It’s Just My Imagination

The phrase, “It’s just my imagination running away with me,” coming from the Temptations in 1971 in their hit song, “It’s Just My Imagination,” tells more truth than fiction.  Research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that was led by Professor Henrik Ehrsson indicates that one’s imagination is strong enough to change one’s real-world perception.  He says that “what we imagine hearing or seeing ‘in our heads’ can change our actual perception.

Volunteer test respondents were given a series of three tests where they were asked to use their imaginations to change the perception of another sense.  For example, in one experiment they were asked to imagine two objects colliding, instead of passing by each other.  

The significance of this study, according to Professor Ehrsson, is that it represents the FIRST  experiments that demonstrate that “the sensory signals generated by one’s imagination are strong enough to change one’s real-world perception of a different sensory modality.


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