Deakin University
youssef-deepbrainstimulation-2018.pdf (1.45 MB)

Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease changes perception in the Rubber Hand Illusion

Download (1.45 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2018-09-14, 00:00 authored by Catherine Ding, Colin J Palmer, Jakob Hohwy, George YoussefGeorge Youssef, Bryan Paton, Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Julie C Stout, Dominic Thyagarajan
Parkinson's disease (PD) alters cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic circuitry and susceptibility to an illusion of bodily awareness, the Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI). Bodily awareness is thought to result from multisensory integration in a predominantly cortical network; the role of subcortical connections is unknown. We studied the effect of modulating cortico-subcortical circuitry on multisensory integration for bodily awareness in 24 PD patients treated with subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS), in comparison to 21 healthy volunteers, using the RHI experiment. Typically, synchronous visuo-tactile cues induce a false perception of touch on the rubber hand as if it were the subject's hand, whereas asynchronous visuo-tactile cues do not. However, we found that in the asynchronous condition, patients in the off-stimulation state did not reject the RHI as strongly as healthy controls; patients' rejection of the RHI strengthened when STN-DBS was switched on, although it remained weaker than that of controls. Patients in the off-stimulation state also misjudged the position of their hand, indicating it to be closer to the rubber hand than controls. However, STN-DBS did not affect proprioceptive judgements or subsequent arm movements altered by the perceptual effects of the illusion. Our findings support the idea that the STN and subcortical connections have a key role in multisensory integration for bodily awareness. Decision-making in multisensory bodily illusions is discussed.



Scientific reports



Article number



1 - 10


Nature Publishing Group


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, The Authors