NCBI ROFL: Pull my finger! Then snap it off, cut off the tip, and stab it!

By ncbi rofl | October 17, 2012 7:00 pm

Pulling the finger off disrupts agency, embodiment and peripersonal space.

“For this experiment a visual illusion was created in which the participant’s finger looked and felt as though it was being stretched to twice its normal length until it snapped and the tip came off. It was then stabbed with virtual weapons while skin conductance was measured. Sometimes the fingertip moved under the participant’s own control and sometimes it moved independently. Curiously, detaching the tip of the finger destroyed the underlying ownership for the remaining stump as well as for the tip itself, even when the tip was under participants’ control. These results have implications for theories of agency, embodiment, and tool-use.”

Bonus figure from the full text:

Photo: flickr/dullhunk

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Keep your fingers crossed!: how superstition improves performance.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: No way. According to my tongue, that hole is definitely wider. (That’s what she said.)
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Hmm… I wonder if this illusion works on other body parts?

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: feelings shmeelings, NCBI ROFL, WTF?
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About ncbi rofl

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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