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Affective certainty and congruency of touch modulate the experience of the rubber hand illusion

Filippetti, ML; Kirsch, L; Crucianelli, L; Fotopoulou, A; (2019) Affective certainty and congruency of touch modulate the experience of the rubber hand illusion. Scientific Reports , 9 (1) , Article 2635. 10.1038/s41598-019-38880-5. Green open access

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Abstract

Our sense of body ownership relies on integrating different sensations according to their temporal and spatial congruency. Nevertheless, there is ongoing controversy about the role of affective congruency during multisensory integration, i.e. whether the stimuli to be perceived by the different sensory channels are congruent or incongruent in terms of their affective quality. In the present study, we applied a widely used multisensory integration paradigm, the Rubber Hand Illusion, to investigate the role of affective, top-down aspects of sensory congruency between visual and tactile modalities in the sense of body ownership. In Experiment 1 (N = 36), we touched participants with either soft or rough fabrics in their unseen hand, while they watched a rubber hand been touched synchronously with the same fabric or with a ‘hidden’ fabric of ‘uncertain roughness’. In Experiment 2 (N = 50), we used the same paradigm as in Experiment 1, but replaced the ‘uncertainty’ condition with an ‘incongruent’ one, in which participants saw the rubber hand being touched with a fabric of incongruent roughness and hence opposite valence. We found that certainty (Experiment 1) and congruency (Experiment 2) between the felt and vicariously perceived tactile affectivity led to higher subjective embodiment compared to uncertainty and incongruency, respectively, irrespective of any valence effect. Our results suggest that congruency in the affective top-down aspects of sensory stimulation is important to the multisensory integration process leading to embodiment, over and above temporal and spatial properties.

Type: Article
Title: Affective certainty and congruency of touch modulate the experience of the rubber hand illusion
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38880-5
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38880-5
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Te images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10069530
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