Alpha band oscillations correlate with illusory self-location induced by virtual reality
Keywordsfrequency analysis, medial prefrontal cortex, multisensory integration, mu-rhythm, peripersonal space
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AbstractNeuroscience of the self has focused on high-level mechanisms related to language, memory or imagery of the self. However, recent evidence suggests that low-level mechanisms such as multisensory and sensorimotor integration may play a fundamental role in self-related processing. Here we used virtual reality technology and visuo-tactile conflict to study such low-level mechanisms and manipulate where participants experienced their self to be localized (self-location). Frequency analysis and electrical neuroimaging of co-recorded high-resolution electroencephalography revealed body-specific alpha band power modulations in bilateral sensorimotor cortices. Furthermore, alpha power in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was correlated with the degree of experimentally manipulated self-location. We argue that these alpha oscillations in sensorimotor cortex and mPFC reflect self-location as manipulated through multisensory conflict.