One of the enduring questions posed by philosophers and others is where does our sense of "self" reside? Are we our minds or our bodies? New research by psychologists and neuroscientists using virtual reality avatars finds that the answer shifts over the course of our lives. Prior to a certain point in development, children can't identify with a virtual avatar at all, presumably because their sense of self-in-body is not yet fixed. Older children and adults can identify with a virtual avatar. But when conflicting information about what is happening to their "selves" comes from their virtual avatar vs. their physical body -- for example, a touch or movement forward and back -- adults tend to believe the avatar's input, rather than that of their physical bodies, perhaps suggesting that adults' location of "self" is less fixed in their bodies. www.sciencenews.org/article/out-body-experiments-show-kids-budding-sense-self (How old are *you* in your mind's eye? If you're over 40, chances are the self in your mind's eye is somewhat younger than the one you see in the mirror ;-). )
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