Feeling in touch with other people is integral to the sense of being alive. We usually take it for granted and it only becomes an issue when we start to feel disconnected. In this regard, a variable sense of involvement with the world is quite normal, but more noticeable and lasting changes are the province of mental illness. Psychiatric patients quite often complain of an altered feeling of relatedness to the world and sometimes report a pervasive sense of being `cut off' and `out of contact'. When this happens, things feel ¯at and two-dimensional ± neither world nor self feels fully real.