Possibly one of the simplest experiments possible to conduct, requiring no special equipment. Simply stare at your hand for 5 mins. The experiment is described in the paper “the tickly homunculus and the origins of spontaneous sensations arising on the hands” in which you focus on your hand while staring at it (convergent focusing) or divergent focusing (staring at red marker next to the hand you are focussing on) for just 10 seconds and report the sensations. Here are the outcomes superimposed from 8 participants.
In this experiment, many of the bemused participants described a tingling where the hand made contact with the table. They were bemused because I did this experiment in the context of our methods and methodologies discussion group – where I was attempting to present my project. I thought it would be interesting to experience, ‘first hand’ the type of phenomenological experiments I’m looking at, and ‘practising’…
“The tickly homunculus and the origins of spontaneous sensations arising on the hands”
“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 (convergent focusing) and while looking away (divergent focusing) and subsequently to map and describe the spatial and qualitative attributes of sensations arising spontaneously…” (Michael and Naveteur 2011)
Michael, G. A. & J. Naveteur (2011) The tickly homunculus and the origins of spontaneous sensations arising on the hands. Conscious Cogn, 20, 603-17.