Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Rubber Hand Illusion (BBC Horizon) – Prof. Lawrence Rosenblum (UC Riverside)

“BBC Horizon explores the strange and wonderful world of illusions – and reveals the tricks they play on our senses and why they fool us.

Professor Lawrence Rosenblum attempts to confuse some innocent passers by using a hammer, a paintbrush and a rubber hand.

He shows how just watching a rubber hand being stroked at the same time as a real hand can muddle something as basic as your sense of your own body.

It’s something that helps to reveal one of the biggest new ideas in neuroscience known as Neuroplasticity. This exciting new idea suggests that the brain can change in response to experience – and this has huge implications for millions around the world.”

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http://youtu.be/Qsmkgi7FgEo

More info:

Prof. Lawrence Rosenblum – Dept. of Psychology, University of California, Riverside – http://www.psych.ucr.edu/faculty/rosenblum/

Body illusions: Rubber hand illusion – Prof. Olaf Blanke (LNCO Lab)

“Neuroscientists at Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland demonstrate how you can trick your brain by stroking a fake rubber hand and your real hand at the same time.

About 10 years ago, psychologists in Pennsylvania discovered an amazing illusion. They found that they could convince people that a rubber hand was their own by putting it on a table in front of them while stroking it in the same way as their real hand.

The now-famous “rubber hand illusion” was not only a mind-blowing party trick, it was also hugely important in understanding how sight, touch and “proprioception” – the sense of body position – combine to create a convincing feeling of body ownership, one of the foundations of self-consciousness.”

More info:

Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience – http://lnco.epfl.ch/

Virtual out-of-body experience – Prof. Olaf Blanke (LNCO Lab)

“A group of neuroscientists at Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have induced out-of-body experiences for the first time, using virtual reality and an experimental set-up. By deliberately scrambling a person’s visual and tactile senses, it is now possible to give them an “out-of-body” experience.

Two procedures – which are the first to imitate an out-of-body experience artificially – use cameras to fool people into thinking they are standing or sitting somewhere else in a room. They provide the strongest proof yet that people only imagine floating out of their bodies during surgery or near-death experiences.”

By Andy Coghlan for New Scientist

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More info:

New Scientist – http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12531-outofbody-experiences-are-all-in-the-mind.html

Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience – http://lnco.epfl.ch

Out of Body Experiences – ABC Television (EPFL & USZ Switzerland)

Out of Body Experiences

“A surprisingly large number of people report having had an Out of Body Experience. A common story is they find their awareness floating up near the ceiling. Dr Graham Philips met up with scientists in Switzerland who’ve been examining the phenomenon.

The question is asked “could my consciousness leap from me to a virtual body just as it does with the rubber hand illusion?

The Rubber Hand Illusion occurs because my brain knows I’m feeling the touch in one place, my real arm, but seeing it in another. It goes with the dominant sense: sight.”

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http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2816872.htm#.UizLZi24gDM.facebook

More info:

Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience – http://lnco.epfl.ch/

Out-of-body experience recreated – Prof. Olaf Blanke (LNCO Lab) & Prof. Henrik Ehrsson (Ehrsson Lab)

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“Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers.

The experiments, described in the Science journal, offer a scientific explanation for a phenomenon experienced by one in 10 people.

Two teams used virtual reality goggles to con the brain into thinking the body was located elsewhere.”

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BBC News report – “Out-of-body experience recreated” –

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6960612.stm

More info:

Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience – http://lnco.epfl.ch/

Ehrsson Lab – http://www.ehrssonlab.se

Virtual reality environment helps treat offenders (BBC News) Dr. Peter Langdon (UEA)

“Offenders with psychological and behavioural problems are to be treated with a new virtual reality system, which puts them through a range of challenging scenarios, in a safe environment.

The system, called Pisces, has been designed by a virtual reality company called Xenodu from Hertfordshire, in conjunction with the medical school at Norwich’s University of East Anglia.

It is about to be used at the Broadland Clinic, a secure unit for up to 24 patients, near Norwich.”

BBC Look East’s Ian Barmer reports.

Virtual reality environment helps treat offenders

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-23056490

Virtual answer for the socially anxious (ITV News) Dr. Peter Langdon (UEA)

“Virtual reality technology allowing people to watch themselves in simulated social situations could help combat anxiety problems. The imaging gizmo invented by a company in Elstree in Hertfordshire is being trialled at an inpatient mental health clinic near Norwich.”

ITV’s Natalie Gray reports.

Virtual answer for the socially anxious

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2013-06-25/virtual-answer-for-the-socially-anxious/