library_add_check Quiz: The Brain

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Can you tickle yourself?

It appears not, but a recent experiment tried to see if you could tickle yourself under the illusion that someone else was tickling you [1]. In this illusion, the volunteer and experimenter sat facing each other. The subject wore goggles that displayed the feed from a head-mounted camera.

In some cases, the camera was mounted on the subject's head, so they saw things from their own perspective. In others, it was mounted on the experimenter's head, providing the subject with the experimenter's perspective. Using their right hands, both the subject and the experimenter held onto opposite ends of a wooden rod, which had a piece of foam attached to each end. The subject and experimenter placed their left palms against the foam at their respective ends.

Next, the subject or experimenter took turns moving the rod with their right hand, causing the piece of foam to tickle both of their left palms. When the subjects saw the scene from the experimenter's perspective, they experienced a body-swap illusion, which resulted in them feeling like they owned the experimenter's body. The subjects agreed with statements like "I had lost control of my real hand" and "The experimenter's hand began to resemble my own". If the experimenter tickled the subject while they were under the illusion, the subject could feel the tickle on their palm.

When the subject initiated the action while still under the illusion - attempting to tickle themselves - did they feel the tickling?

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