Illusory force perception following a voluntary limb movement

Carl P T Jackson, Christopher Miall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a novel illusion in which participants report constant forces on their hand as steadily increasing. Participants made discrete reaching movements perturbed by a lateral force that increased with the distance moved; when stationary at the end of the movement, a true constant force was perceived to increase. We tested perceived subjective equality by increasing or decreasing the force. The illusion was significantly stronger when the perturbation was applied during active movement. We conclude that the unusual context of moving against lateral spring forces results in participants failing to predict steady lateral forces at the end of their movement, and causes an illusion of increasing forces even after movement termination. This result further emphasizes the role of action prediction in sensory perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-679
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2010


  • Arm
  • Force
  • Human
  • Illusion
  • Motor control
  • Psychophysics
  • Sensorimotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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