Newport R, Wong DY, Howard EM and Silver E. (2016). The Anne Boleyn Illusion is a Six-Fingered Salute to Sensory Remapping. i-Perception September-October 2016 7: 2041669516669732, first published on September 21, 2016 doi:10.1177/2041669516669732

PDF (the paper)

Instructions (how to do it)

This one is not strictly a MIRAGE illusion, but it came about through our MIRAGE research. This is one that anybody can do at home and gives the illusion of having an extra finger on one hand. 


Newport, R., Auty, K., Carey, M., Greenfield, K., Howard, E., Ratcliffe, N., Thair, H., & Themelis, K. (2015) Give it a Tug and Feel it grow: Extending Body Perception Through the Universal Nature of Illusory Finger Stretching. i-perception  6(5) 1-4. doi:10.1177/2041669515599310

We had some fun with this experiment and publication. Through our many public engagement events we knew that finger stretching works on just about everyone, but we had never formally measured that and this paper was the result.

Greenfield, K., Ropar, D., Smith, A. D., Carey, M., and Newport, R. (2015).  Visuo-tactile integration in autism: atypical temporal binding may underlie greater reliance on proprioceptive information. Molecular Autism.

A supernumerary limb illusion used to investigate sensory integration in children with autism.

Perera, T-M., Newport, R., and McKenzie, K.M. (2015). Multisensory distortions of the hand have differential effects on tactile perception. Experimental Brain Research. (DOI) 10.1007/s00221-015-4384-8

An experiment using our finger stretching (and shrinking) illusion from our Malaysian collaborators and a first publication for Treshi. Changing the perceived shape of your body changes how you process touch on the changed body part.

Bellan, V., Gilpin, H.R., Stanton, T.R., Newport, R., Gallace, A. & Moseley, G.L. (2015). Untangling visual and proprioceptive contributions to hand localisation over time. Experimental Brain Research.

One from our Australian collaborators and a neat variation on the Disappearing Hand Trick to investigate how the brain keeps track of body parts.

McKenzie, K. J., & Newport, R. (2015). Increased somatic sensations are associated with reduced limb ownership. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78(1), 88-90.

The first use of our tingling hand illusion which uses a visual effect to make it feel as though your hand is tingling, even though we do nothing to your real hand.


Gilpin, H.R., Moseley, G.L., Stanton, T.R. & Newport, R. (2014). Evidence for distorted mental representation of the hand in osteoarthritis. Rheumatology 2014. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu367


Scriven, R.J., & Newport, R. (2013). Spatial compression impairs prism adaptation in healthy individuals. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00165

This one took the visual space that the hand moved around in and squashed it up on one side only to see if we could model what might be happening in some people following brain damage.


Preston, C., & Newport, R. (2012). How long is your arm? Using multisensory illusions to modify body image from the third person perspective. Perception, 41(2), 247 – 249.

Here, we used finger stretching illusion technology to see if we could stretch the arm from a third-person perspective (like watching yourself from a distance).


Newport, R., & Gilpin, H.R. (2011). Multisensory disintegration and the disappearing hand trick. Current Biology. 21(19), R804-R805.

One of our absolute favourites. The illusion makes it feel as though your hand has disappeared. You can find out more about this in the illusions section on this site.

Preston, C., & Newport, R. (2011). Evidence for dissociable representations for body image and body schema from a patient with visual neglect. Neurocase. 17(6), 473-479.

Preston, C., & Newport, R. (2011). Differential effects of perceived hand location on the disruption of embodiment by apparent physical encroachment of the limb. Cognitive Neuroscience. 2(3-4), 163-170.

A further development of the supernumerary (two hands) illusion. In this one we destroyed ownership of the limb by passing a wooden stick through the hand.

Newport, R., & Preston, C. (2011). Disownership and Disembodiment of the real limb without visuo-proprioceptive mismatch. Cognitive Neuroscience. 2(3-4), 179-185.

Preston, C., & Newport, R. (2011). Analgesic effects of       multisensory illusions in osteoarthritis. Rheumatology50(12), 2314-2315.

The press went mad for this. We used our finger stretching illusion on people with painful osteoarhtritis in the hand and showed that multi sensory illusions can change the way people experience pain.


Karok, S., & Newport, R. (2010). Continuous updating of grasp in response to dynamic changes in object size, hand size and distractor proximity. Neuropsychologia. 48(13), 3891- 3900.

This is actually one of my favourite experiments: as you reach towards an object to pick it up your hand gets bigger,  the object gets bigger or other objects nearby move. Our brain is pretty good at dealing with all of this.

Newport, R., & Preston, C. (2010). Pulling the finger off disrupts agency, embodiment and peripersonal space. Perception. 39(9), 1296 – 1298.

We might have done this one because we could. For this paper we stretched the finger until the tip popped off. Then we stabbed it with a stick.

Preston, C., & Newport, R. (2010). Self-denial and the role of intentions in the sense of agency. Consciousness and Cognition. 19(4), 986-998.

The first use of limb displacement to change how much you thought your own arm belonged to you.

Newport, R., Pearce, R., & Preston, C. (2010). Fake hands in action: embodiment and control of supernumerary limbs. Experimental Brain Research. 204(3), 385-395

The first use of virtual limb duplication and one of our most cited papers. We showed that by changing how the hand moved could change whether your brain thought it was yours or not.


Newport, R., Preston, C., Pearce, R., & Holton, R. (2009). Eye rotation does not contribute to shifts in subjective straight ahead: implications for neglect. Neuropsychologia. 47(8-9), 2008-2012.

The first MIRAGE publication. Quite complicated, but essentially we used virtual displacement of the limb to undo the effects of prisms (which shift everything you see to one side). It was horribly complicated, but it got us started.