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Virtual Hand Illusion Induced by Visuomotor Correlations

Sanchez-Vives, MV; Spanlang, B; Frisoli, A; Bergamasco, M; Slater, M; (2010) Virtual Hand Illusion Induced by Visuomotor Correlations. PLOS ONE , 5 (4) , Article e10381. 10.1371/journal.pone.0010381. Green open access


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Background: Our body schema gives the subjective impression of being highly stable. However, a number of easily-evoked illusions illustrate its remarkable malleability. In the rubber-hand illusion, illusory ownership of a rubber-hand is evoked by synchronous visual and tactile stimulation on a visible rubber arm and on the hidden real arm. Ownership is concurrent with a proprioceptive illusion of displacement of the arm position towards the fake arm. We have previously shown that this illusion of ownership plus the proprioceptive displacement also occurs towards a virtual 3D projection of an arm when the appropriate synchronous visuotactile stimulation is provided. Our objective here was to explore whether these illusions (ownership and proprioceptive displacement) can be induced by only synchronous visuomotor stimulation, in the absence of tactile stimulation.Methodology/Principal Findings: To achieve this we used a data-glove that uses sensors transmitting the positions of fingers to a virtually projected hand in the synchronous but not in the asynchronous condition. The illusion of ownership was measured by means of questionnaires. Questions related to ownership gave significantly larger values for the synchronous than for the asynchronous condition. Proprioceptive displacement provided an objective measure of the illusion and had a median value of 3.5 cm difference between the synchronous and asynchronous conditions. In addition, the correlation between the feeling of ownership of the virtual arm and the size of the drift was significant.Conclusions/Significance: We conclude that synchrony between visual and proprioceptive information along with motor activity is able to induce an illusion of ownership over a virtual arm. This has implications regarding the brain mechanisms underlying body ownership as well as the use of virtual bodies in therapies and rehabilitation.

Type: Article
Title: Virtual Hand Illusion Induced by Visuomotor Correlations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010381
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010381
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Sanchez-Vives et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This project was funded under the EU Future and Emerging Technologies 6th Framework Integrated Project PRESENCCIA Contract Number 27731. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/80802
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