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Brain. 2008 Dec;131(Pt 12):3443-52. doi: 10.1093/brain/awn297. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Upper limb amputees can be induced to experience a rubber hand as their own.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Henrik.Ehrsson@ki.se

Abstract

We describe how upper limb amputees can be made to experience a rubber hand as part of their own body. This was accomplished by applying synchronous touches to the stump, which was out of view, and to the index finger of a rubber hand, placed in full view (26 cm medial to the stump). This elicited an illusion of sensing touch on the artificial hand, rather than on the stump and a feeling of ownership of the rubber hand developed. This effect was supported by quantitative subjective reports in the form of questionnaires, behavioural data in the form of misreaching in a pointing task when asked to localize the position of the touch, and physiological evidence obtained by skin conductance responses when threatening the hand prosthesis. Our findings outline a simple method for transferring tactile sensations from the stump to a prosthetic limb by tricking the brain, thereby making an important contribution to the field of neuroprosthetics where a major goal is to develop artificial limbs that feel like a real parts of the body.

PMID:
19074189
PMCID:
PMC2639202
DOI:
10.1093/brain/awn297
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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