Where, Exactly, Is Your True Self?

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Sure, you can tell someone where you are; your phone can pinpoint your exact GPS coordinates.

But where, exactly, are YOU in your body? That's the question researchers set out to answer in a recent experiment.

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The researchers rotated a pointer towards participants, asking them to say when they felt they were being pointed at directly. Then they were blindfolded and asked to direct the pointer at themselves.

The most frequently pointed to parts of the body were the upper torso and the upper face, near the eyes.

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"These results suggest that while the experienced self is not spread out homogeneously across the entire body, nor is it localized in any single point," the authors wrote. "Rather, two distinct regions, the upper face and upper torso, appear to be judged as where 'I' am."

Whether participants chose the upper torso or the upper face seemed to depend largely on which location was suggested first, the researchers noted.

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Past research has shown similar results with different types of experiments: one study showed that participants circled the head and torso of outlines of humans when asked to locate the self. Another showed that both preschoolers and determined objects to be closer when the objects were placed near the eyes.

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