Can you imagine what it is like to become a grapefruit? In a short preliminary study we combined virtual reality with fruit scents. When participants smelled and saw from the perspective of the same fruit (e.g. seeing and smelling a grapefruit), they embodied the fruit more than when they smelled a different fruit (e.g. seeing a grapefruit but smelling a strawberry).
The sense of smell has been highly neglected in the study of bodily self consciousness, and while this study is a playful exploration, it points at it’s important contribution for illusory embodiment. We have an ongoing collaboration with the University of Zurich and the University of Geneva, to study the contribution of the sense of smell to embodiment.
BeAnotherLab´s researcher Marte Roel, along with Helena Aicher, Sylvain Delplanque and Bigna Lenggenhager have published the study «Being Short, Sweet, and Sour: Congruent Visuo-Olfactory Stimulation Enhances Illusory Embodiment«, in wich they investigate whether congruent visuo-olfactory cues might enhance illusory self-identification with an arbitrary object.