Scientists at the Brain, Body, and Self Laboratory at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden outfitted pairs of friends with video goggles so they saw things from each other’s point of view. “To further the illusion,” reports Science Daily, “they applied simultaneous touches to both participants on corresponding body parts so they could also feel what they saw in the goggles.” They discovered that the participants in the study “tended to rate themselves as more similar to the friend whose body they were in.”
After just a few moments, the illusion generally worked; to show that it did, the researchers threatened the friend’s body with a prop knife and found that the participant broke out into a sweat as if they were the one being threatened. “Body swapping is not a domain reserved for science fiction movies anymore,” Tacikowski says.
Participants were only made to feel like they had “woken up in someone else’s body” for a brief period of time, but that was long enough to significantly alter their self-perception. Before the body swap, participants rated their friends on traits like talkativeness, cheerfulness, independence, and confidence. Compared to this baseline, during the swap, they tended to rate themselves as more similar to the friend whose body they were in.
Testing in a doctor’s or school nurse’s office can return results in about 15 minutes
Biologist Merlin Sheldrake is an evangelist for the “neglected megascience” of mycology, the study of fungi and all the wonder within them. According to Sheldrake, fungi are the future—containing clues about our environment and as a source of sustainable food, packaging, and green building materials. Son of author and fringe science researcher Rupert Sheldrake, Merlin […]
The Somali sengi, a type of elephant shrew with an elongated nose, had not been observed since the 1960s. It was recently rediscovered by scientists who lured them out from their rocky habitats with peanut butter, oatmeal, and yeast. The Somali cutie was originally rediscovered in neighboring Ethiopia, per Duke University’s Steven Heritage: Here we […]
For the most part, we’re all sticking close to home this summer. And that’s not just international trips or jet setting across the country that are on hold. Even traditional car travel is expected to finish down at least 15 percent from last year’s figures. It will be the first decline in U.S. summer travel […]
Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer decided to get grossly overweight so he could claim a disability and work from home? Once he’d achieved his dream, the largely immobile Homer’s tool of choice was his “reaching broom,” a normal broom Homer would use to tap the keys of his computer while he sat […]
While we don’t have the stats in front of us, you know the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has seen a whole lot of earbuds and earbud manufacturers make their way through the show over the years. Dozens? For sure. Hundreds? Likely. Yet after all those buds, the CES Innovation Awards still saw […]