Active strategies for multisensory conflict suppression in the virtual hand illusion
Number of pages
SourceScientific Reports, 11, (2021), article 22844
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC AI
SubjectCognitive artificial intelligence
The perception of our body in space is flexible and manipulable. The predictive brain hypothesis explains this malleability as a consequence of the interplay between incoming sensory information and our body expectations. However, given the interaction between perception and action, we might also expect that actions would arise due to prediction errors, especially in conflicting situations. Here we describe a computational model, based on the free-energy principle, that forecasts involuntary movements in sensorimotor conflicts. We experimentally confirm those predictions in humans using a virtual reality rubber-hand illusion. Participants generated movements (forces) towards the virtual hand, regardless of its location with respect to the real arm, with little to no forces produced when the virtual hand overlaid their physical hand. The congruency of our model predictions and human observations indicates that the brain-body is generating actions to reduce the prediction error between the expected arm location and the new visual arm. This observed unconscious mechanism is an empirical validation of the perception–action duality in body adaptation to uncertain situations and evidence of the active component of predictive processing.
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