Scientists "swap bodies" of friends and discover they swap personalities, too

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what about a face swap?


So, in VRChat, there’s the concept of “Phantom Touch.” Those of us with it, can feel a sensation when our avatars are interacted with (hugs, cuddles, head-pats and more). Many only develop it around the cheeks/arms, I’m lucky enough to have it everywhere.

It does convey some small detriment. When other avatars have a sword for example, there are those that feel very real pain if sliced. I, myself, can feel… a severe unease, as if something ethereal has just sliced through me. I find it unfortunate the researchers chose to stimulate a fear response, but I also understand that’d be easily and empirically measurable through galvanic skin response.

At any rate, for someone that’s extremely physically affectionate, and stuck in this era of extreme isolation: it’s been a legitimate lifesaver. I’m happy to see researchers are exploring the ramifications of this new environment.

And, well, this research has been a long time coming. I’m excited to see it gaining traction. Especially in the field of phantom limbs. Here’s a few quick links on the topic.

Good Quora snippet on phantom sense and VR

When seeing is feeling: Acquired synaesthesia or phantom touch?

Synaesthesia in the normal limb

Links above from when I was trying to find the original study I recalled, from the 70s, in which a participant built up phantom sense by watching someone else’s arm being touched at the same time their arm (hidden) was touched. After a few minutes of this, they continue stroking the other arm and the participant reported feeling the touch. Let me know if any of you happen to remember the study!

I’m happy to answer questions if there’s genuine curiosity.


Now replicate this study with sex, and you have the recipe for one hell of a weird porno.

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Way ahead of you.

Video link for experimental art installation (mildly NSFW/boobies)


That’s not a body swap! Am disappoint…



In circumstances I probably shouldn’t describe in public, myself and a whole room of other people were given the perspective of one person (no swapping happening), and it ended up being quite disturbing, even a little traumatic. It really does fool your brain, seeing things through someone else’s eyes, even if you’re not in control of what’s happening.


As the great Emo Philips once said, “Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do judge him, you’re a mile away and you have his shoes.”


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This leaves me with two questions. First, how long did the effect on the brain last? Second, if a person who usually drives on the right swapped bodies with someone who normally drives on the left, could that reduce the chances of mixing up the lanes? Asking for a friend. :wink:

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