The Third Arm Illusion, Updated

A new article out of article out of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm released last week, entitled “The Illusion of Owning a Third Arm,” details an ingenious set of experiments that actually convinced individuals that a prosthetic “third limb” was of their own flesh. While the traditional “phantom limb” experiments used mirrors to trick people into thinking a prosthetic arm was their own, this experiment put the fake one right out on the table next to the real thing.

The neuroscience behind the illusion is intriguing.  How does the brain “make room” for the ownership, albeit illusory, of an extra limb? How far can this little trick go?  Can the brain also be tricked into amplified physical states?  Three eyes? Four legs? Two selves?

It’s pretty cool stuff.  Click over to Motherboard.tv to read more…

About the author

Sam McDougle

SAM MCDOUGLE is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. His writing has appeared in Vice and The Atlantic.

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