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Dissociation of feeling and belief in the rubber hand illusion

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Article numbere0206367
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>23/10/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS ONE
Issue number10
Volume13
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) has been widely used to investigate the perception of the bodily self. Commonly used measures of the illusion are self-report questionnaires and proprioceptive drift of the participants' hands towards the rubber hand. Recent studies have shown that these measures can be dissociated, suggesting they may arise from distinct mechanisms. In previous studies using questionnaires, participants were asked to base responses on their subjective feelings of body ownership, rather than their beliefs. This makes sense given the obvious fact that whereas participants may feel like the rubber hand is part of their body, they do not believe that it is. It is not clear, however, whether a similar dissociation between feelings and beliefs also exists for proprioceptive drift. Here, we investigated the presence of a dissociation between feeling and belief in the context of the RHI. When participants reported their feelings there was an increase both in the sense of body ownership over the fake hand as well as in the proprioceptive drift, compared to when they reported their beliefs. Strikingly, unlike the sense of ownership, proprioceptive drift was unaffected by the synchrony of stimulation. This may be an important way in which the two measures of the RHI differ. Copyright: © 2018 Tamè et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which ermits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.