Psychotherapy Services in South West London

Cognitive Neuro Scientist talks about visual illusion and the body

In an article in the Psychologist in March 2014 Henrik Ehrsson talks about his PHD in motor control and visual illusion. He says: “When you put a massager over the tendon and the muscle the biceps for example and you ask the person to close their eyes if you vibrate at the right frequency – about 70 Hz- you will start to feel that the arm is moving. Then it goes to an impossible posture, the hand continues down… it very fascinating, you can’t really believe what you are feeling… You get funny things like if you grasp your nose while you vibrate, your hand is still moving and your nose extends: the Pinocchio illusion…” Professor Ehrsson was able to set an experiment to create an out of body illusion where people think they are in a different place from their actual body and they treat their actual body like it is someone else. These findings prove again the power of our cognition and how we shape our reality. Professor Ehrsson is considering a number of possible applications of his studies like investigating the psychotic brain or working with the body image disorders of people suffering from an eating condition. Understanding our unhelpful cognitive mechanism via therapeutic help can change the vision we have of our reality.

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