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Decoding illusory self-location from activity in the human hippocampus
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden; Basque Centre Cognit Brain and Language, Spain.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden; CALTECH, CA 91125 USA.
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2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 9, no 412Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Decades of research have demonstrated a role for the hippocampus in spatial navigation and episodic and spatial memory. However, empirical evidence linking hippocampal activity to the perceptual experience of being physically located at a particular place in the environment is lacking. In this study, we used a multisensory out-of-body illusion to perceptually teleport six healthy participants between two different locations in the scanner room during high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The participants were fitted with MRI-compatible head-mounted displays that changed their first-person visual perspective to that of a pair of cameras placed in one of two corners of the scanner room. To elicit the illusion of being physically located in this position, we delivered synchronous visuo-tactile stimulation in the form of an object moving toward the cameras coupled with touches applied to the participants chest. Asynchronous visuo-tactile stimulation did not induce the illusion and served as a control condition. We found that illusory self-location could be successfully decoded from patterns of activity in the hippocampus in all of the participants in the synchronous (P less than 0.05) but not in the asynchronous condition (Pgreater than 0.05). At the group-level, the decoding accuracy was significantly higher in the synchronous than in the asynchronous condition (P = 0.012). These findings associate hippocampal activity with the perceived location of the bodily self in space, which suggests that the human hippocampus is involved not only in spatial navigation and memory but also in the construction of our sense of bodily self-location.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA , 2015. Vol. 9, no 412
Keyword [en]
body perception; perceptual illusion; self-consciousness; self-location; multisensory integration
National Category
Basic Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121441DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00412ISI: 000360263400001PubMedID: 26236222OAI: diva2:855108

Funding Agencies|European Research Council; Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research; Swedish Research Council; McDonnell Foundation; Soderbergska Stiftelsen; Wenner-Gren Foundation; European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) [PIOF-GA-2012-302896]

Available from: 2015-09-18 Created: 2015-09-18 Last updated: 2015-10-15

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Björnsdotter Åberg, Malin
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