A Caltech Library Service

Avatar embodiment enhances haptic confidence on the out-of-body touch illusion

Gonzalez-Franco, Mar and Berger, Christopher C. (2019) Avatar embodiment enhances haptic confidence on the out-of-body touch illusion. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 12 (3). pp. 319-326. ISSN 1939-1412. doi:10.1109/toh.2019.2925038.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


In the real world, our bodies influence how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. Our body can also affect estimations of object sizes and distances. But how does our body affect our haptic experience? Here, we examined the modulation of a visuo-haptic illusion of touch on a virtual stick in virtual reality, when participants were embodied in an avatar and when they were not. During the experiments participants (n = 49) received successions of three taps delivered from two independent controllers while they saw visual stimuli presented sequentially along the virtual stick. The stimulation pattern resulted in a robust illusion of tapping directly on the virtual stick. After each trial, participants were asked to report where they perceived the taps. We found that participants in both the body and no-body conditions displaced the second tap toward the center of the stick, and reported similar levels of certainty about their reported location. However, the illusion of touch on the stick, as measured by the reported location of the tap, was significantly stronger for those who had a virtual body than those who did not. Therefore, our study shows that avatar embodiment can change haptic perception.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Gonzalez-Franco, Mar0000-0001-6165-4495
Berger, Christopher C.0000-0002-8338-0752
Additional Information:© 2019 IEEE. Manuscript received September 25, 2018; revised May 14, 2019; accepted May 23, 2019. Date of publication June 27, 2019; date of current version September 16, 2019. This paper was recommended for publication by Associate Editor Prof. Cagatay Basdogan and Editor Prof. Lynette Jones upon evaluation of the reviewers comments. C. C. Berger is supported by a grant from the Swedish Research Council (2017-00276).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swedish Research Council2017-00276
Subject Keywords:Haptics, Virtual Reality, Avatars, Embodiment, Touch
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190709-133259122
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:M. Gonzalez-Franco and C. C. Berger, "Avatar Embodiment Enhances Haptic Confidence on the Out-of-Body Touch Illusion," in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 319-326, 1 July-Sept. 2019. doi: 10.1109/TOH.2019.2925038
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97005
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Jul 2019 14:29
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:25

Repository Staff Only: item control page