Phantom Vibration Syndrome: ‘My Leg Is Vibrating Even Though I Don’t Have A Cellphone In My Pocket’ Is A Thing.

Your leg is ringing - Phantom Vibration Syndrome

The phantom buzzing your feel on your cellphone-not-in-pocket leg sort of has a name – phantom vibration syndrome. From NPR:

“Nearly 90 percent of college undergrads in a 2012 study said they felt phantom vibrations. The number was just as high for a survey of hospital workers, who reported feeling phantom vibrations on either a weekly or monthly basis.

‘Something in your brain is being triggered that’s different than what was triggered just a few short years ago,’ says Dr. Larry Rosen, a research psychologist who studies how technology affects our minds.

‘If you’d ask me 10 years ago, or maybe even five years ago if I felt an itch beneath where my pocket of my jeans were, and asked me what I would do, I’d reach down and scratch it because it was probably a little itch caused by the neurons firing,’ he says. Now, of course, the tingle triggers him to reach for his phone. Rosen says it’s an example of how our devices are changing how our brains process information.

‘We’re seeing a lot of what looks like compulsive behavior, obsessive behavior. People who are constantly picking up their phone look like they have an obsession. They don’t look much different from someone who’s constantly washing their hands. I’m not saying that it is an obsession, but I’m saying that it could turn into one, very easily,’ Rosen says.”

Personally, I’ve found that the likelihood of a phantom vibration increases when I’m expecting a call or text. You can read more about phantom vibration syndrome at NPR. [NPR via Betabeat]

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