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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00367

Sensorimotor and posterior brain activations during the observation of illusory embodied fake hand movement

  • 1School of Medicine, Kyorin University, Japan
  • 2Hokusho University, Japan
  • 3Department of Electronics and Bioinformatics, School of Science and Technology, Meiji University, Japan

In the rubber hand illusion (RHI), the subject recognizes a fake hand as his or her own. We recently found that the observation of embodied fake hand movement elicited mu-rhythm (8–13 Hz) desynchronization on electroencephalography (EEG), suggesting brain activation in the sensorimotor regions. However, it is known that mu-rhythm desynchronization during action observation is confounded with occipital alpha-rhythm desynchronization, which is modulated by attention. This study examined the independence of brain activities in the sensorimotor and occipital regions relating to the movement observation under the RHI. The invisible participant’s left and fake right hands were stroked simultaneously, which was interrupted by unexpected fake hand movements. A mirror-reversed image of the fake hand was shown on a monitor in front of the participant with a delay of 80, 280, or 480 ms. Illusion strength decreased as a function of the delay. EEG independent component analysis (ICA) and ICA clustering revealed six clusters with observation-induced desynchronization of 8-13 Hz frequency band. In the right sensorimotor cluster, mu-rhythm desynchronization was the greatest under the 80-ms delay, while alpha-rhythm desynchronization of the occipital clusters did not show delay-dependence. These results suggest that brain activation in the sensorimotor areas (i.e., mu-rhythm desynchronization) induced by embodied fake hand movement is independent of that in the occipital areas (alpha-rhythm desynchronization).

Keywords: body ownership, delayed visual feedback, Independent Component Analysis, Electroencephalography, Mu-rhythm desynchronization, Alpha-rhythm desynchronization, rubber hand illusion

Received: 28 Jun 2019; Accepted: 30 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Shibuya, Unenaka, Zama, Shimada and Ohki. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Satoshi Shibuya, School of Medicine, Kyorin University, Tokyo, Japan, shibuyas@ks.kyorin-u.ac.jp