The impact of using an upper-limb prosthesis on the perception of real and illusory weight differences

Gavin Buckingham*, Johnny Parr, Greg Wood, Samuel Vine, Pan Dimitriou, Sarah Day

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)


    Little is known about how human perception is affected using an upper-limb prosthesis. To shed light on this topic, we investigated how using an upper-limb prosthesis affects individuals’ experience of object weight. First, we examined how a group of upper-limb amputee prosthetic users experienced real mass differences and illusory weight differences in the context of the ‘size–weight’ illusion. Surprisingly, the upper-limb prosthetic users reported a markedly smaller illusion than controls, despite equivalent perceptions of a real mass difference. Next, we replicated this dissociation between real and illusory weight perception in a group of nonamputees who lifted the stimuli with an upper-limb myoelectric prosthetic simulator, again noting that the prosthetic users experienced illusory, but not real, weight differences as being weaker than controls. These findings not only validate the use of a prosthetic simulator as an effective tool for investigating perception and action but also highlight a surprising dissociation between the perception of real and illusory weight differences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1507–1516
    Number of pages10
    JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
    Issue number4
    Early online date19 Jan 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


    • Amputees
    • Body representation
    • Object lifting
    • Size–weight illusion

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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