Presented at OHBM2017

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Author: Isa S. Rao
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Research area: neuroscience
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Neurophysiological Correlates Of The Rubber Hand Illusion In Evoked And Oscillatory Brain Activity


Created on 11th May 2017

Isa S. Rao ; Christoph Kayser


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 the human EEG. 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.

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