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6. Moving: Hacks 62–69 > 64. Mold Your Body Schema

Mold Your Body Schema

Your body image is mutable within only a few minutes of judicious—and misleading—visual feedback.

Our brains are constantly updated with information about the position of our bodies. Rather than relying entirely on one form of sensory feedback, our bodies use both visual and tactile feedback in concert to allow us to work out where our limbs are likely to be at any one moment. Proprioception—generated by sensory receptors located in our joints and muscles that feed back information on muscle stretch and joint position—is another sense that is specifically concerned with body position.

The brain combines all this information to provide a unified impression of body position and shape known as the body schema. Nevertheless, by supplying conflicting sensory feedback during movement, we can confuse our body schema and break apart the unified impression.


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