Rubber Hand Illusion under Delayed Visual Feedback
Rubber hand illusion (RHI) is a subject's illusion of the self-ownership of a rubber hand that was touched synchronously with their own hand. Although previous studies have confirmed that this illusion disappears when the rubber hand was touched asynchronously with the subject's hand, the minimum temporal discrepancy of these two events for attenuation of RHI has not been examined.
In this study, various temporal discrepancies between visual and tactile stimulations were introduced by using a visual feedback delay experimental setup, and RHI effects in each temporal discrepancy condition were systematically tested. The results showed that subjects felt significantly greater RHI effects with temporal discrepancies of less than 300 ms compared with longer temporal discrepancies. The RHI effects on reaching performance (proprioceptive drift) showed similar conditional differences.
Our results first demonstrated that a temporal discrepancy of less than 300 ms between visual stimulation of the rubber hand and tactile stimulation to the subject's own hand is preferable to induce strong sensation of RHI. We suggest that the time window of less than 300 ms is critical for multi-sensory integration processes constituting the self-body image.