Visual Perception Of One'S Own Body Under Vestibular Stimulation Using Biometric Self-Avatars In Virtual Reality

PLOS ONE(2019)

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摘要
Background and purposeVestibular input is projected to "multisensory (vestibular) cortex" where it converges with input from other sensory modalities. It has been assumed that this multisensory integration enables a continuous perception of state and presence of one's own body. The present study thus asked whether or not vestibular stimulation may impact this perception.MethodsWe used an immersive virtual reality setup to realistically manipulate the length of extremities of first person biometric avatars. Twenty-two healthy participants had to adjust arms and legs to their correct length from various start lengths before, during, and after vestibular stimulation.ResultsNeither unilateral caloric nor galvanic vestibular stimulation had a modulating effect on the perceived size of own extremities.ConclusionOur results suggest that vestibular stimulation does not directly influence the explicit somatosensory representation of our body. It is possible that in non-brain-damaged, healthy subjects, changes in whole body size perception are principally not mediated by vestibular information. Alternatively, visual feedback and/or memory may dominate multisensory integration and thereby override possibly existing modulations of body perception by vestibular stimulation. The present observations suggest that multisensory integration and not the processing of a single sensory input is the crucial mechanism in generating our body representation in relation to the external world.
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