Volunteers experienced the body-swap illusion by receiving simultaneous visual and motor input from another's body. In one experiment, each participant stood across from a male mannequin, and in another experiment volunteers faced a female experimenter. A headset covering participants' eyes displayed a three-dimensional view of the other's visual perspective, transmitted from a small video camera positioned on the mannequin's or the woman's head. In the mannequin situation, an experimenter simultaneously touched the participant's belly and the mannequin's belly with separate probes. So the volunteer felt a poking in the abdomen but saw the poking happen as if he or she were the mannequin. In the real-person situation, participant and experimenter shook hands. Thus, while volunteers felt the sensation of hand shaking, it appeared to them that they were shaking their own hand. After 10 to 12 seconds of abdominal touch or hand-shaking, male and female participants spontaneously had the experience of looking out from the body of the male mannequin or the female experimenter. They literally felt that they were in the mannequin's body getting poked or had embodied the female experimenter and were shaking their own hands.
"Our subjects experienced this illusion as being exciting and strange, and often said that they wanted to come back and try it again."