Research Topic

Body Illusions for Clinical Applications

About this Research Topic

Body illusions refer to altered perceptual states where the perception of the self-body significantly deviates from the physical body’s configuration, for example, in aspects like perceived size, shape, posture, location, or sense of ownership. Different established experimental paradigms allow to temporarily induce such altered perceptual states in a predictable and systematic manner in healthy participants. Body illusions can be triggered through relatively simple experimental manipulations (e.g., through visuo-tactile or visuo-motor correlations), supporting the overall view that self-body perception is built dynamically on the basis of multisensory integration processes and of the prior knowledge we have about the human body. Hence, even though we may have the notion that our own internal body representation is stable, it is, in truth, highly malleable. Since the ‘70s different types of body illusions such as kinesthetic illusions, body distortions illusions, out-of-body experiences, and body ownership illusions toward a body part or a full body have been described.

To date, a large number of studies attempted to investigate how to modulate internal body representation through different types of body illusions in healthy subjects. However, less is known about how body illusions can be applied in clinical populations, and their effectiveness to achieve clinical outcomes. The present Research Topic aims to collect studies that rely on the use of body illusions through the use of fake bodies, mirrors, virtual reality, 360º videos or others, for different clinical applications. In detail, the Research Topic hopes to provide a comprehensive collection of experimental works showing how the use of body illusions for manipulating the internal body representation in clinical populations can be adopted for different types of clinical interventions. The Research Topic will then provide a systematic account for the diversity and quality of clinical outcomes resulting from the controlled use of bodily illusion in healthcare.

This Research Topic collects interdisciplinary contributions concerning body illusions providing fundamental cognitive and neurobiological insights, theoretical works as well as practical applications. It focuses on, but it is not limited to the use of body illusions (kinesthetic illusions, body distortions illusions, out-of-body experiences, and body ownership illusions) in clinical applications from different clinical fields, such as:

- neurology,
- psychology,
- psychiatry,
- orthopedic,
- pain management, and others.


Keywords: body illusions, self-body perception, rehabilitation, healthcare, pain management


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Body illusions refer to altered perceptual states where the perception of the self-body significantly deviates from the physical body’s configuration, for example, in aspects like perceived size, shape, posture, location, or sense of ownership. Different established experimental paradigms allow to temporarily induce such altered perceptual states in a predictable and systematic manner in healthy participants. Body illusions can be triggered through relatively simple experimental manipulations (e.g., through visuo-tactile or visuo-motor correlations), supporting the overall view that self-body perception is built dynamically on the basis of multisensory integration processes and of the prior knowledge we have about the human body. Hence, even though we may have the notion that our own internal body representation is stable, it is, in truth, highly malleable. Since the ‘70s different types of body illusions such as kinesthetic illusions, body distortions illusions, out-of-body experiences, and body ownership illusions toward a body part or a full body have been described.

To date, a large number of studies attempted to investigate how to modulate internal body representation through different types of body illusions in healthy subjects. However, less is known about how body illusions can be applied in clinical populations, and their effectiveness to achieve clinical outcomes. The present Research Topic aims to collect studies that rely on the use of body illusions through the use of fake bodies, mirrors, virtual reality, 360º videos or others, for different clinical applications. In detail, the Research Topic hopes to provide a comprehensive collection of experimental works showing how the use of body illusions for manipulating the internal body representation in clinical populations can be adopted for different types of clinical interventions. The Research Topic will then provide a systematic account for the diversity and quality of clinical outcomes resulting from the controlled use of bodily illusion in healthcare.

This Research Topic collects interdisciplinary contributions concerning body illusions providing fundamental cognitive and neurobiological insights, theoretical works as well as practical applications. It focuses on, but it is not limited to the use of body illusions (kinesthetic illusions, body distortions illusions, out-of-body experiences, and body ownership illusions) in clinical applications from different clinical fields, such as:

- neurology,
- psychology,
- psychiatry,
- orthopedic,
- pain management, and others.


Keywords: body illusions, self-body perception, rehabilitation, healthcare, pain management


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

20 June 2021 Abstract
18 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 June 2021 Abstract
18 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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