2009-kammers-neuropsy

In the rubber hand illusion (RHI), participants incorporate a rubber hand into a mental representation of one’s body. This deceptive feeling of ownership is accompanied by recalibration of the perceived position of the participant’s real hand toward the rubber hand. Neuroimaging data suggest involvement of the posterior parietal lobule during induction of the RHI, when recalibration of the real hand toward the rubber hand takes place. Here, we used off-line low-frequency repetitive trans- cranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in a double-blind, sham- controlled within-subjects design to investigate the role of the inferior posterior parietal lobule (IPL) in establishing the RHI directly. Results showed that rTMS over the IPL attenuated the strength of the RHI for immediate perceptual body judgments only. In contrast, delayed perceptual responses were unaffected. Furthermore, ballistic action responses as well as subjective self-reports of feeling of ownership over the rubber hand remained unaffected by rTMS over the IPL. These find- ings are in line with previous research showing that the RHI can be broken down into dissociable bodily sensations. The illusion does not merely affect the embodiment of the rubber hand but also influences the experience and localization of one’s own hand in an independent manner. Finally, the present findings concur with a multicomponent model of somatosen- sory body representations, wherein the IPL plays a pivotal role in subserving perceptual body judgments, but not actions or higher-order affective bodily judgments.