The body transfer illusion

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The body transfer illusion, also known as "body ownership," is a perceptual phenomenon where an individual experiences the illusion of owning either a part of a body or an entire body other than their own1. This illusion can be induced through various experimental setups, with the "rubber hand illusion" being a classic example3. In the rubber hand illusion, a fake hand made of rubber is placed in front of the participant, while their real hand is hidden from sight. The experimenter then simultaneously stimulates both the real and the rubber hand, causing the participant to perceive the rubber hand as part of their own body47. This illusion demonstrates the brain's remarkable flexibility in terms of body ownership3. Body transfer illusions are not limited to physical setups and can also be experienced in virtual reality. For instance, a first-person perspective of a life-sized virtual human body that appears to substitute the participant's own body can induce a body transfer illusion10. These illusions are thought to be based on multisensory integration, where the brain combines information from different sensory modalities to construct a coherent sense of one's own body13. They have been used in research to study various aspects of body perception and self-consciousness, and have also been found to be particularly pronounced in certain populations, such as those on the schizophrenia spectrum56.
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