The Rubber Hand Illusion in Virtual Reality and the Real World - Comparable but Different.

Martin Kocur, Alexander Kalus, Johanna Bogon, Niels Henze, Christian Wolff, Valentin Schwind

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Feeling ownership of a virtual body is crucial for immersive experiences in VR. Knowledge about body ownership is mainly based on rubber hand illusion (RHI) experiments in the real world. Watching a rubber hand being stroked while one's own hidden hand is synchronously stroked, humans experience the rubber hand as their own hand and underestimate the distance between the rubber hand and the real hand (proprioceptive drift). There is also evidence for a decrease in hand temperature. Although the RHI has been induced in VR, it is unknown whether effects in VR and the real world differ. We conducted a RHI experiment with 24 participants in the real world and in VR and found comparable effects in both environments. However, irrespective of the RHI, proprioceptive drift and temperature differences varied between settings. Our findings validate the utilization of the RHI in VR to increase our understanding of embodying virtual avatars.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • avatars
  • body ownership illusion
  • disownership
  • proprioceptive drift
  • rubber hand illusion
  • virtual reality


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