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Which is closest?
Credit: C. Starmans & P. Bloom / Cognition
In a new study, Yale psychologists investigated people's intuitive feelings about the precise location of the soul inside the body. In three experiments, preschoolers and adults were shown series of pictures of cartoon characters, and in each picture a small object (a buzzing fly or snowflake) was positioned near a different section of the character's body. In each experiment, the study participants were asked which picture showed the object closest to the character's body, revealing the spot that they intuitively believed to be the location of the character's "self," or soul. When do you think the small objects are closest to the cartoon characters?