Daily Archives: December 27, 2010

Zero Point- A New Woo Movement?

As part of my research for my  new book about the self illusion, I have just been writing about the subjective experience we all have of being inside our head.  This location is called the “point zero”  which is the phenomenological experience of where you think you are when you are conscious. There is a simple technique to locate your own point zero. Close your eyes and introspect. Focus on your self. With both hands, point with your index fingers to the sides of your head where you think your inner self is currently located. When both fingers are pointing to where you think you are having experience at this very moment in time inside your head, keep one finger pointing and with the other hand point to this same place from the front of your head so you can accurately triangulate where you feel your site of consciousness is. Now draw the imaginary lines to find the intersection where ‘X’ marks the spot.

This is where most people think they are at the moment

The above diagram is taken from studies of sighted and blind subjects. I think the interesting finding is that most people think that their self resides somewhere behind their eyes in the midline. Now of course, this is just a subjective experience. I think that this positioning is probably due to the need to have a point of reference for all the sensory systems to coordinate to protect the head and the brain within. Anyway we can speculate about this and I would be pleased to hear your opinions.

When I googled zero point, I discovered a decidedly woo-woo operation that is flogging wands and lotions to reduce pain. Here is one of their videos.

It was filmed this summer and has only had just over 700 hits but I see that zero point woo-woo is starting to take off using the same old ideomotor effects, suggestion and basic balance tricks to prove magical powers. Keep your third eye out for this one skeptics!

7 Comments

Filed under General Thoughts, Research