The plausibility of visual information for hand ownership modulates multisensory synchrony perception

Regine Zopf*, Jason Friedman, Mark A. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We are frequently changing the position of our bodies and body parts within complex environments. How does the brain keep track of one’s own body? Current models of body ownership state that visual body ownership cues such as viewed object form and orientation are combined with multisensory information to correctly identify one’s own body, estimate its current location and evoke an experience of body ownership. Within this framework, it may be possible that the brain relies on a separate perceptual analysis of body ownership cues (e.g. form, orientation, multisensory synchrony). Alternatively, these cues may interact in earlier stages of perceptual processing—visually derived body form and orientation cues may, for example, directly modulate temporal synchrony perception. The aim of the present study was to distinguish between these two alternatives. We employed a virtual hand set-up and psychophysical methods. In a two-interval force-choice task, participants were asked to detect temporal delays between executed index finger movements and observed movements. We found that body-specifying cues interact in perceptual processing. Specifically, we show that plausible visual information (both form and orientation) for one’s own body led to significantly better detection performance for small multisensory asynchronies compared to implausible visual information. We suggest that this perceptual modulation when visual information plausible for one’s own body is present is a consequence of body-specific sensory predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311-2321
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2015


  • Body ownership
  • Body representations
  • Multisensory perception
  • Sensory predictions
  • Temporal synchrony perception
  • Virtual hand


Dive into the research topics of 'The plausibility of visual information for hand ownership modulates multisensory synchrony perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this