Dissociation of proprioceptive drift and feelings of ownership in the somatic rubber hand illusion

Maria Gallagher, Cristian Colzi, Anna Sedda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The sense of self is a complex phenomenon, comprising various sensations of bodily self-consciousness. Interestingly, the experience of possessing a body - 'embodiment' - and locating the body within space may be modulated by the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI). Measures of the RHI include proprioceptive drift (PD), the extent to which the hand is mis-localised towards the rubber hand, and subjective questionnaires. Although these measures often correlate, research from the visual RHI suggests that they reflect separate underlying processes. We investigated whether increasing the duration of tactile stimulation would affect PD and questionnaires differently during the somatic RHI. Participants experienced 30 s, 2 min, or 5 min of synchronous or asynchronous tactile stimulation. Increasing duration affected only PD, with increased drift following 5 min vs 30 s of stimulation. Our findings suggest that PD and questionnaires are not proxies for one another, but reflect separate underlying processes of the somatic RHI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103192
JournalActa Psychologica
Early online date1 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2020

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