Poster F95, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Full-body ownership illusion elicited by visuo-vestibular integration
Nora Preuss1, Henrik Ehrsson1; 1Karolinska Institutet
Vestibular signals allow us to maintain balance and to orient ourselves in space. Integrating this input with information from our five senses contributes to our human self-consciousness and helps us to distinguish ourselves from the external world. The aim of the present study was to investigate how vestibular information contributes to the experience of body ownership using multisensory integration. We conducted three studies using a ‘full-body ownership illusion’ induced by virtual reality technology and galvanic vestibular stimulation, the latter a technique that allows for selective stimulation of vestibular afferents. Participants wearing head-mounted displays saw a mannequin’s body from first-person perspective that was performing a slow swinging movement. At the same time participants were exposed to galvanic vestibular stimulation that elicited vestibular sensations of swinging whole-body movements in the corresponding direction. Perceived ownership of the seen body was measured using questionnaire ratings and skin-conductance responses to a knife threat towards the mannequin. We demonstrated that when participants were exposed to congruent visuo-vestibular information, they perceived stronger ownership for the mannequin’s body compared to unimodal visual and vestibular conditions, a bimodal noise control condition, or an incongruent visuo-vestibular condition. The findings show for the first time that visuo-vestibular congruency is sufficient to induce illusory body ownership.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Multisensory