In the rubber hand illusion (RHI), watching a rubber hand being stroked in synchrony with one's own hidden hand may induce a sense of ownership over the rubber hand. The illusion relies on bottom-up multisensory integration of visual, tactile, and proprioceptive information, and on top-down processes through which the rubber hand is incorporated into pre-existing representations of the body. Although the degree of illusory experience varies largely across individuals, the factors influencing individual differences are unknown. We investigated whether sensory suggestibility might modulate susceptibility to the RHI. Sensory suggestibility is a personality trait related to how individuals react to sensory information. Because of its sensory nature, this trait could be relevant for studies using the RHI paradigm. Seventy healthy volunteers were classified by Sensory Suggestibility Scale (SSS) scores as having high or low suggestibility and assigned to either a high- (High-SSS) or a low-suggestibility (Low-SSS) group. Two components of the RHI were evaluated in synchronous and asynchronous stroking conditions: subjective experience of sense of ownership over the rubber hand via a 9-statement questionnaire, and proprioceptive drift as measured with a ruler. The High-SSS group was generally more susceptible to the subjective component; in the synchronous condition, they rated the statement assessing the sense of ownership higher than the Low-SSS group. The scores for this statement significantly correlated with the total SSS score, indicating that the higher the sensory suggestibility, the stronger the sense of ownership. No effect of sensory suggestibility on proprioceptive drift was observed, suggesting that the effect is specific for the subjective feeling of ownership. This study demonstrates that sensory suggestibility may contribute to participants' experience of the illusion and should be considered when using the RHI paradigm.

Individual differences in the rubber hand illusion are related to sensory suggestibility

Marotta, Angela;TINAZZI, Michele;FIORIO, Mirta
2016-01-01

Abstract

In the rubber hand illusion (RHI), watching a rubber hand being stroked in synchrony with one's own hidden hand may induce a sense of ownership over the rubber hand. The illusion relies on bottom-up multisensory integration of visual, tactile, and proprioceptive information, and on top-down processes through which the rubber hand is incorporated into pre-existing representations of the body. Although the degree of illusory experience varies largely across individuals, the factors influencing individual differences are unknown. We investigated whether sensory suggestibility might modulate susceptibility to the RHI. Sensory suggestibility is a personality trait related to how individuals react to sensory information. Because of its sensory nature, this trait could be relevant for studies using the RHI paradigm. Seventy healthy volunteers were classified by Sensory Suggestibility Scale (SSS) scores as having high or low suggestibility and assigned to either a high- (High-SSS) or a low-suggestibility (Low-SSS) group. Two components of the RHI were evaluated in synchronous and asynchronous stroking conditions: subjective experience of sense of ownership over the rubber hand via a 9-statement questionnaire, and proprioceptive drift as measured with a ruler. The High-SSS group was generally more susceptible to the subjective component; in the synchronous condition, they rated the statement assessing the sense of ownership higher than the Low-SSS group. The scores for this statement significantly correlated with the total SSS score, indicating that the higher the sensory suggestibility, the stronger the sense of ownership. No effect of sensory suggestibility on proprioceptive drift was observed, suggesting that the effect is specific for the subjective feeling of ownership. This study demonstrates that sensory suggestibility may contribute to participants' experience of the illusion and should be considered when using the RHI paradigm.
rubber hand illusion; Sensory Suggestibility Scale; sensory suggestibility; sense of ownership; RHI paradigm
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/955800
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