It’s like my real hand! - Extending our Bodies in Virtual and Augmented Reality

PhD defence, Wednesday 24 October 2018. Tiare Feuchtner.

2018.10.24 | Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Tiare Feuchtner.

Virtually extending the body in augmented reality. Wearing a head mounted display the user (right) can see a virtual arm in place of his own (left). This virtual arm can be extended to supernatural length to manipulate distant objects in the environment.

During her PhD studies, Tiare Feuchtner researched the body ownership illusion in Virtual and Augmented Reality. She has conducted experiments showing that the body ownership illusion can be leveraged to overcome the limitations of our physical bodies and to create more efficient and engaging interactions. The conviction that your physical hand is, in fact, your own hand is an example of body ownership. When this feeling is achieved for an artificial body part (e.g., a virtual hand) we speak of the illusion of body ownership.

The results of this research indicate that our mental body representation may be more malleable than was previously believed. For instance, humans can feel body ownership of an unnaturally long virtual arm or a virtual hand that appears in a different position and orientation relative to the body. While most approaches to VR and AR interaction design attempt to modify the virtual world with which we interact, Tiare proposes to instead augment the body we interact through - or at least our mental image thereof.

The PhD degree was completed at Department of Computer Science, Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Wednesday 24 October 2018 at 11.00
Place: Building 5342, room 333, ADA, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N
Title of PhD thesis: Designing for Hand Ownership in Interaction with Virtual and Augmented Reality
Contact information: Tiare Feuchtner, e-mail:,
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Kasper Hornbæk, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen
Principle Applied Researcher Betty J. Mohler, Amazon
Associate Professor Peyman Afshani (chair), Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University


Main supervisor:
Professor Kaj Grønbæk, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University
Jörg Müller, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, buildings 1520 and 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Revised 19.10.2018