The tickly homunculus and the origins of spontaneous sensations arising on the hands

Consciousness and Cognition 20 (3):603-617 (2011)
Abstract
Everyone has felt those tingling, tickly sensations occurring spontaneously all over the body in the absence of stimuli. But does anyone know where they come from? Here, right-handed subjects were asked to focus on one hand while looking at it and while looking away and subsequently to map and describe the spatial and qualitative attributes of sensations arising spontaneously. The spatial distribution of spontaneous sensations followed a proximo-distal gradient, similar to the one previously described for the density of receptive units. The intensity and spatial extent of the reported sensations were modulated by the focusing condition, especially in respect of the left hand. Convergent focusing acted upon the conscious perception of sensations by enhancing or suppressing them. To our knowledge, this is the first ever study of spontaneous sensations, and it offers considerable insight into their sources. The presence of the proximo-distal distributional gradient is a clear sign that receptive units are involved. The enhancement/suppression effects also confirm the involvement of attention. Finally, left-hand dominance suggests several right-hemisphere processes may be involved, such as spatial and tactile perception, and probably interoception
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,271
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
M. I. Posner (1980). Orienting of Attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 32 (1):3-25.

View all 10 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Struan Jacobs (2000). Spontaneous Order: Michael Polanyi and Friedrich Hayek. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 3 (4):49-67.
Stephen L. White (1987). What is It Like to Be a Homunculus? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 68 (June):148-74.
Jonathan Schaffer (2005). Contrastive Knowledge. In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 1. Oxford University Press. 235.
Norton Nelkin (1987). How Sensations Get Their Names. Philosophical Studies 51 (May):325-39.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-08-17

Total downloads

9 ( #179,920 of 1,679,341 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #78,612 of 1,679,341 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.