Perception of visual-tactile asynchrony, bodily perceptual aberrations, and bodily illusions in schizophrenia

Regine Zopf*, Kelsie Boulton, Robyn Langdon, Anina N. Rich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Body perception can be altered in individuals with schizophrenia resulting in experiences of undefined boundaries, loss of ownership, and size changes. These individuals may also be more susceptible to the rubber hand illusion (RHI: an illusion of body perception that can also be induced in neurotypical populations), but the findings are mixed. Furthermore, the perception of multisensory timing, which is thought to be fundamental for body perception, is altered in schizophrenia. We tested whether altered perception of the temporal relationship between visual and tactile signals in schizophrenia predicts self-reported perceptual aberrations and RHI susceptibility. We found that the sensitivity to detect temporal asynchronies is reduced in schizophrenia and this is a significant predictor for bodily perceptual symptoms. In contrast, we found no evidence for a direct relationship between asynchrony detection sensitivity and RHI susceptibility. Instead, our findings suggest that experiencing more bodily perceptual symptoms increases the likelihood of endorsing unusual bodily experiences, resulting in higher RHI self-ratings but not higher proprioceptive drift scores. Our findings provide new insight into factors that may underlie the report of unusual body perceptions in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534–540
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume228
Early online date21 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • synchrony perception
  • body perception
  • bodily illusions
  • schizophrenia
  • psychosis
  • perceptual aberration

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