The sense of body ownership relaxes temporal constraints for multisensory integration

Antonella Maselli, Konstantina Kilteni, Joan López-Moliner, Mel Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental work on body ownership illusions showed how simple multisensory manipulation can generate the illusory experience of an artificial limb as being part of the own-body. This work highlighted how own-body perception relies on a plastic brain representation emerging from multisensory integration. The flexibility of this representation is reflected in the short-term modulations of physiological states and perceptual processing observed during these illusions. Here, we explore the impact of ownership illusions on the temporal dimension of multisensory integration. We show that, during the illusion, the temporal window for integrating touch on the physical body with touch seen on a virtual body representation, increases with respect to integration with visual events seen close but separated from the virtual body. We show that this effect is mediated by the ownership illusion. Crucially, the temporal window for visuotactile integration was positively correlated with participants' scores rating the illusory experience of owning the virtual body and touching the object seen in contact with it. Our results corroborate the recently proposed causal inference mechanism for illusory body ownership. As a novelty, they show that the ensuing illusory causal binding between stimuli from the real and fake body relaxes constraints for the integration of bodily signals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30628
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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