Now you feel it, now you don't: How robust is the phenomenon of illusory tactile experience?

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    Recent studies have reported that in normal healthy individuals, the perception of illusory sensations in one modality can be induced by the presentation of a stimulus in another modality. These illusory sensations may arise from the activation of a tactile representation in memory induced by the non-target stimulus, in a process mirroring that thought to be responsible for many forms of medically unexplained symptoms. The reliability of illusory-touch reports was investigated here in two experiments with a novel perceptual paradigm designed to simulate the occurrence of somatoform symptoms in the laboratory. A concurrent light significantly increased the number of tactile stimuli reported, and resulted in a higher number of illusory-touch reports, while the modality of the trial start cue did not affect subsequent responses. In addition, a strong relationship was found between the rates of illusory sensations that participants produced in successive sessions, indicating that the tendency to report illusory sensations is a robust phenomenon. © 2010 a Pion publication.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)839-850
    Number of pages11
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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