, Volume 202, Issue 1, pp 203-212,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

How many motoric body representations can we grasp?

Abstract

At present there is a debate on the number of body representations in the brain. The most commonly used dichotomy is based on the body image, thought to underlie perception and proven to be susceptible to bodily illusions, versus the body schema, hypothesized to guide actions and so far proven to be robust against bodily illusions. In this rubber hand illusion study we investigated the susceptibility of the body schema by manipulating the amount of stimulation on the rubber hand and the participant’s hand, adjusting the postural configuration of the hand, and investigating a grasping rather than a pointing response. Observed results showed for the first time altered grasping responses as a consequence of the grip aperture of the rubber hand. This illusion-sensitive motor response challenges one of the foundations on which the dichotomy is based, and addresses the importance of illusion induction versus type of response when investigating body representations.