budapest, Hungary.
Saulton A, Dodds T and Bülthoff HH (March-13-2015): Holistic Versus Analytic Perception of Indoor Spaces: Korean and German Cultural Differences in Comparative Judgments of Room Size, International Convention of Psychological Science (ICPS 2015), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Saulton A, Dodds T, Bülthoff HH and de la Rosa S (May-19-2014): Body and objects representations are associated with similar distortions, 14th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS 2014), St. Pete Beach, FL, USA, Journal of Vision, 14(10) 845.
Saulton A, de la Rosa S and Bülthoff H (August-2013): Implicit spatial representation of objects and hand size, 36th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2013), Bremen, Germany, Perception, 42(ECVP Abstract Supplement) 176.
Saulton A, Dodds TJ, Tesch J, Mohler BJ and Bülthoff HH (August-2013): The influence of shape and culture on visual volume perception of virtual rooms, ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP '13), Dublin, Ireland.
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Talks (2):

Saulton A, Meilinger T, Bülthoff HH and de la Rosa S (September-10-2015) Abstract Talk: The interaction of social and spatial cognitive processes in naturalistic social interactions, Space and Situated Cognition: Sixth International Conference on Spatial Cognition (ICSC 2015), Roma, Italy, Cognitive Processing, 16(Supplement 1) S47.
de la Rosa S, Lubkoll M, Saulton A, Meilinger T, Bülthoff HH and Cañal-Bruland C (March-10-2015) Abstract Talk: Motor planning and control: You interact faster with a human than a robot, 57th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP 2015), Hildesheim, Germany 60.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 18.11.2014