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The impact of using an upper-limb prosthesis on the perception of real and illusory weight differences

Buckingham, Gavin and Parr, Johnny and Wood, Greg and Vine, Samuel and Dimitriou, Pat and Day, Sarah (2018) The impact of using an upper-limb prosthesis on the perception of real and illusory weight differences. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1531-5320

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    Little is known about how human perception is affected using an upper-limb prosthesis. To shed light on this topic, we investigated how using an upper-limb prosthesis affects individuals' experience of object weight. First, we examined how a group of upper-limb amputee prosthetic users experienced real mass differences and illusory weight differences in the context of the ‘size–weight’ illusion. Surprisingly, the upper-limb prosthetic users reported a markedly smaller illusion than controls, despite equivalent perceptions of a real mass difference. Next, we replicated this dissociation between real and illusory weight perception in a group of nonamputees who lifted the stimuli with an upper-limb myoelectric prosthetic simulator, again noting that the prosthetic users experienced illusory, but not real, weight differences as being weaker than controls. These findings not only validate the use of a prosthetic simulator as an effective tool for investigating perception and action but also highlight a surprising dissociation between the perception of real and illusory weight differences