Neurophysiological correlates of the rubber hand illusion in late evoked and alpha/beta band activity

Rao, I. S. and Kayser, C. (2017) Neurophysiological correlates of the rubber hand illusion in late evoked and alpha/beta band activity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 377. (doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00377) (PMID:28790906) (PMCID:PMC5524680)

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The rubber hand illusion (RHI) allows insights into how the brain resolves conflicting multisensory information regarding body position and ownership. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported a variety of neurophysiological correlates of illusory hand ownership, with conflicting results likely originating from differences in experimental parameters and control conditions. Here, we overcome these limitations by using a fully automated and precisely-timed visuo-tactile stimulation setup to record evoked responses and oscillatory responses in participants who felt the RHI. Importantly, we relied on a combination of experimental conditions to rule out confounds of attention, body-stimulus position and stimulus duration and on the combination of two control conditions to identify neurophysiological correlates of illusory hand ownership. In two separate experiments we observed a consistent illusion-related attenuation of ERPs around 330 ms over frontocentral electrodes, as well as decreases of frontal alpha and beta power during the illusion that could not be attributed to changes in attention, body-stimulus position or stimulus duration. Our results reveal neural correlates of illusory hand ownership in late and likely higher-order rather than early sensory processes, and support a role of premotor and possibly intraparietal areas in mediating illusory body ownership.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:EEG, body ownership, body representation, multisensory integration, rubber hand illusion.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:RAO, Isa and Kayser, Professor Christoph
Authors: Rao, I. S., and Kayser, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Rao and Kayser
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11: 377
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
670551DynaSensChristoph KayserEuropean Research Council (ERC)646657INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING