Changing motor perception by sensorimotor conflicts and body ownership

R. Salomon, N. B. Fernandez, M. Van Elk, N. Vachicouras, F. Sabatier, A. Tychinskaya, J. Llobera, O. Blanke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experimentally induced sensorimotor conflicts can result in a loss of the feeling of control over a movement (sense of agency). These findings are typically interpreted in terms of a forward model in which the predicted sensory consequences of the movement are compared with the observed sensory consequences. In the present study we investigated whether a mismatch between movements and their observed sensory consequences does not only result in a reduced feeling of agency, but may affect motor perception as well. Visual feedback of participants' finger movements was manipulated using virtual reality to be anatomically congruent or incongruent to the performed movement. Participants made a motor perception judgment (i.e. which finger did you move?) or a visual perceptual judgment (i.e. which finger did you see moving?). Subjective measures of agency and body ownership were also collected. Seeing movements that were visually incongruent to the performed movement resulted in a lower accuracy for motor perception judgments, but not visual perceptual judgments. This effect was modified by rotating the virtual hand (Exp.2), but not by passively induced movements (Exp.3). Hence, sensorimotor conflicts can modulate the perception of one's motor actions, causing viewed "alien actions" to be felt as one's own.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25847
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
O.B. is supported by the Bertarelli Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the European Science Foundation. R.S was supported by the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) "SYNAPSY - The Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases" financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (no 51AU40-125759).

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