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Swapping Your Body Becomes a Virtual Reality

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Neuroscientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, have used camera technology to create the illusion that a human being has swapped his or her body with a mannequin. The researchers had a male volunteer wear two CCTV cameras on his head, and also placed the goggles on the head of a male mannequin. The output from the cameras was sent to two small screens in front of the eyes of the volunteer. When both the volunteer's and mannequin's heads were tilted downwards, the volunteer saw the dummy's body instead of his own body. The scientists also stroked the stomachs of both the volunteer and mannequin simultaneously, and the volunteer saw the mannequin's stomach being touched, but after two minutes he began to feel that the mannequin's body was his own. "By manipulating sensory impressions, it's possible to fool the self not only out of its body but into other bodies, too," says Henrik Ehrsson, a research leader in the department of clinical neuroscience and head of the project. Kynan Eng, a neuroinformatics researcher at Switzerland's University of Zurich, says that with the appropriate stimulus, people could "produce measurable ownership responses to any virtual or real object."

From New Scientist View Full Article


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