Where am I (exactly)? In search of the “egocentre”

If you have a GPS-enabled cellphone, it might be able to tell you (and some other interested parties) where you are, down to a metre or so. But for more accurate estimations of exactly where ‘you’ are – in the perceptual consciousness sense – there’s a new research project which may help. It was undertaken by Dr. Adrian John Tetteh Alsmith (Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen) and Dr. Matthew R. Longo (The Body Representation Laboratory, Birkbeck, University of London). Their experimental study asked ten participants to attempt to locate their ‘Egocentre’ using a specially designed rig. Here is Dr.Alsmith trying to pinpoint himself :


The study : ‘Where exactly am I? Self-location judgements distribute between head and torso’ (in : Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 24, February 2014, Pages 70–74) found that :

“Participants most frequently chose to point to one of two likely regions, the upper face or the upper torso, according to which they reached first. These results suggest that while the experienced self is not spread out homogeneously across the entire body, nor is it localised in any single point. Rather, two distinct regions, the upper face and upper torso, appear to be judged as where ‘I’ am.”

The paper may be found in full here:

Note: Based on the famous Five Ws, the study prompts Improbable in the direction of four other highly perplexing (as yet possibly unresolved) questions

• Who am I?
• What am I?
• When am I?
• Why am I?

Also don’t miss : Annals of Improbable Research, Vol. 13, No. 4, July/Aug 2007. The ‘Where in Your Head’ issue.