Body Association in VR

Prabodh Sakhardande | Amarnath Murugan | Jayesh Pillai

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Body association in VR

This project was independently taken up by Prabodh and Amarnath under the guidance of Prof. Jayesh Pillai. The project explores the effect of different stimuli on body association in VR.


Body association in VR is the extent to which users perceive a virtual body as their own. With the rubber hand illusion (Botvinick & Cohen, 1998) as a precursor, researchers have explored multiple ways to extend this illusion to the whole body, and VR has proven to be a useful tool in inducing this illusion. The authors of the rubber hand illusion point out that this illusion is a result of a three-way interaction between vision, touch, and proprioception. The same set of stimuli have been used predominantly in experiments on body association in VR, even though there have been explorations on the effect of other factors such as the realism of the virtual body (A. Maselli & M. Slater, 2013 ) and vestibular stimulation (N. Preuss & H. H. Ehrsson, 2019) on body association. Although Maselli et al. have compared the effect of combinations of synchronous and asynchronous tactile and visual stimuli, each of the three stimulus’s effect has not been observed separately and compared prior to this study.

Exploring Effect Of Different External Stimuli On Body Association In VR

Additionally, we also explore the effect of olfactory stimuli on body association since it has shown to increase immersion in VR experiences (M. H. Braun, 2019).

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Effect of olfactory stimuli on body association in VR


This work was presented as a poster in IEEEVR 2020, which was conducted virtually. The results of the experiment showed no statistical difference between the individual effects of visual, tactile, visuomotor and olfaction stimuli on body association. Additionally, it showed that users found the olfactory stimulus in VR to be most immersive compared to the rest.

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Poster presentation at IEEEVR 2020


  • Sakhardande P., Murugan A. and Pillai J.S. (2020). Exploring Effect Of Different External Stimuli On Body Association In VR, in: The 27th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR), Atlanta, USA.