2008/07/18

Rubber hand illusion

THE INVISIBLE HAND

"In the 'rubber hand' illusion, a person's hand and an adjacent rubber hand are both brushed gently. The real hand is kept out of sight. Before long, the subject's brain creates a new spatial link, imagining that the sensation in the real hand is arising where the rubber hand is."

Graduate student Matthew Mulvey of Leeds Metropolitan University has now shown that the effect will work if the researchers deliver transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) not to the hidden hand but to the wrist. After being primed with the illusion, subjects perceive the impulses--which hijack the nerve pathways between hand and brain--as a tingling located in the rubber hand.
This is such a cool idea to take advantage of this "rubber hand" illusion as a way of establishing sensory feedback on a neuro-prosthetic device.

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