The role of distance from the body and distance from the real hand in ownership and disownership during the rubber hand illusion

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A key tool for investigating body ownership is the rubber hand illusion, in which synchronous multisensory feedback can induce feelings of ownership over a fake hand. Much research in the field aims to tease apart the mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. Currently there is conflicting evidence as to whether increasing the distance between the real and fake hands (within reaching space) can reduce the illusion. The current study examines this further by modulating, not only the absolute distance between the real and fake hands but also their relative distance from body midline. It is found that the strength of the illusion is reduced only when the fake hand is both far from the real hand and far from the trunk; illusion scores over a fake hand in the same position can then be increased by moving the real hand nearer. This is related to peripersonal space surrounding the trunk and the hand. Subjective disownership of the real hand, and proprioceptive drift measures were also taken and may be driven by different mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalActa psychologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hand
  • Human Body
  • Humans
  • Illusions
  • Male
  • Ownership
  • Personal Space
  • Proprioception
  • Questionnaires
  • Rubber
  • Visual Perception

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