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Ehrssonlab Barbie-doll illusion

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Published on May 27, 2011

This is a demo of the Barbie illusion experiment. In this experiment participants experience ownership of a tiny (30cm and 80cm) or a huge (400cm) body. Participants look at the artificial body through a set of head-mounted-displays. They see the body from the perspective of the doll with 3D vision. To induce the illusion of owning the artificial body, the experimentator strokes the participants body and the doll's body at the same place and at the same time. These synchronous strokes cause the brain of the participant to interpret the felt touches to be caused by the rod that they see touching the doll. This makes makes it seem as if the doll's body is the participants body. Next, participants see a cube and their task is to show the size of the cube with their hands. Having the illusion of owning a tiny body causes the world to appear gigantic, and owning a huge body makes the world appear smaller. Importantly, disruption of the Barbie illusion (by asynchronous stroking of the participant and the doll) also diminishes the change in perception. Thus, our OWN body serves as a fundamental reference in perceiving the world around us.
Online scientific article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3...
Read press release from Karolinska Institutet: http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?l=en...

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