Cutaneous saltation within and across arms: a new measure of the saltation illusion in somatosensation

Percept Psychophys. 2005 Apr;67(3):458-68. doi: 10.3758/bf03193324.


A new objective procedure was used to measure the strength of cutaneous saltation, in order to clarify current debates about the nature of this illusion. Three taps were presented successively to three possible forearm locations. Participants attended to the middle location and reported whether a tap was perceived there. When all stimuli were delivered to the same arm and intertap intervals were short, participants were unable to distinguish real and illusory stimuli at the middle location. When both arms were stimulated, location judgments on one arm were shifted toward a tap subsequently delivered to the other arm. These results challenge the view that saltation is a purely attentional phenomenon, but they are inconsistent with the idea that this illusion is produced in the primary somatosensory cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optical Illusions*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Touch*
  • Upper Extremity*