Audio-tactile cues from an object’s fall change estimates of one’s body height
When we drop an object from our hands, we use internal models of both our body height and object-motion to predict when it will hit the floor. What happens if the sensory feedback finally received from the impact conflicts with this prediction? The present study shows that such conflict results in changes in the internal estimates of our body height: When the object people dropped takes longer than expected to hit the floor, they report feeling taller and behave as if their legs were longer. This provides the first evidence of cross-modal recalibration of body-height representations as a function of changes in the distant environment. Crucially, the recalibration results from a mismatch between the predicted and actual outcome of an action, the ball's release and impact, which are causally-related but separated in space and time. These results suggest that implicit models of object-motion can interact with implicit and explicit models of one's body height.