Embodied experience: A first-person investigation of the rubber hand illusion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here, we assess the usefulness of first-person methods for the study of embodiment during the rubber hand illusion (RHI). Participants observed a rubber hand being stroked synchronously and asynchronously with their concealed hand after which they made proprioceptive judgments about the location of their hand and completed a self-report questionnaire. A randomly selected cohort was further interviewed during the illusion and their transcripts analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results showed that the IPA group experienced a more intense embodied experience during the RHI, measured by proprioceptive distortion and self-report. IPA revealed four main themes of embodied experience: recalibration of the body schema; violation of the body schema; multisensory integration; and illusory experience over time. The report of agency was a significant predictor of proprioceptive distortion. This study shows how first-person methodologies can be empirically rigorous and how the introspective interview provides a rich, detailed account of embodied experience. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-339
Number of pages22
JournalPhenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • Agency
  • Body schema
  • Embodiment
  • Interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • Proprioceptive drift
  • Rubber hand illusion


Dive into the research topics of 'Embodied experience: A first-person investigation of the rubber hand illusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this