Upper- and lower-limb amputees show reduced levels of eeriness for images of prosthetic hands

Journal article


Gavin Gavin Buckingham, Johnny Parr, Greg Wood, Sarah Day, Alix Chadwell, Adam Galpin, John Head, Laurence Kenny, Kyberd, P., Emma Gowen and Ellen Poliakoff 2019. Upper- and lower-limb amputees show reduced levels of eeriness for images of prosthetic hands. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 26, pp. 1295-1302. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-019-01612-x
AuthorsGavin Gavin Buckingham, Johnny Parr, Greg Wood, Sarah Day, Alix Chadwell, Adam Galpin, John Head, Laurence Kenny, Kyberd, P., Emma Gowen and Ellen Poliakoff
Abstract

The “uncanny phenomenon” describes the feeling of unease associated with seeing an image that is close to appearing human. Prosthetic hands in particular are well known to induce this effect. Little is known, however, about this phenomenon from the viewpoint of prosthesis users. We studied perceptions of eeriness and human-likeness for images of different types of mechanical, cosmetic, and anatomic hands in upper-limb prosthesis users (n=9), lower-limb prosthesis users (n=10), prosthetists (n=16), control participants with no prosthetic training (n=20), and control participants who were trained to use a myoelectric prosthetic hand simulator (n=23). Both the upper- and lower-limb prosthesis user groups showed a reduced uncanny phenomenon (i.e., significantly lower levels of eeriness) for cosmetic prosthetic hands compared to the other groups, with no concomitant reduction in how these stimuli were rated in terms of human-likeness. However, a similar effect was found neither for prosthetists with prolonged visual experience of prosthetic hands nor for the group with short-term training with the simulator. These findings in the prosthesis users therefore seem likely to be related to limb absence or prolonged experience with prostheses.

KeywordsUncanny valley, Uncanny phenomenon, Prosthetic use, Perception, Embodiment
Year2019
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Journal citation26, pp. 1295-1302
PublisherSpringer
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-019-01612-x
Web address (URL)https://puredev.port.ac.uk/en/publications/44b0d008-7f00-4bf8-948e-458215f6d8d9
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Publication dates
Online10 Jun 2019
10 Jun 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Jun 2023
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