Tactile illusions: Seven ways to fool your sense of touch

And you thought that your brain could only mess with your vision! Graham Lawton, New Scientist, puts his sense of touch to the test.

Imagine you are lying in the bath with your toes poking out of the water. A drip starts to form on the tap; you watch as it grows, then drops onto your big toe. Ooh! Not pleasant – but was the drip boiling hot or icy cold? It’s impossible to tell.


What you just experienced was a tactile illusion – something psychologists are increasingly interested in. For at least 200 years, they have used visual and auditory illusions to uncover the inner workings of sensory perception. Now it is the turn of touch.

  • The Aristotle illusion
  • Perceptual rivalry
  • Boxing clever
  • I feel it in my fingers
  • Change numbness
  • Motion after-effects
  • Parchment skin

Source : New Scientist “Tactile illusions: Seven ways to fool your sense of touch“.