Our personal space guides our hands when we reach out, causes us to duck when objects hurtle towards us and makes us acutely aware of the world around us. And now, for the first time, scientists have found a way to help us feel it.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have tweaked a well-known experiment called the rubber hand illusion for a study published in the journal Cognition. In the classic version, participants are shown a fake rubber hand while their own hand is hidden behind a screen. After a few minutes of simultaneous stroking of both the real and fake hands, the person’s brain starts to believe that the fake hand is actually their own. Here’s the proof: