When you close your eyes and try to think of the shape of your own body, what you imagine (or, rather, what you feel) is quite different from what you see when you open your eyes and look in the mirror. The image you feel is much vaguer than the one you see. And if you lie still, it is impossible to imagine yourself as having any particular size or shape.

When you move, when you feel the weight of your arms and legs and the natural resistance of the objects around you, the ‘felt’ image of yourself becomes clearer. It is almost as if it were created by your own actions and the sensations they cause. The image you create for yourself has rather strange proportions: certain parts feel much larger than they look.

The felt images


If you poke your tongue into a hole in one of your teeth, it feels enormous; you are often surprised by how small it looks when you inspect it in the mirror. But although the ‘felt’ image may not have the shape you see in the mirror, it is much more important. It is the image through which you recognise your physical existence in the world. In spite of its strange proportions, it is all one piece, and since it has a consistent right and left and top and bottom, it allows you to locate new sensations when they occur. It allows you to find your nose in the dark, scratch itches and point to a pain.

The carpets of felt images
Felt image carpets


Mark the best choice.

1. The ‘felt’ image of oneself is clearer .

a) in an upright position with eyes closed b) when you look in the mirror

c) in a lying position with eyes open d) when you start to move


2. The ‘felt* image . a) has a certain size and shape b) has different proportions from the real image

c) is created by actions and the related sensations d) makes you feel the natural resistance of the objects around you


3. Which of the following is not correct about the ‘felt’ image?

a) It is more important than what you see in the mirror. b) It makes you aware of your physical being.

c) It allows you to locate new sensations. d) It makes you feel that your body is larger than it really is.

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