Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have come up a way by which participants think that they are invisible, it is not actually becoming invisible but it tricks the brain to believe that they are invisible.
The illusion of being invisible can solve many problems including the social anxiety when standing in front of an audience.
Researchers have used virtual reality headset and few props to make the person believe that he/she is invisible.
Participants have put the VR headset while standing and then look towards where their body parts should be, but instead see the live camera feed pointed at an identical empty space in the same room.
The participant is then touched with the paintbrush on the abdomen, while an identical paintbrush is seen via the live virtual feed touching the area of their invisible abdomen.
The illusion was performed on 125 participants, and they were tricked into believing that they were invisible.
Arvid Guterstam, lead author of the study said, “Within less than a minute, the majority of the participants started to transfer the sensation of touch to the portion of empty space where they saw the paintbrush move and experienced an invisible body in that position.”
Scientists believe that the findings can help to treat social anxiety disorder where they experience fear of certain social situations.
In another experiment, it was found that the participant felt less fear in front of an audience when he believed that he was invisible.
Guterstam said, “We found that their heart rate and self-reported stress level during the ‘performance’ was lower when they immediately prior had experienced the invisible body illusion compared to when they experienced having a physical body.”