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      Affective certainty and congruency of touch modulate the experience of the rubber hand illusion

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          Abstract

          Our sense of body ownership relies on integrating different sensations according to their temporal and spatial congruency. Nevertheless, there is ongoing controversy about the role of affective congruency during multisensory integration, i.e. whether the stimuli to be perceived by the different sensory channels are congruent or incongruent in terms of their affective quality. In the present study, we applied a widely used multisensory integration paradigm, the Rubber Hand Illusion, to investigate the role of affective, top-down aspects of sensory congruency between visual and tactile modalities in the sense of body ownership. In Experiment 1 (N = 36), we touched participants with either soft or rough fabrics in their unseen hand, while they watched a rubber hand been touched synchronously with the same fabric or with a ‘hidden’ fabric of ‘uncertain roughness’. In Experiment 2 (N = 50), we used the same paradigm as in Experiment 1, but replaced the ‘uncertainty’ condition with an ‘incongruent’ one, in which participants saw the rubber hand being touched with a fabric of incongruent roughness and hence opposite valence. We found that certainty (Experiment 1) and congruency (Experiment 2) between the felt and vicariously perceived tactile affectivity led to higher subjective embodiment compared to uncertainty and incongruency, respectively, irrespective of any valence effect. Our results suggest that congruency in the affective top-down aspects of sensory stimulation is important to the multisensory integration process leading to embodiment, over and above temporal and spatial properties.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Interoceptive inference, emotion, and the embodied self.

           Anil K. Seth (2013)
          The concept of the brain as a prediction machine has enjoyed a resurgence in the context of the Bayesian brain and predictive coding approaches within cognitive science. To date, this perspective has been applied primarily to exteroceptive perception (e.g., vision, audition), and action. Here, I describe a predictive, inferential perspective on interoception: 'interoceptive inference' conceives of subjective feeling states (emotions) as arising from actively-inferred generative (predictive) models of the causes of interoceptive afferents. The model generalizes 'appraisal' theories that view emotions as emerging from cognitive evaluations of physiological changes, and it sheds new light on the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie the experience of body ownership and conscious selfhood in health and in neuropsychiatric illness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Object perception as Bayesian inference.

            We perceive the shapes and material properties of objects quickly and reliably despite the complexity and objective ambiguities of natural images. Typical images are highly complex because they consist of many objects embedded in background clutter. Moreover, the image features of an object are extremely variable and ambiguous owing to the effects of projection, occlusion, background clutter, and illumination. The very success of everyday vision implies neural mechanisms, yet to be understood, that discount irrelevant information and organize ambiguous or noisy local image features into objects and surfaces. Recent work in Bayesian theories of visual perception has shown how complexity may be managed and ambiguity resolved through the task-dependent, probabilistic integration of prior object knowledge with image features.
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              Significance of the insula for the evolution of human awareness of feelings from the body.

               David Craig (2011)
              An ascending sensory pathway that underlies feelings from the body, such as cooling or toothache, terminates in the posterior insula. Considerable evidence suggests that this activity is rerepresented and integrated first in the mid-insula and then in the anterior insula. Activation in the anterior insula correlates directly with subjective feelings from the body and, strikingly, with all emotional feelings. These findings appear to signify a posterior-to-anterior sequence of increasingly homeostatically efficient representations that integrate all salient neural activity, culminating in network nodes in the right and left anterior insulae that may be organized asymmetrically in an opponent fashion. The anterior insula has appropriate characteristics to support the proposal that it engenders a cinemascopic model of human awareness and subjectivity. This review presents the author's views regarding the principles of organization of this system and discusses a possible sequence for its evolution, as well as particular issues of historical interest. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                m.filippetti@essex.ac.uk
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                22 February 2019
                22 February 2019
                2019
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0942 6946, GRID grid.8356.8, Centre for Brain Science, Department of Psychology, , University of Essex, ; CO4 3SQ Colchester, UK
                [2 ]ISNI 0000000121901201, GRID grid.83440.3b, Research Department of Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology, , University College London, ; WC1E 7HB London, UK
                Article
                38880
                10.1038/s41598-019-38880-5
                6385173
                30796333
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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