Synchronous, but not asynchronous, multisensory stimulation has been successfully employed to manipulate the experience of body ownership, as in the case of the rubber hand illusion. Hence, it has been assumed that the rubber hand illusion is bound by the same temporal rules as in multisensory integration. However, empirical evidence of a direct link between the temporal limits on the rubber hand illusion and those on multisensory integration is still lacking. Here we provide the first comprehensive evidence that individual susceptibility to the rubber hand illusion depends upon the individual temporal resolution in multisensory perception, as indexed by the temporal binding window. In particular, in two studies we showed that the degree of temporal asynchrony necessary to prevent the induction of the rubber hand illusion depends upon the individuals’ sensitivity to perceiving asynchrony during visuo-tactile stimulation. That is, the larger the temporal binding window, as inferred from a simultaneity judgment task, the higher the level of asynchrony tolerated in the rubber hand illusion. Our results suggest that current neurocognitive models of body ownership can be enriched with a temporal dimension. Moreover, our results suggest that the different aspects of body ownership operate over different time scales.
ASJC Scopus subject areas