What is it about?

It is possible to create an illusion of perceiving a model hand as part of the own body (rubber hand illusion) , a sensation which has been called sense of ownership. It is not perfectly clear if this sensation of ownership can be experienced with objects, which are not shaped like a human body part. Here, we tested this by directly comparing a model hand (for which a sense of ownership can be experienced) and a balloon. We conclude that this illusory experience is only present for the model hand.

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Why is it important?

Recently studies have proposed that the experience of ownership can be extended to non-human like objects. Our study puts this into perspective, and see the results from these studies in a more relative way.


I think it was very clear to me what the point of this publication was. I had frequent discussions with other researchers about these issues, and it seemed to me that it should be just checked directly in this way. Although it is a rather small study with a very basic experiment, i think it raises some good and important questions. I hope it will stimulate some more fundamental discussions again.

Andreas Kalckert
University of Reading Malaysia

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Illusions With Hands, but Not With Balloons – Comparing Ownership and Referral of Touch for a Corporal and Noncorporal Object After Visuotactile Stimulation, Perception, April 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0301006619839286.
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