Weakening the subjective sensation of own hand ownership does not interfere with rapid finger movements



Reader AT & Ehrsson HH (2019) Weakening the subjective sensation of own hand ownership does not interfere with rapid finger movements. PLOS ONE, 14 (10), Art. No.: e0223580.

When we perform a movement we generally have a clear distinction between which parts of the world constitute our body and which parts do not. However, how the sense of ownership over our body supports movement is not yet fully understood. We aimed to see whether a sense of ownership over the hand supports the performance of rapid hand movements. In three experiments (n = 48, n = 30, n = 24), we presented participants with congruent and incongruent visuotactile and visuoproprioceptive information regarding their own hand. In keeping with previous experiments, multisensory disintegration resulted in a reduction in the subjective sensation of ownership over the hand, as reflected in questionnaire responses. Following sensory stimulation, participants were required to rapidly abduct their index finger whilst the movement was tracked. We examined the hypothesis that, should a sense of ownership over the limb be necessary for generating rapid movements with that limb, reaction time would increase when hand ownership was reduced, whilst the acceleration and velocity of the movement would decrease. We observed that reductions in own hand ownership did not interfere with rapid index finger abduction, suggesting that the motor system may not be reliant on a subjective sense of ownership over the body in order to generate movement.

PLOS ONE: Volume 14, Issue 10

FundersSwedish Research Council
Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online04/10/2019
Date accepted by journal24/09/2019
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)

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Dr Arran Reader
Dr Arran Reader

Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology