Body and Self Research Area

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Members of the Body and Self Research Area investigate the multisensory representation of the body and the bodily self by using the methods of cognitive neuroscience.

Our research encompasses studies of body illusions (the RHI, FBI and the enfacement illusion) generated via visuo-tactile and cardio-visual conflicts. Our interests cover investigations of tactile perception, peripersonal space, interoception, alexithymia and empathy. We also study how bodily self-consciousness varies across the lifespan, in ASD, and in some neurological and psychiatric disorders. We have received funding from the Bial Foundation and the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust. Our research has been published in leading journals including Psychological Science, the Journal of Neurophysiology, Current Biology, the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Neuropsychologia, and has been covered by international popular media outlets including The Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC radio and New Scientist magazine. We welcome enquiries about possible collaborations, postdoctoral projects or PhD study in the areas above. Please contact members directly (see individual staff pages for emails, detailed research interests and publications) or contact Jane Aspell with any general queries.

The Body and Self Research Area is part of the Brain and Cognition Research Group.


Find out more about our members by exploring their staff profiles.

Dr Jane Aspell

Dr Flavia Cardini

Dr Richard Piech

Cari-lene Mul (PhD student)

Natalie Fatemi-Ghomi (Research Assistant)

Victoria Gooch (Research Assistant)

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.


Out of body illusion can tackle chronic pain - new paper by James Pamment and Jane Aspell in the European Journal of Pain. 

Flavia Cardini has recently obtained funding from the British Academy to investigate the effect of action observation on physical performance. Her studies will contribute to the recent research aimed at identifying new training strategies for skilled performances in healthy people and rehabilitative programs to restore sensorimotor functions in brain-damaged patients.

Flavia Cardini has published her study “Congruency of body-related information induces somatosensory reorganization” in the journal Neuropsychologia. The study shows that coherent information about the body is necessary for a stable representation of the body in the brain.