The effects of changing the mental model of one’s body and sense of body ownership on pain perception

AbstractThe mental model of one’s body plays an important role in determining subsequent actions. We changed the mental model using visual information and observed the effects of such change on pain perception. These effects were compared to the effects of changes in the sense of body ownership, which is the sensation that something is a part of one’s own body. Some researchers have shown that the sense of ownership is a factor modulating pain perception. In our experiments, we manipulated the visibility of participants’ limbs using Mixed Reality (MR) techniques and measured their perceived pain and feelings while observing their limbs. Results showed the sensation that nothing can touch one’s limbs decreased the strength of perceived pain.

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