Is It Real, or, Is It Robotic?


Babies spend their first few years integrating and understanding a flood of confusing sounds, images, and other sensory input until they are able to start doing things that we, as adults, consider to be trivial. Over time, their brain makes some sort of connection between the image of a hand and the tactile sensations, and it becomes their hand.

However, adults have considerable difficulty following the same process. For example, amputee’s have had mixed results in learning how to control prosthetic hands. New research at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) has shown remarkable and very promising success using a technique known as the “rubber hand illusion”. It’s almost like ‘brain hacking’.

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