Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FALL 2014 Lectures Series (No.3): Self-touching illusion and bodily self-consciousness

Date & Time: Friday, 3 Oct., 2-4 p.m.
Venue: Rm 202, Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences Education, NYMU

About the theme

Recent studies on the rubber hand illusion (RHI) and full-body illusions have engendered two outstanding issues: the relationship between body-part and full-body ownership, and whether misrepresentation can occur in one’s sense of “experiential ownership” (the sense that I am the one who is having this experience). Recently my team and I conducted a series of experiments that combined the RHI and the “body swap illusion.” The subject wore a head mounted display (HMD) connected with a stereo camera set on the experimenter’s head. Sitting face to face, they used their right hand holding a paintbrush to brush each other’s left hand. The subject watched through the HMD either the experimenter’s hand from 1PP, and/or the subject’s own hand from 3PP in the opposite direction (180°), or the subject’s full body from 3PP (180°, with or without face). Here are our findings: (1) the synchronous full-body conditions generate a “self-touching illusion”: many participants felt that “I was brushing my own hand!”; (2) the difference between the sense of body-part ownership and the sense of full-body ownership is a matter of degree; (3) double body effect: it is possible for healthy participants to have illusory experiences of owning two bodies; and (4) exploring the Wittgenstein-style questions (“it was me who felt being brushed, not someone else”), our data present a strong case against the mainstream philosophical view called the immunity principle (IEM). The fact of experiential ownership can be misrepresented by the subject’s pre-reflective sense of experiential ownership. I will discuss the implications of these findings and conclude that not only the sense of body ownership but also the sense of experiential ownership allow and call for interdisciplinary studies.

About the speaker

梁益堉美國印第安納大學哲學博士,現任國立台灣大學 哲學系副教授


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