Posted in biology, communication and networking, education, electronic imaging and displays, Optics

Tickle my/your tummy

An article in the journal PLoS ONE has described a method in which they can trick people into feeling like they are having an out of body experience, believing that they can experience what a mannequin or other person is experiencing. The group put cameas on both the human and the mannequin, so that the person was looking back at themselves. When the mannequin’s belly was threatened with a knife, the human thought they were feeling it too, and their body reacted in a fight/flight response. Honestly, I think a lot of humans would have a slight reaction to the knife, just because we’re smart and know that knives to the belly are never good.

This trick only goes so far, however. The researchers could not trick humans into thinking they could feel when a box was getting poked with the knife, for example.

The researchers hope to apply this new method to first-person video games, or even counseling.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.