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Examining the effect of body ownership in immersive virtual and augmented reality environments


The traditional rubber hand illusion is a psychological experiment where participants are under the illusion that a rubber hand is part of their own body. This paper examines the use of real, virtual and augmented reality environments for identifying the elements that influence body ownership in healthy participants. Compared to the classical experiment where a plastic rubber hand was used, a realistic 3D representation was chosen to create the same illusion this time in both immersive virtual reality and augmented reality. Experiments were performed on 30 volunteers undergoing testing session composed of three stages. Participants were asked to complete two different questionnaires, one measuring their cognitive workload and another one regarding their experience with the rubber hand illusion. In addition, EEG signals of the individuals were recorded, resulting in 90 electroencephalogram datasets. Results indicate correlations between ownership statements with beta and gamma electroencephalogram bands in premotor cortex activity. Link between higher gamma production in ventral premotor area during the illusion was established in previous studies.

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We would like to thank Dr. Helena Lukášová for providing her hand as a model and for artwork done on its printed version, and Igor Chalás for his work on the 3D visualization of the hand. Also thanks to Szymon Fiałek for valuable contributions to the experimental design and Dr. Jiří Chmelík for helping with the preparations of the experiment.

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Correspondence to Filip Škola.

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Škola, F., Liarokapis, F. Examining the effect of body ownership in immersive virtual and augmented reality environments. Vis Comput 32, 761–770 (2016).

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  • Human factors
  • Computer graphics
  • Virtual reality
  • Augmented reality