Back to publications

Weser, V., Finotti, G., Costantini, M., & Proffitt, D.R. (2017). Multisensory integration induces body ownership of a handtool, but not any handtool. Consciousness and Cognition 56

Bodily boundaries are computed by integrating multisensory bodily signals and can be experimentally manipulated using bodily illusions. Research on tool use demonstrates that tools alter body representations motorically to account for changes in a userís action repertoire. The present experiment sought to unify perceptual and motoric accounts of tool embodiment using a modified Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) that also addressed the skill and practice aspects of the tool use literature. In Experiment 1, synchronous multisensory stimulation induced perceptual embodiment of a tool, chopsticks. The embodiment of chopsticks was stronger for more skilled participants, and if the illusion was preceded by tool use. In Experiment 2, the illusion was not elicited with a different type of tool, a teacup, showing that not all objects can be incorporated. This experiment helps to clarify the role of perceptual and motoric embodiment and suggests future avenues for research into tools embodiment using this method.

Back to Top


For more information on the Proffitt Perception Lab, please email the webmaster.
102 Gilmer Hall  Box 400400  Charlottesville, VA 22904
(434) 982-4744
Driving Directions