European researchers have used immersive virtual reality in the first experiment to show that body ownership can be transferred to a virtual body. A first-person perspective of a life-sized virtual human female body that appears to substitute the male subjects' own bodies was sufficient to generate a body transfer illusion. The results support the notion that bottom-up perceptual mechanisms can temporarily override top down knowledge. resulting in a radical illusion of transfer of body ownership. The research also illustrates immersive virtual reality as a powerful tool in the study of body representation and experience, since it supports experimental manipulations that would otherwise be infeasible.
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