Feeling Someone Behind You Who Is Not There

Culture Dish comments on a fascinating finding by Swiss researchers, published in Nature and reported by the National Geographic“[A]s a result of focal electrical stimulation of the left temporoparietal junction,” … they induced “[t]he strange sensation that somebody is nearby when no one is actually present”.

One comment

  1. The bilateral workings of the temporo-parietal-junction (in both right and left hemisphere but each with domain specific functions) put the self in contact with the world.

    Rebecca Saxe tell us that is indispensable for mind reading.
    Olaf Blanke, that is one of the essential areas responsible for OBE (out of body experience) and now also says that TPJ could be implicated in some induced illsuions concerning our phenomenological representation of the body. Of course, this offers cues on the explanation of psychopathological illusions (e.g. persecutory illusions, paranoia) and some of the positive sympotms in schizophrenia regarding delusions of control, lack of intentionality etc.

    But all of this makes me wonder. If the subjects in the experiment were in relevant respects aware and sensing visually their surroundings and so on, why they credit to much their somathosensory mechanisms and less their visual channels? is it becuase we have to revise our millenenary wisdom about the reign of the visual modality in constructing our cogntion and phenomenology over others sensitive modalities?

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