Research Focus


  • Self
  • Consciousness
  • Interoception
  • Multisensory Integration
  • Virtual Reality
  • Body Perception
  • Clinical Conditions

  • Autism spectrum condition
  • Chronic pain
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Science Culture

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Public Engagement
  • Science Writing
  • Teaching
  • Back

    Dr Jane Aspell BA (Oxon), PhD

    University Position
    Associate Professor
    Dr Jane Aspell is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


    What is a Self? How does our brain generate the conscious experiencer of our lives? What is the relation between the physical self - the body - and the mental self? Jane Aspell aims to tackle these thorny questions lying at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy. She does this by creating 'out of body' illusions using video-based virtual reality setups, by measuring the integration of multisensory exteroceptive and interoceptive bodily signals, and by testing neurotypical participants, participants with autism, participants with depersonalisation and participants with chronic pain. Her research probes both outside- and inside-bodily experience to investigate the brain bases of bodily self-consciousness. Her studies have been funded by the Bial Foundation, The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust, Versus Arthritis, the Wellcome Trust and The Urology Foundation.

    VR experiment

    Experiencing a body illusion

    Key Publications

    Weaker implicit interoception is associated with more negative body image: Evidence from gastric-alpha phase amplitude coupling and the heartbeat evoked potential.

    Journal: Cortex
    Year: 2021
    Authors: 9. Todd, J., Cardellicchio, P., Swami, V., Cardini, F., Aspell, J.E.

    Turning body and self inside out: Visualized heartbeats alter bodily self-consciousness and tactile perception.

    Journal: Psychological Science
    Year: 2013
    Authors: 26. Aspell, J.E.*, Heydrich, L.*, Marillier, G., Lavanchy, T., Herbelin, B., Blanke, O.

    Keeping in Touch with One’s Self: Multisensory Mechanisms of Self-Consciousness

    Journal: Plos One
    Year: 2009
    Authors: Aspell, J.E., Lenggenhager, B., Blanke, O.

    The feeling of me feeling for you: Interoception, alexithymia and empathy in autism

    Journal: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
    Year: 2018
    Authors: 22. Mul, C., Stagg, S.D., Herbelin, B., Aspell, J.E.


    There’s No Separating My View of My Body from My Autism”: A Qualitative Study of Positive Body Image in Autistic Individuals

    Journal: Body Image
    Year: 2023
    Authors: Longhurst, P., Aspell, J.E., Todd, J., Swami., V.

    The Self, its Body and its Brain.

    Journal: Scientific Reports
    Year: 2023
    Authors: Overgaard, M.; Preston, C., Aspell, J.E. (

    Are Some Interoceptive Sensibility Components More Central than Others? Using Item Pool Visualisation to Understand the Psychometric Representation of Interoception.

    Journal: PlosOne
    Year: 2022
    Authors: Todd, J., Swami, V., Aspell, J.E., Furnham, A., Horne, G., Stieger, S.

    How is pain associated with pelvic mesh implants measured? Refinement of the construct and a review of current assessment tools.

    Journal: BMC Women’s Health
    Year: 2022
    Authors: Todd, J., Aspell, J.E., Lee, M.C., Thiruchelvam, N.