The Extended Body Hypothesis

Frederique de Vignemont

We extend our body a hundred times a day by using tools, which enable us to do more and farther away, and possibly even to feel farther away. But are referred sensations located in tools similar to sensations located in one’s body? Although more and more findings can be taken as evidence for the embodiment of tools, I shall argue that this embodiment has limits. One may, however, question whether one could feel sensations in objects that bear no relationship with the body. The localization of bodily sensations is not constrained by the biological limits of the body, but is it constrained by the limits of the body as they are mentally represented? Here I will consider two series of cases: (i) referred sensations in non-bodily shaped objects that are not tools and (ii) sensations in peripersonal space.