Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience the world like Alice from Alice in Wonderland ? There’s always Alice in Wonderland syndrome, but not
everybody has this and they most likely don’t want it. Instead, it would be interesting to witness the world like Alice for a short amount of time and then go back to being normal.
Three scientists in Sweden have figured out how to do this?
What have the scientists done?
These scientists have figured out how to fool the brain to make people believe they are small or bigger than their actual size. They are finding out how our bodies help perceive the world around us.
What was the procedure?
Volunteers looked through video displays that they wore on their heads. In the video displays, they saw mannequins. Each time this was done, there was a mannequin of a different size.
In the video displays, the mannequins got prodded with a rod. The volunteers got prodded with a rod in the same part of the body. This was only a firm touch with something like a dowel, so nobody was hurt.
As the mannequins and the volunteers got prodded in the same place, the volunteers started to think they were the size of the mannequins. Some were tiny while others were large.
People then wandered into view. They did not use any illusions. The volunteers perceived themselves as either tiny or large compared to the person.
How could this be used?
The scientists say that these illusions could be helpful to humans. The illusions could help to control robots. All a human would need is to perceive his or her body as a different size and to see what the robot is doing. The robot could fix a leaky oil pipe. The robot could do microsurgery.
Who are the scientists?
The scientists are Avrid Guterstam, Henrik Ehrsson, and Bj¶rn van der Hoort . They work at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
What did the scientists say about this experiment?
Bj¶rn van der Hoort says “The illusion is very strong.” He then cautioned that the research has not prepared anybody to use the illusion, but he thinks humans may be using it in ten to 15 years.