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Bodily pleasure matters: Velocity of touch modulates body ownership during the rubber hand illusion

Crucianelli, L; Metcalf, NK; Fotopoulou, A; Jenkinson, PM; (2013) Bodily pleasure matters: Velocity of touch modulates body ownership during the rubber hand illusion. Frontiers in Psychology , 4 , Article 703. 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00703. Green open access

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Abstract

The sense of body ownership represents a fundamental aspect of our self-consciousness. Influential experimental paradigms, such as the rubber hand illusion (RHI), in which a seen rubber hand is experienced as part of one's body when one's own unseen hand receives congruent tactile stimulation, have extensively examined the role of exteroceptive, multisensory integration on body ownership. However, remarkably, despite the more general current interest in the nature and role of interoception in emotion and consciousness, no study has investigated how the illusion may be affected by interoceptive bodily signals, such as affective touch. Here, we recruited 52 healthy, adult participants and we investigated for the first time, whether applying slow velocity, light tactile stimuli, known to elicit interoceptive feelings of pleasantness, would influence the illusion more than faster, emotionally-neutral, tactile stimuli. We also examined whether seeing another person's hand vs. a rubber hand would reduce the illusion in slow vs. fast stroking conditions, as interoceptive signals are used to represent one's own body from within and it is unclear how they would be integrated with visual signals from another person's hand. We found that slow velocity touch was perceived as more pleasant and it produced higher levels of subjective embodiment during the RHI compared with fast touch. Moreover, this effect applied irrespective of whether the seen hand was a rubber or a confederate's hand. These findings provide support for the idea that affective touch, and more generally interoception, may have a unique contribution to the sense of body ownership, and by implication to our embodied psychological "self.". © 2013 Crucianelli, Metcalf, Fotopoulou and Jenkinson.

Type: Article
Title: Bodily pleasure matters: Velocity of touch modulates body ownership during the rubber hand illusion
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00703
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00703
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Crucianelli, Metcalf, Fotopoulou and Jenkinson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1412511
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