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Conscious Cogn. 2018 Feb;58:97-110. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2017.10.015. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

The neuropsychophysiology of tingling.

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Institute of Health Promotion and Sport Sciences, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary; Doctoral School of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.
Somatosensory and Autonomic Therapy Research, Institute of Neuroradiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Institute of Health Promotion and Sport Sciences, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. Electronic address:


Tingling is a bodily sensation experienced under a variety of conditions from everyday experiences to experimental and therapeutic situations. It can be induced by both peripheral or afferent (external stimulation, peripheral pathology) and higher cognitive (expectation) processes. The paper summarizes the current scientific knowledge on the neurophysiological and psychological concomitants of the tingling sensation. Four possible models are identified and presented: the afferent, the attention-disclosed, the attention-evoked, and the efferent model. Of these, only the attention-disclosed model, i.e., attention discloses the sensation by opening the gate for suppressed sensory information, appears to be able to explain every aspect of the tingling phenomenon. Terminological issues and the possible role of the tingling phenomenon in medically unexplained symptoms, nocebo and placebo reactions, and body-oriented therapeutic interventions are also discussed.


Body attention; Body pleasure; Interoception; Paresthesia; Spontaneous sensations

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