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Study of Full-body Virtual Embodiment Using noninvasive Brain Stimulation and Imaging

Filip Skola; Fotis Liarokapis

The sense of embodiment in virtual reality is a strong case of body ownership illusion, effectively allowing humans to experience the ownership of a modiffed, or a com-pletely different body. Virtual embodiment has captured the attention of researchers in various fields, with applications beyond computer science. Despite promising applications, little is known about the neural mechanisms behind full-body virtual embodiment. This study investigates the in uence of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the brain area linked to processing of the bodily self (right temporoparietal junction) to the subjective strength of virtual embodiment and its main constituents, using within-subject experimental design with sham-controlled stimulation. Virtual embodiment was studied using questionnaires accompanied by EEG readings. Our results suggest that stimulation did not affect the sense of ownership
towards the virtual avatar. Borderline strengthening of the perceived sense of agency towards the avatar's actions was found in the sessions with stimulation.

This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
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Files are currently under embargo but will be publicly accessible after February 1, 2022.

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