Egocentric representations allow us to describe the external world as experienced from an individual’s bodily location. We recently developed a novel method of quantifying the weight given to different body parts in egocentric judgments (the Misalignment Paradigm). We found that both head and torso contribute to simple alter-egocentric spatial judgments. We hypothesised that artificial stimulation of the vestibular system would provide a head-related signal, which might affect the weighting given to the head in egocentric spatial judgments. Bipolar Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) was applied during the Misalignment Paradigm. A Sham stimulation condition was also included to control for non-specific effects. Our data show that the weight given to the head was increased during left anodal and right cathodal GVS, compared to the opposite GVS polarity (right anodal and left cathodal GVS) and Sham stimulation. That is, the polarity of GVS, which preferentially activates vestibular areas in the right cerebral hemisphere, influenced the relative weightings of head and torso in egocentric spatial judgments.
- Egocentric representation
- Galvanic vestibular stimulation
- Misalignment paradigm
- Multisensory integration
- Vestibular system