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Body Representations - PSY00047H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Catherine Preston
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

We all have a body - it not only helps us to manipulate and move around in our environment, but is also instrumental for social interaction as well as being an integral part of our sense of self. Most of us take feelings of ownership and control over our body for granted. However, in some clinical conditions experience of the body is distorted, which can have devastating consequences. In this module, we will discuss experimental paradigms and concepts that relate to the human body representation, how information about our body is processed in the brain, and how bodily experience is disrupted in certain psychological and neurological disorders.

Module learning outcomes

  • Give an account of the key concepts, and methods in body representation research
  • Critically evaluate evidence relating to our understanding of the importance of body representations in health and disease.
  • Comment on the key experiments and findings in each of the topics covered.
  • Discuss implications for broadening our understanding of human body representations.

Module content

  • Multisensory body illusions
  • Visual perspective of the body
  • Disowning the body
  • The body in action
  • The body in pain
  • Body image
  • Pregnant bodies


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Body Representations
5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Body Representations
5 hours 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

These marks will be accompanied by module feedback forms which will be circulated by e-mail.

Students will meet supervisors in wk 6 in AuT, SpT and wk 9 in SuT to discuss their marks.

Indicative reading

Sample Reading:

  • Ehrsson H. H. (2012). The concept of body ownership and its relation to multisensory integration in The new handbook of multisensory processes (ed Stein B. E.) Ch. 43, 775–792 (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA,).
  • Botvinick M. & Cohen J. (1998). Rubber hands ‘feel’ touch that eyes see. Nature 391, 756
  • Tsakiris, M., Schütz-Bosbach, S., & Gallagher, S. (2007). On agency and body-ownership: Phenomenological and neurocognitive reflections. Consciousness and cognition, 16(3), 645-660.
  • Kilteni, K., Maselli, A., Kording, K. P., & Slater, M. (2015). Over my fake body: body ownership illusions for studying the multisensory basis of own-body perception. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 9.
  • Boesch, E., Bellan, V., Moseley, G. L., & Stanton, T. R. (2015). The effect of bodily illusions on clinical pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pain.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.