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Oscar Sill

Research Postgraduate

Research Postgraduate in the Department of Psychology


My research addresses the broad question of how children learn to understand, represent, and use their own bodies in a coherent way, despite constantly growing and changing.

A key method I use for this is virtual reality and motion capture, where I give children as young as 5 years-old fully controllable virtual bodies that follow all their movements as they explore virtual worlds. By changing certain aspects of these virtual bodies, like how they look or move, I investigate the ages at which children begin understanding and prioritising the many different aesthetic, structural, and sensory components that make up their whole body.

For example, at different ages, children may distinctly integrate and prioritise knowledge of their body's colour, size, spatial structure, or gender.

By systematically testing these components of what makes a body 'mine' during childhood, my work contributes an important developmental perspective to the literature on own-body representation.

As well as this, my work relates to many applied fields including healthcare, entertainment, and education. For instance, in improving sensorimotor learning interventions for children with body perceptual distortions, or making embodied VR educational experiences more immersive.

Research interests

  • Embodiment and the changing sense of self across the lifespan
  • Sensory and cognitive own-body representation
  • Virtual reality and motion-capture