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  The Marble-Hand Illusion

Senna, I., Maravita, A., Bolognini, N., & Parise, C. (2014). The Marble-Hand Illusion. PLoS ONE, 9(3), 1-6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091688.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-805A-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-8767-3
Genre: Journal Article

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Senna, I, Author
Maravita, A, Author
Bolognini, N, Author
Parise, CV1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Research Group Multisensory Perception and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497806              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: Our body is made of flesh and bones. We know it, and in our daily lives all the senses constantly provide converging information about this simple, factual truth. But is this always the case? Here we report a surprising bodily illusion demonstrating that humans rapidly update their assumptions about the material qualities of their body, based on their recent multisensory perceptual experience. To induce a misperception of the material properties of the hand, we repeatedly gently hit participants' hand with a small hammer, while progressively replacing the natural sound of the hammer against the skin with the sound of a hammer hitting a piece of marble. After five minutes, the hand started feeling stiffer, heavier, harder, less sensitive, unnatural, and showed enhanced Galvanic skin response (GSR) to threatening stimuli. Notably, such a change in skin conductivity positively correlated with changes in perceived hand stiffness. Conversely, when hammer hits and impact sounds were temporally uncorrelated, participants did not spontaneously report any changes in the perceived properties of the hand, nor did they show any modulation in GSR. In two further experiments, we ruled out that mere audio-tactile synchrony is the causal factor triggering the illusion, further demonstrating the key role of material information conveyed by impact sounds in modulating the perceived material properties of the hand. This novel bodily illusion, the lsquo;Marble-Hand Illusion', demonstrates that the perceived material of our body, surely the most stable attribute of our bodily self, can be quickly updated through multisensory integration.

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 Dates: 2014-03
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091688
eDoc: e91688
BibTex Citekey: SennaMBP2014
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Title: PLoS ONE
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 9 (3) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1 - 6 Identifier: -