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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: No reduction in motor‐evoked potential amplitude during the rubber hand illusion
Author(s): Reader, Arran T
Coppi, Sara
Trifonova, Victoria S
Ehrsson, H Henrik
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Issue Date: 7-Aug-2023
Date Deposited: 22-Aug-2023
Citation: Reader AT, Coppi S, Trifonova VS & Ehrsson HH (2023) No reduction in motor‐evoked potential amplitude during the rubber hand illusion. <i>Brain and Behavior</i>, Art. No.: e3211.
Abstract: Introduction: In the rubber hand illusion (RHI), touches are applied to a fake hand at the same time as touches are applied to a participant's real hand that is hidden in a congruent position. Synchronous (but not asynchronous) tactile stimulation of the two hands may induce the sensation that the fake hand is the participant's own. As such, the illusion is commonly used to examine the sense of body ownership. Some studies indicate that in addition to the subjective experience of limb ownership reported by participants, the RHI can also reduce corticospinal excitability (e.g., as reflected in motor-evoked potential [MEP] amplitude) and alter parietal-motor cortical connectivity in passive participants. These findings have been taken to support a link between motor cortical processing and the subjective experience of body ownership. Methods: In this study, we tried to replicate the reduction in MEP amplitude associated with the RHI and uncover the components of the illusion that might explain these changes. As such, we used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to probe the excitability of the corticospinal motor system as participants experienced the RHI. Results: Despite participants reporting the presence of the illusion and showing shifts in perceived real hand position towards the fake limb supporting its elicitation, we did not observe any associated reduction in MEP amplitude. Conclusion: We conclude that a reduction in MEP amplitude is not a reliable outcome of the RHI and argue that if such effects do occur, they are unlikely to be large or functionally relevant.
DOI Link: 10.1002/brb3.3211
Rights: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2023 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC
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