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Persons with high autistic traits showed diverse reactions as to their multisensory integration, whereas neurotypical persons adequately integrate visual and tactile information. Successive visual stimuli sometimes interfere ordering of successive tactile stimuli. Presentation of a hand-shaped object would affect the interference. Besides, its associations with autistic traits have not been reported. Here, we investigated the effect of a rubber hand presentation on interferences to tactile temporal order judgment by successive visual stimuli. We also investigated whether individual differences associated with autistic traits. A rubber hand was placed palm down in front of the participant in one condition, while in other conditions, it was inverted or was not presented. Participants were required to judge the temporal order of tactile stimuli presented to the index finger and ring finger of their unseen right hand, and needed to ignore the visual stimuli placed on the corresponding fingers of the rubber hand. When incongruent visual stimuli were delivered along with presentation of the rubber hand, the participant's judgment was notably reversed. In contrast, the degree of reversals significantly decreased when the rubber hand was not presented or presented in an inverted direction. Additionally, we found that participants with high autistic traits tended to show large reversal with the rubber hand presentation, while they showed small reversal when the rubber hand was inverted. Our results suggest that rubber hand corresponding to one's own hand facilitates visuotactile interference. Furthermore, autistic traits may affect the integration of visuotactile inputs when the rubber hand is presented.


Makoto Wada, Masakazu Ide. Rubber hand presentation modulates visuotactile interference effect especially in persons with high autistic traits. Experimental brain research. 2016 Jan;234(1):51-65

PMID: 26358127

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