URL with Digital Object Identifier
A tool can function as a body part yet not feel like one: Putting down a fork after dinner does not feel like losing a hand. However, studies show fake body-parts are embodied and experienced as parts of oneself. Typically, embodiment illusions have only been reported when the fake body-part visually resembles the real one. Here we reveal that participants can experience an illusion that a mechanical grabber, which looks scarcely like a hand, is part of their body. We found changes in three signatures of embodiment: the real hand’s perceived location, the feeling that the grabber belonged to the body, and autonomic responses to visible threats to the grabber. These findings show that artificial objects can become embodied even though they bear little visual resemblance to the hand.