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Proprioceptive drift without illusions of ownership for rotated hands in the "rubber hand illusion" paradigm

Holle, Henning; McLatchie, Neil; Maurer, Stefanie; Ward, Jamie


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Dr Henning Holle
Reader in Psychology / Leader of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience group (

Neil McLatchie

Stefanie Maurer

Jamie Ward


The rubber hand illusion is one reliable way to experimentally manipulate the experience of body ownership. However, debate continues about the necessary and sufficient conditions eliciting the illusion. We measured proprioceptive drift and the subjective experience (via questionnaire) while manipulating two variables that have been suggested to affect the intensity of the illusion. First, the rubber hand was positioned either in a posturally congruent position, or rotated by 180°. Second, either the anatomically same rubber hand was used, or an anatomically incongruent one. We found in two independent experiments that a rubber hand rotated by 180° leads to increased proprioceptive drift during synchronous visuo-tactile stroking, although it does not lead to feelings of ownership (as measured by questionnaire). This dissociation between drift and ownership suggests that proprioceptive drift is not necessarily a valid proxy for the illusion when using hands rotated by 180°.


Holle, H., McLatchie, N., Maurer, S., & Ward, J. (2011). Proprioceptive drift without illusions of ownership for rotated hands in the "rubber hand illusion" paradigm. Cognitive neuroscience, 2(3-4), 171-178.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2011
Publication Date 2011-09
Journal Cognitive Neuroscience
Print ISSN 1758-8928
Electronic ISSN 1758-8936
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3-4
Pages 171-178
Keywords Body representation ;Embodiment;Rotation;Touch;Visuo-tactile
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