Invisible Hand Illusion
In this invisible hand mind trick, a participant sits so they can't see their hand. A researcher brushes both their real hand and an invisible spot the participant can see. The result? The participant comes to feel that their hand occupies that "invisible" space.
A researcher brushes a participant's real hand, but she feels as if her limb is in the empty space she can see.
Researchers were surprised to find that the brain could be so easily fooled into believing in an invisible hand. They reported their results April 11 in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
Invisible Hand Threat
The brain can be so convinced that an invisible hand is part of the body that people sweat when the "hand" is threatened with a knife.
A researcher pretends to stab an invisible hand, which the participant feels is part of their own body.
Brushing the Hand
Brushing a person's real hand while simultaneously brushing an empty space they can see fools the brain into believing the hand occupies that invisible space.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.