Saturday, April 25, 2015
Invisible Man Created By Scientists In Lab
Swedish scientists have created for the first time in the lab a perceptual illusion of having an invisible body among humans. The experiment involved 125 participants standing and wearing sets of head-mounted displays. The participants were then asked to look down at their bodies but instead of their real bodies they saw empty space. To evoke the feeling of an invisible body, scientists touched the body of participants in various locations with a large paintbrush while, with another paintbrush held in other hand, exactly imitating the movement in mid-air in full view of the participants. "Within less than a minute, the majority of the participants started to transfer the sensation of touch to the portion of empty space where they saw the paintbrush move and experienced an invisible body in that position" explained the lead author from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. In a previous study the same team showed that the similar illusion can be created for single hand. To demonstrate that the illusion actually worked the researcher would make a stabbing motion with a knife toward the empty space that represented the belly of the invisible body. The participants' sweat response to seeing the knife was elevated while experiencing the illusion but absent when the illusion was broken. "It suggests that the brain interprets the threat in the empty space as a threat directed towards one's own body" the authors noted. The recent advances in material science have shown that invisibility cloaking of large-scale objects such as human body might be possible in the not-so-distant future.