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      Over my fake body: body ownership illusions for studying the multisensory basis of own-body perception


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          Which is my body and how do I distinguish it from the bodies of others, or from objects in the surrounding environment? The perception of our own body and more particularly our sense of body ownership is taken for granted. Nevertheless, experimental findings from body ownership illusions (BOIs), show that under specific multisensory conditions, we can experience artificial body parts or fake bodies as our own body parts or body, respectively. The aim of the present paper is to discuss how and why BOIs are induced. We review several experimental findings concerning the spatial, temporal, and semantic principles of crossmodal stimuli that have been applied to induce BOIs. On the basis of these principles, we discuss theoretical approaches concerning the underlying mechanism of BOIs. We propose a conceptualization based on Bayesian causal inference for addressing how our nervous system could infer whether an object belongs to our own body, using multisensory, sensorimotor, and semantic information, and we discuss how this can account for several experimental findings. Finally, we point to neural network models as an implementational framework within which the computational problem behind BOIs could be addressed in the future.

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            We describe a model of visual processing in which feedback connections from a higher- to a lower-order visual cortical area carry predictions of lower-level neural activities, whereas the feedforward connections carry the residual errors between the predictions and the actual lower-level activities. When exposed to natural images, a hierarchical network of model neurons implementing such a model developed simple-cell-like receptive fields. A subset of neurons responsible for carrying the residual errors showed endstopping and other extra-classical receptive-field effects. These results suggest that rather than being exclusively feedforward phenomena, nonclassical surround effects in the visual cortex may also result from cortico-cortical feedback as a consequence of the visual system using an efficient hierarchical strategy for encoding natural images.
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              The free-energy principle: a rough guide to the brain?

              This article reviews a free-energy formulation that advances Helmholtz's agenda to find principles of brain function based on conservation laws and neuronal energy. It rests on advances in statistical physics, theoretical biology and machine learning to explain a remarkable range of facts about brain structure and function. We could have just scratched the surface of what this formulation offers; for example, it is becoming clear that the Bayesian brain is just one facet of the free-energy principle and that perception is an inevitable consequence of active exchange with the environment. Furthermore, one can see easily how constructs like memory, attention, value, reinforcement and salience might disclose their simple relationships within this framework.

                Author and article information

                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                24 March 2015
                : 9
                [1] 1Event Lab, Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment, University of Barcelona Barcelona, Spain
                [2] 2IR3C Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, University of Barcelona Barcelona, Spain
                [3] 3Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL, USA
                [4] 4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Chicago, IL, USA
                [5] 5Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Chicago, IL, USA
                [6] 6Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Passeig Lluís Companys 23 Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes

                Edited by: Baingio Pinna, University of Sassari, Italy

                Reviewed by: Andreas Kalckert, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; Marco Bertamini, University of Liverpool, UK

                *Correspondence: Mel Slater, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Passeig Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain melslater@ 123456ub.edu

                †Present Address: Konstantina Kilteni, Brain, Body and Self Laboratory (Group Ehrsson), Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

                ‡These authors have contributed equally to this work.

                Copyright © 2015 Kilteni, Maselli, Kording and Slater.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, Equations: 2, References: 199, Pages: 20, Words: 19421

                body ownership,rubber hand illusion,multisensory perception,body semantics,causal inference


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