Facilitation of imitative movement in patients with chronic hemiplegia triggered by illusory ownership

Naoki Aizu, Tamami Sudo, Yutaka Oouchida, Shin Ichi Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sense of body ownership, the feeling that one’s body belongs to oneself, is a crucial subjective conscious experience of one’s body. Recent methodological advances regarding crossmodal illusions have provided novel insights into how multisensory interactions shape human perception and cognition, underpinning conscious experience, particularly alteration of body ownership. Moreover, in post-stroke rehabilitation, encouraging the use of the paretic limb in daily life is considered vital, as a settled sense of ownership and attentional engagement toward the paralyzed body part may promote increased frequency of its use and prevent learned nonuse. Therefore, in addition to traditional methods, novel interventions using neurorehabilitation techniques that induce self-body recognition are needed. This study investigated whether the illusory experience of a patient’s ownership alterations of their paretic hand facilitates the enhancement in the range of motion of succeeding imitation movements. An experiment combining a modified version of the rubber hand illusion with imitation training was conducted with chronic hemiplegia. A larger imitation movement of the paretic hand was observed in the illusion-induced condition, indicating that the feeling of ownership toward the observed limb promotes the induction of intrinsic potential for motor performance. This training, using subjective experience, may help develop new post-stroke rehabilitation interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16143
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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