NASA has announced that it will award the Distinguished Public Service Medal, its highest honor, to astronomer Yervant Terzian, the Tisch Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Professor…
Researchers from the Italian University Chieti-Pescara found out that in classical experiment with a rubber hand illusion isn’t required the real tactile feelings to the person. Now the expectations are capable to replace them. Classical experiment with a rubber hand, which was described Botvinik and Cohen in Nature in 1998, is carried out as follows. The volunteer is seating at the table where the right or left rubber hand lies. And the corresponding hand of the participant of experiment hides behind a screen or under a table. The experimenter two brushes starts touching at the same time a rubber hand and a hand of the volunteer. Approximately two-three minutes later two thirds of experimental have a resistant feeling of that the rubber hand belongs. They point to it blindly when about it volunteers are asked by the experimenter. Key property of rubber hand illusion scientists called earlier synchronism of contacts, information about which experimental receives in two modalities: through sight and through tactile feelings. There was considered that rubber hand illusion can be caused only at strict correlation of different feelings which the brain “merges” in one action.
The group under the leadership of Marcello Costantini established that for creation of illusion it is necessary less, the real feelings can be replaced them with expectations. Scientists made on 14 volunteers experiment in the same statement as it did Botvinik and Cohen. However didn’t carry out real contacts — experimental saw only as the brush comes nearer to a rubber hand. The brain of volunteers ‘‘finish thinking” about a contact thus independently.
According to scientists, operability of such simplified experiment confirms today the concept of work of a brain standard. According to this model, the key phenomenon for perception in general and, for recognition of images in particular, is active generation by a brain of hypotheses of the nature seen and felt. These hypotheses are constantly compared to data from sense organs and the brain considers most plausible of them true.
Experiment with a rubber hand is one of the most known in a neurobiology. In 14 years not less than hundred researches were devoted to it, and more than one thousand times referred to Botvinik and Cohen’s work. Experiment affected not only a neurobiology, but also many philosophical concepts, trying to explain the consciousness nature.