Why do I sometimes think my cell phone is ringing, when it’s not?

The mysterious world of phantom vibrations

May 26, 2011
These glowing numbers might have more power over you than you think. [Image Credit: Samantha Celera; Flickr]

Ah, the cell phone. That magical device that can text, tweet, check email, make appointments, keep our calendar organized, order food, calculate the tip, keep us on the right road … oh right, and make phone calls. But there could be a dark side to our favorite little machines — they could be making us hallucinate.

Is that my phone ringing? by Scienceline

About the Author

Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.S. in ecology and a minor in writing. She spent the last four years there poking around in labs, studying krill, climbing trees, riding bikes and perfecting her fish doodles. A sucker for being lost in strange places, she recently wandered her way through Costa Rica, Portugal, Tokyo and Bonaire and is excited to take her wandering to the epicenter of strange places, New York City.



Steven G. says:

I’ve been listening to several of your podcasts this morning on my phone instead of getting out of bed. Boy did this one throw me for a loop when I started the podcast and put my phone down on my chest, only to immediately receive a phone call! Thanks for the good laugh at myself. :P

Howard says:

I’ve wondered the exact same thing. But you give no answer here

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