The brain relies on a complex interplay of information from different senses to produce the experience of being inside of a body — even when it's someone else's body, researchers say..
SAN DIEGO — The human mind effortlessly constructs the feeling of inhabiting a body, and now scientists are figuring out how the brain produces that experience.
The findings, presented here Sunday (Nov. 10) at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, highlight which brain regions are active when a person has an out-of-body experience.
Recent studies have shown that the brain incorporates information from multiple senses and the first-person visual perspective to create a sense of body ownership. But it's still unclear how the brain perceives the body's location in space. [Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena].
In the study, which has not yet been published in a scientific journal, participants lay inside an MRI scanner while wearing a head-mounted display that showed a first-person camera view of another person's body lying in a corner of the scanner room, with their head either parallel to a wall or perpendicular to it. Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden repeatedly touched each participant with an object while simultaneously touching the body shown in the camera view. This gave participants the illusion that the body in the camera view belonged to them.
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