" “Phantom vibrations are this unusual curiosity that speaks to our connection with our phones,” said David Laramie, a clinical psychologist in Beverly Hills who did his doctoral thesis on people’s relationships with their mobile phones. Laramie’s thesis, published in 2007, was the first study to examine the prevalence of phantom vibrations and phantom ringing. Two-thirds of the people he surveyed had experienced one or the other. “It’s part of the modern landscape and our relationship with technology,” he said.
…Hallucination may not be the most appropriate term, according to Laramie. “You’re misinterpreting something, but there is this external cue. You’re not totally making it up.” A compelling alternative, he suggests, is pareidolia. “That’s the phenomenon where you see a face in the clouds…Essentially, it’s your brain getting a little bit carried away with its normally very useful talent for finding patterns in the world around you."
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