Gender differences in spatial perception of body tilt

Yoko K. Naylor, Michael McBeath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The tendency for observers to overestimate slant is not simply a visual illusion but can also occur with another sense, such as proprioception, as in the case of overestimation of self-body tilt. In the present study, distortion in the perception of body tilt was examined as a function of gender and multisensory spatial information. We used a full-body-tilt apparatus to test when participants experienced being tilted by 45°, with visual and auditory cues present or absent. Body tilt was overestimated in all conditions, with the largest bias occurring when there were no visual or auditory cues. Both visual and auditory information independently improved performance. We also found a gender difference, with women exhibiting more bias in the absence of auditory information and more improvement when auditory information was added. The findings support the view that perception of body tilt is multisensory and that women more strongly utilize auditory information in such multisensory spatial judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalPerception and Psychophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Psychology(all)


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