Is there a scientific explanation for the feeling that something invisible is near you?

Some people have probably experienced the strange feeling that something is in their room when they are alone in their room late at night, or when they suddenly wake up in the middle of the night.

Ben Alderson Day , an associate professor of psychology at Durham University, is attempting to provide a scientific explanation for this sensation, which is often dismissed as a psychic experience or paranormal phenomenon.

What science can tell us about the experience of unexplainable presence

One of the greatest studies on the feeling of ``something invisible being in the room'' is the `` Census of Hallucinations '' conducted by the British Society for the Study of Psychic Phenomena in 1894. The Society for the Study of Psychic Phenomena is an organization whose purpose is to scientifically study psychic phenomena such as telepathy, hypnotism, ghosts, and séances, and was founded by Henry Sidgwick, a philosopher and professor at the University of Cambridge.

The Association for the Study of Psychic Phenomena conducted a census on hallucinations, surveying more than 17,000 people in the UK, America, and Europe. As a result, nearly 10% of people answered, ``When I was awake, I saw, touched, or heard a voice that was physically impossible.''

Alderson Day points out that many of the cases collected by the Society for Psychical Phenomenon Research appear to be hallucinations related to

hypnogogia (semi-awake state) . It is known that hallucinations, lucid dreams , and paralysis are more likely to occur during the semi-awake state, and research has shown that many religious experiences reported in the 19th century are related to the semi-awake state. thing.

Among the phenomena experienced in a semi-awake state, it is said that Kanasari is particularly strongly related to the ``feeling that something invisible exists''. Similar to REM sleep , during kinbaku you cannot move your body's muscles, but your consciousness remains awake, and more than 50% of people who experienced kinbaku felt they had encountered something invisible. Research results have been reported.

There are various theories as to why a state of restraint causes hallucinations, one of which is that it is ``to reconcile the fear felt by instinct with reality.'' When a person is faced with an unusual situation where they are awake but unable to move, their instincts are to sense a threat, but nothing is actually threatening them. So, in order to bridge the gap between instinct and reality, the body imagines ``something terrifying that doesn't actually exist.''

Another theory is that certain elements present in Kinshibari create a sense of the presence of something invisible. In the first place, the ``feeling that something invisible exists'' has been reported in patients with Parkinson's disease and mental illness, near-death experiences, and bereavement of loved ones, so there may be some common factor in these cases. not.

Experiments that applied electrical stimulation to the left hemisphere of the brain, and experiments that disrupted healthy people's expectations of physical sensations, suggest that physical cues can make us feel something that isn't actually there. . Mr. Alderson-Day believes that this logic can be applied to the case of kinbaku, arguing that the confusion of the body and senses in kinbaku may create a ``feeling that something invisible exists.'' I am.

A 2022 study conducted by a research team led by Alderson Day investigated the ``feeling of something invisible'' caused by near-death experiences, spiritual experiences, and sports that require endurance. As a result, it was found that although the factors and situations that caused the hallucinations were different, there were several commonalities such as ``feeling that it was behind me''.

Alderson-Day said that scientific research into the ``sense of the presence of something invisible'' has just begun, and it is unclear whether one theory will ultimately provide an explanation, or whether multiple theories will be combined. said.

in Science, Posted by log1h_ik