The Babylab is looking for six to 11-year-olds to take part in the study, which uses visual illusions and fun games to measure children’s ability to complete simple tasks.
Dr Maria Filippetti, who is leading the study, explained: “We constantly feel, see and move our body and have no doubt that it is our own. But imagine having no control over the way your body moves or not being able to recognise your own face in the mirror.
“Without a sense of self, we would not be able to interact with others or perform simple tasks like catching a ball.
“We know that it takes time to develop the sense that your body belongs to you, and to do so you need to be able to correctly interpret information from your senses, such as touch and vision, as well as from inside your body, such as a rumbling tummy.
“We are interested in learning more about how body awareness develops during childhood when the body undergoes significant physical changes. The study will have important implications, not just in typical development but also for our understanding of conditions where someone has a distorted image of themselves.”
Participants are required for a one-off session, lasting around 20 minutes, which will take place at the University of Essex in Colchester. Times can be arranged to suit those taking part.
To find out more or to sign up for the study go to www.babylabessex.wordpress.com
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org