Embodying an invisible face shrinks the cone of gaze

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  • Mariano D'Angelo
    University of Bologna
  • Lara Maister
  • Raffaele Tucciarelli
    University of London
  • Francesca Frassinetti
    University of Bologna
  • Matthew Longo
    University of London
The possibility of being invisible has long fascinating people. Recent research showed that multisensory illusions can induce experiences of bodily invisibility, allowing the psychological consequences of invisibility to be explored. Here, we demonstrate an illusion of embodying an invisible face. Participants received touches on their face and simultaneously saw a paintbrush moving synchronously in empty space and defining the shape of an invisible face. We show that such invisible enfacement induces a sense of ownership using both explicit questionnaire measures (Experiment 1) and implicit physiological measures (Experiment 2). We further demonstrated that embodying an
invisible face shrinks the width of the cone of gaze, i.e. the range of eye deviations people judge as directed towards themselves (Experiment 3 and 4). These results suggest that the experience of invisibility affects the way in which we process the attention of others toward the self, starting from the perception of gaze direction.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Jun 2020
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