Embodiment of supernumerary robotic limbs in virtual reality

Ken Arai, Hiroto Saito, Masaaki Fukuoka, Sachiyo Ueda, Maki Sugimoto, Michiteru Kitazaki, Masahiko Inami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The supernumerary robotic limb system expands the motor function of human users by adding extra artificially designed limbs. It is important for us to embody the system as if it is a part of one’s own body and to maintain cognitive transparency in which the cognitive load is suppressed. Embodiment studies have been conducted with an expansion of bodily functions through a “substitution” and “extension”. However, there have been few studies on the “addition” of supernumerary body parts. In this study, we developed a supernumerary robotic limb system that operates in a virtual environment, and then evaluated whether the extra limb can be regarded as a part of one’s own body using a questionnaire and whether the perception of peripersonal space changes with a visuotactile crossmodal congruency task. We found that the participants can embody the extra-limbs after using the supernumerary robotic limb system. We also found a positive correlation between the perceptual change in the crossmodal congruency task and the subjective feeling that the number of one’s arms had increased (supernumerary limb sensation). These results suggest that the addition of an extra body part may cause the participants to feel that they had acquired a new body part that differs from their original body part through a functional expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9769
JournalScientific reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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