Vision of embodied rubber hands enhances tactile distractor processing.
Wesslein A-K., Spence C., Frings C.
Previous research has demonstrated that viewing one's hand can induce tactile response compatibility effects at the hands. Here, we investigated the question of whether vision of one's own hand is actually necessary. The Eriksen flanker task was combined with the rubber hand illusion in order to determine whether tactile distractors presented to the hand would be processed up to the level of response selection when a pair of rubber hands was seen (while one's own hands were not). Our results demonstrate that only if the rubber hands are perceived as belonging to one's own body, is enhanced distractor processing (up to the level of response selection) observed at the hands. In conclusion, vision of a pair of fake hands enhances tactile distractor processing at the hands if, and only if, it happens to be incorporated into the body representation.