Rice University

The visual modality typically dominates over our other senses. Here we show that after inducing an extreme conflict in the left hand between vision of touch (present) and the feeling of touch (absent), sensitivity to touch increases for several minutes after the conflict. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the posterior parietal cortex after this conflict not only eliminated the enduring visual enhancement of touch, but also impaired normal tactile perception. This latter finding demonstrates a direct role of the parietal lobe in modulating tactile perception as a result of the conflict between these senses. These results provide evidence for visual-to-tactile perceptual modulation and demonstrate effects of illusory vision of touch on touch perception through a long-lasting modulatory process in the posterior parietal cortex.

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