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Scientists report mental ‘Body-Swapping’

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TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) —
The illusion of body-swapping — making people perceive the bodies of mannequins
and other people as their own — has been achieved by Swedish neuroscientists.

In one experiment, the team fitted the head of a mannequin with two cameras
connected to two small screens placed in front of volunteers’ eyes,
so that they had the same view as the mannequin.
When the mannequin’s camera eyes and a participant’s head were directed downwards,
the participant saw the mannequin’s body where the person would normally
have seen their own body.
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The researchers created the illusion of body-swapping by touching the stomach
of both the mannequin and the volunteer with sticks.
The person saw the mannequin’s stomach being touched while feeling (but not seeing)
a similar sensation on their own stomach.
As a result, the person developed a strong belief that the mannequin’s body
was actually their own.

“This shows how easy it is to change the brain’s perception of the physical self.
By manipulating sensory impressions, it’s possible to fool the self not only out of its body
but into other bodies, too,”

project leader Henrik Ehrsson, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm,
said in a news release.

The research, published online Wednesday in the journal PLoS One,
could prove useful in virtual reality applications and in robot technology, the team said.

(WashingtonPost)

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December 7, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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