NCBI ROFL: Hmm… I wonder if this illusion works on other body parts?

By ncbi rofl | April 12, 2012 7:00 pm

Touching my face with my supernumerary hand: a cheeky illusion.

“A self-touch paradigm elicits a surprising illusion. With the participant’s eyes closed, the examiner guides the participant’s right index finger to administer strokes and taps to the right side of the participant’s face. At the same time, the examiner strokes and taps the corresponding location on the left side of the participant’s face. Although the participant administered touch to only the right side of the face, this paradigm elicited the illusion of self-touch to both sides of the face, and the illusion often implicated a third, disconnected or disembodied, hand. We propose an explanation, and draw parallels with the phenomenon of supernumerary phantom limb.”


Photo: flickr/twosistersknitting

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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