The body fades away: investigating the effects of transparency of an embodied virtual body on pain threshold and body ownership

Article


Martini, M., Kilteni, Konstantina, Maselli, Antonella and Sanchez-Vives, Maria V. 2015. The body fades away: investigating the effects of transparency of an embodied virtual body on pain threshold and body ownership. Scientific Reports. 5, p. 13948.
AuthorsMartini, M., Kilteni, Konstantina, Maselli, Antonella and Sanchez-Vives, Maria V.
Abstract

The ffeelffing off “ownershffip” over an external dummy/vffirtual body (or body part) has been proven to
have both physffiologffical and behavffioural consequences. For ffinstance, the vffisffion off an “embodffied”
dummy or vffirtual body can modulate paffin perceptffion. However, the ffimpact off partffial or total
ffinvffisffibffilffity off the body on physffiology and behavffiour has been hardly explored sffince ffit presents
obvffious dffifficultffies ffin the real world. In thffis study we explored how body transparency affects both
body ownershffip and paffin threshold. By means off vffirtual realffity, we presented healthy partfficffipants
wffith a vffirtual co-located body wffith ffour dffifferent levels off transparency, whffile partfficffipants were
tested ffor paffin threshold by ffincreasffing ramps off heat stffimulatffion. We ffound that the strength off
the body ownershffip ffillusffion decreases when the body gets more transparent. Nevertheless, ffin the
condffitffions where the body was semffi-transparent, hffigher levels off ownershffip over a see-through body
resulted ffin an ffincreased paffin sensffitffivffity. Vffirtual body ownershffip can be used ffor the development off
paffin management ffinterventffions. However, we demonstrate that provffidffing ffinvffisffibffilffity off the body
does not ffincrease paffin threshold. Thereffore, body transparency ffis not a good strategy to decrease
paffin ffin clffinffical contexts, yet thffis remaffins to be tested.

JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation5, p. 13948
ISSN2045-2322
Year2015
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1038/srep13948
Publication dates
Print29 Sep 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Sep 2015
Accepted12 Aug 2015
FunderVERE
FP7 FET EU
EU FP7 AA
European Research Council
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8547w

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