Phantom touch illusion, an unexpected phenomenological effect of tactile gating in the absence of tactile stimulation

  • We report the presence of a tingling sensation perceived during self-touch without physical stimulation. We used immersive virtual reality scenarios in which subjects touched their body using a virtual object. This touch resulted in a tingling sensation corresponding to the location touched on the virtual body. We called it "phantom touch illusion" (PTI). Interestingly, the illusion was also reported when subjects touched invisible (inferred) parts of their limb. We reason that this PTI results from tactile gating process during self-touch if there is no tactile input to supress. The reported PTI when touching invisible body parts indicates that tactile gating is not exclusively based on vision, but rather on multi-sensory, top-down input involving body schema. This supplementary finding shows that representations of one's own body are defined top-down, beyond the available sensory information.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Artur PilacinskiGND, Marita MetzlerGND, Christian KlaesORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Springer Nature
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/03/14
Date of first Publication:2023/09/18
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Issue:Artikel 15453
First Page:15453-1
Last Page:15453-6
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Sonderforschungsbereich 874, Integration und Repräsentation sensorischer Prozesse
Dewey Decimal Classification:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Medizin, Gesundheit
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International