Virtual Hand: Sensory Integration through body ownership and agency of motion


Sensory integration is the fusion of information from different sensory modalities in the brain. The project aims to investigate the processes that underlie sensory integration by studying body ownership and agency of motion. Body ownership refers to the ability to recognise ones own body parts as belonging to one. Agency of motion is the ability to differentiate between motion of one’s body parts that was initiated and performed by oneself against motion of one’s body parts from external forces (eg. a third person moving your arm). An experimental platform is being developed that will present the subject with a virtual 3D avatar that is a digital scan of the subject’s body, along with tactile and proprioceptive stimuli to match a motion intention that has been detected by a brain computer interface (BCI). Joint recording of EEG and fMRI will then be analysed when the subject takes ownership over the virtual avatar to identify neural correlates and processes that can be attributed to sensory integration.

Project Research Group

Slawomir Nasuto

Professor of Cybernetics, University of Reading

William S. Harwin

Professor of Cybernetics, University of Reading

Nicholas Holmes

Dr of Perception and Action, University of Reading

James Douglas Saddy

Professor of Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading

Ioannis D. Zoulias

PhD Student, School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading

Funding Body