SC13: Altered States of Embodiment


I will give an introduction into the newest progress of embodiment research with a special focus on states of altered embodiment due to pathology or experimental manipulation. I will present data empirical evidence from animals and human research including a broad variety of methods ranging from neuroimaging studies to virtual reality techniques. There will be hands-on demonstration of some of the most classical and successful experimental setups to manipulate and study the bodily self. I will also discuss the broader implications of this research for other disciplines such as engineering or philosophy.


- Knowing (and trying out some of) the most common experimental setups that are used in neuroscience to investigate the sense of a body and a self
- Knowing the current literature on neural underpinnings of the bodily self
- Knowing the most common neurological and psychiatric disorders of the bodily self


Blanke O. (2012). Multisensory brain mechanisms of bodily self-consciousness. Nat Rev Neurosci. 18;13(8):556-71.

Brugger P & Lenggenhager B (2014). The bodily self and its disorders: neurological, psychological and social aspects. Curr Opin Neurol. 2014 Dec;27(6):644-52. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000151

Course location

Hörsaal 3

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Bigna Lenggenhager


Bigna Lenggenhager is an assistant professor at the University of Zurich and head of the research group Cognitive Neuropsychology with focus Body, Self and Plasticity. She did her PhD at the EPFL Lausanne followed by postdoctoral research positions in Rome, Bern and Zurich. Her research interest and focus lies in investigating how the brain normally creates our stable sense of a bodily self and how it might be disturbed in neurological and psychiatric conditions. For her research she combined methods from psychology, neuroscience and virtual reality.