Oct 20, 2009
Inducing a virtual hand ownership illusion through a brain-computer interface
Inducing a virtual hand ownership illusion through a brain-computer interface.
Neuroreport. 2009 Apr 22;20(6):589-594
Authors: Perez-Marcos D, Slater M, Sanchez-Vives MV
The apparently stable brain representation of our bodies is easily challenged. We have recently shown that the illusion of ownership of a three-dimensional virtual hand can be evoked through synchronous tactile stimulation of a person's hidden real hand and that of the virtual hand. This reproduces the well-known rubber-hand illusion, but in virtual reality. Here we show that some aspects of the illusion can also occur through motor imagery used to control movements of a virtual hand. When movements of the virtual hand followed motor imagery, the illusion of ownership of the virtual hand was evoked and muscle activity measured through electromyogram correlated with movements of the virtual arm. Using virtual bodies has a great potential in the fields of physical and neural rehabilitation, making the understanding of ownership of a virtual body highly relevant.