‘Changing Tactile Intensity and Frequency Perception Via Autosuggestion’
24 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2023
Autosuggestion is the inner reiteration of an idea with the goal of actively influencing one’s own perception. Despite being an integral part of our modern life, autosuggestion has gained little scientific attention so far. Here, we challenge the concept of autosuggestion as a tool to bias perception, by testing its modulatory effects on touch while controlling for response biases. We took advantage of the known link between intensity and frequency perception in touch (‘Békésy effect’). Across three experiments, N = 77 participants tried to modulate the perceived intensity of tactile stimuli at the fingertip through autosuggestion, but they were asked to report the perceived frequency. We provide the first experimental demonstration that autosuggestion can alter participants' tactile perception using a response orthogonal to the suggested variable. Our results have implications for the establishment of future complementary medical treatments.
Keywords: autosuggestion, tactile perception, implicit measures, intensity and frequency coupling
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