To Create Your Sense of Being a Body

Science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy describes the implications of the rubber hand experiment on Fresh Air (July 28, 2015): 

It's telling us that when it comes to constructing a sense of the body, the brain has to integrate a whole range of sensations. So in this case we’re talking about vision and touch, but actually there’s a whole lot of other things the brain is trying to put together.

There’s proprioception which is the sense you have of your body in three-dimensional space.

There are vestibular sensations which gives you your sense of balance.

There’s touch, vision, sound—all of the sensations that are coming from either outside or from within the body—the brain has to integrate all this to create your sense of being a body.

And if everything is working correctly, then this— what they call multisensory integration—creates your bodily self.

Now you can mess with that. What [this experiment] is telling you is that what you perceive is really a whole bunch of information processing that is going on in the brain moment-by-moment and you can disrupt it.


See also:

"A Sense Of Self: What Happens When Your Brain Says You Don't Exist," Fresh Air, July 28, 2015

Ananthaswamy, A. (2015). The man who wasn't there: Investigations into the strange new science of the self. New York : Dutton (author, library)

Research related to body-ownership and agency 

"If you like Oliver Sacks, you’ll love this new work by Ananthaswamy...It could change your sense of self." ~ The Library Journal


"If you like Oliver Sacks, you’ll love this new work by Ananthaswamy...It could change your sense of self."
The Library Journal