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[deleted] t1_j2cqieg wrote



FartyPants69 t1_j2d2qb0 wrote

That's a very interesting point, and raises a tangential question: What exactly causes that sensation?

Why do we feel like our head is the center of our body, rather than something like our center of mass (our torso)?

Is it possible to shift that sensation using mind-altering techniques like meditation, sensory deprivation, drugs, etc.? What's behind that, physiologically?


Nooms88 t1_j2d3xme wrote

Our main sensory organs and how we experience the world is focused around the head, our eyes, ears and nose. When we reach out to touch something we can see our arms with our eyes from the perspective of our head


FartyPants69 t1_j2d6b4m wrote

And that makes intuitive sense, but why does that feeling persist when I'm lying in bed in a dark, quiet, still room? My senses are basically idling, very little input, but my "center" remains in my head. I think something has to account for that aside from sensory input.


-Teltar t1_j2dciv5 wrote

There's probably more to it, but the fact that you're using your head senses the majority of the time could cause the sensation you are describing as the norm.

Even the smaller amount of time you're lying in bed in the dark, you will still be using your hearing and smell.

It's interesting to think about though.


Nooms88 t1_j2e1j7t wrote

Because you're used to it from birth. I wonder what someone who was born blind and deaf would feel.


vavverro t1_j2d5m6f wrote

Ancient Greeks and ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the source of thought, emotion, body control etc. it’s called cardiocentric theory. The fact that we feel our head to be the vessel of our consciousness is the result of scientific knowledge becoming common sense.


FartyPants69 t1_j2d6v5p wrote

Hmm, that's interesting but I don't know if that explains it exactly. I can recall being aware of the sensation of being "centered" in my head as a young child, long before I would have been aware of the physiology of my brain or nervous system.


vavverro t1_j2dexay wrote

Well, I would argue that possibly at very early age there’s no yet fully formed concept of self consciousness, and by the time it develops, the child is already culturally primed to such an extent that it can’t help but have same mental concepts as all adults.

Its fascinating how sometimes things that we feel to be natural and innate to human nature are actually culture-based. There are societies where they don’t have notions for left and right, they perceive sides of objects and their own bodies in terms of global directions. And stuff like that.


breadcreature t1_j2dh1fx wrote

It is possible to shift that with meditation, it can be used as a way to sort of train yourself to focus attention on different things. I'd say it's a bit like if someone tells you to "make yourself heavy", you can't literally change your weight with your mind but you don't consciously think which muscles to relax and so on either, you just sort of... be heavy. So you can try to "be in your foot" and think about how the other parts of your body are moving around that instead. I've had it click sometimes but it promptly surprises me out of the state.

Also with meditation, psychedelic/dissociative drugs and things like sensory deprivation chambers, people sometimes experience complete dissociation where their awareness is fully outside their body!


Yahallo139 t1_j2ct8bf wrote

Same, also when you have headache is easier to tell


TheFfrog t1_j2damrr wrote

I had never thought of this, but i absolutely do and I'll never be able to unfeel this lol


Just_OneReason t1_j2darfj wrote

Sort of related anecdote: I’ve known multiple kids who at the age of about three or four telling me they did something because “their brain told them to”


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EmilyU1F984 t1_j2d1j0i wrote

Yea. That‘s how it works for every healthy human.

I don’t think even Stone Age people would have assumed anything else without thinking about it.


vavverro t1_j2d5fft wrote

It’s a cultural thing. Not a “healthy human” thing. We think that way because it’s a common knowledge now, and feels self evident. Google cardiocentric theory. Ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks believed that the source of thought and emotion was the heart, and that it controls movement.