Dr. Erin Austen’s primary research interest is multisensory integration. She is particularly interested in illusions of limb position (i.e., proprioceptive illusions), and more generally, the external conditions that prompt updates to one’s body schema. Her recent work has focused on the Fake Hand Effect – wherein touch delivered to an observer’s unseen hand is mislocalized to a visible rubber glove. By manipulating factors such as the appearance and posture of the rubber gloves, she has identified a number of conditions that must be met before the fake hands are incorporated into one’s body schema. Currently, she is focusing her research efforts on determining the extent to which illusions of limb position influence the ability to act (e.g., reach and grasp objects). Other research interests include attentional capture, and change blindness.
Associate Professor of Psychology