After a week and a half of moving from our old place to a new one - an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with acutal damage to my stereo receiver and barbecue - I finally had the chance to sit down and relax for a bit tonight. My two daughters were watching the Bugs Bunny and Tweety show on TV (love that these cartoons are still entertaining today), so I sat and watched with them. The episode was called 'Bone for a bone', and starred Warner Bros. version of Disney's Chip 'n Dale, called Mac 'n Tosh, two adorable and affluent little chipmunk/gopher things. How has Apple not picked up on these guys yet? Anyway, in this episode they pull their usual mind-bending tricks on that poor dog, who always seems to be driven mad by those unassuming rodents. Here's the episode, first released in 1951:
Feel free to watch the whole thing, always entertaining for sure, but for the spot I find particularly interesting, advance to 3:00 and watch from there. The little gophers area actually inducing a rubber arm illusion on the dog, in which the dog's mind-body neuromatrix assumes the fake rubber arm into it's representation of the body boundaries based on the tactile stimuli being delivered by the rodent with the rope underground, and the synchronous visual stimuli of the other roden pulling the grey rubber hose. The illusion works so well, that the dog, presumably well aware that his arm is not actually 30 ft. long, actually has a distressing aversive reaction to seeing his fake arm being run over by a truck. This is a well-recognized illusion, and has been used plenty in research of late, but I love the fact that it was used in a Looney Tunes cartoon in the early '50s.