The unsettling feeling that there is someone else in the room with you can be artificially induced.
Scientists have succeeded in identifying the parts of the brain responsible for the feeling of an unseen presence in the room, a sensation that is typically associated with the paranormal.
The researchers used brain scans of 12 people with neurological disorders to pinpoint the affected regions of the brain and then used that information to develop an experiment that could reproduce sensations of a presence in healthy volunteers.
Each participant was asked to manipulate a robot with their hands while a second robot traced the same movements on that person’s back. When the two movements were in sync the volunteer reported nothing out of the ordinary, but when a delay was introduced between their movements and the corresponding movements of the robot they began feeling as though someone else was there.
Two of the volunteers were so freaked out by the experience that they were unable to finish.
The scientists behind the experiment believe that under the right circumstances the brain becomes confused and misinterprets the body’s position, believing it instead to be that of someone else.