Viewing and feeling touch modulates hand position for reaching

Regine Zopf*, Sandra Truong, Matthew Finkbeiner, Jason Friedman, Mark A. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Action requires knowledge of our body location in space. Here we asked if interactions with the external world prior to a reaching action influence how visual location information is used. We investigated if the temporal synchrony between viewing and feeling touch modulates the integration of visual and proprioceptive body location information for action. We manipulated the synchrony between viewing and feeling touch in the Rubber Hand Illusion paradigm prior to participants performing a ballistic reaching task to a visually specified target. When synchronous touch was given, reaching trajectories were significantly shifted compared to asynchronous touch. The direction of this shift suggests that touch influences the encoding of hand position for action. On the basis of this data and previous findings, we propose that the brain uses correlated cues from passive touch and vision to update its own position for action and experience of self-location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1293
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Australian Research Council


    • Action
    • Body location
    • Human body
    • Parietal cortex
    • Rubber hand illusion
    • Touch


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