Brain Regions Associated to a Kinesthetic Illusion Evoked by Watching a Video of One's Own Moving Hand


  • Kaneko Fuminari
  • Blanchard Caroline
  • Lebar Nicolas
  • Nazarian Bruno
  • Kavounoudias Anne
  • Romaiguère Patricia


  • Hands
  • Sensory perception
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Vision
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Rubber
  • Arms
  • Vibration

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It is well known that kinesthetic illusions can be induced by stimulation of several sensory systems (proprioception, touch, vision...). In this study we investigated the cerebral network underlying a kinesthetic illusion induced by visual stimulation by using functionalmagnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans. Participants were instructed to keep their hand still while watching the video of their own moving hand (Self Hand) or that of someone else's moving hand (Other Hand). In the Self Hand condition they experienced an illusory sensation that their hand was moving whereas the Other Hand condition did not induce any kinesthetic illusion. The contrast between the Self Hand and Other Hand conditions showed significant activation in the left dorsal and ventral premotor cortices, in the left Superior and Inferior Parietal lobules, at the right Occipito-Temporal junction as well as in bilateral Insula and Putamen. Most strikingly, there was no activation in the primary motor and somatosensory cortices, whilst previous studies have reported significant activation in these regions for vibrationinduced kinesthetic illusions. To our knowledge, this is the first study that indicates that humans can experience kinesthetic perception without activation in the primarymotor and somatosensory areas. We conclude that under some conditions watching a video of one's ownmoving hand could lead to activation of a network that is usually involved in processing copies of efference, thus leading to the illusory perception that the real hand is indeed moving.

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