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"Drug hallucinations look real in the brain"

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This is old news, but I figured it might be worth sharing anyway.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20978-drug-hallucinations-look-real-in-the-brain.html

A link to the original study is at the bottom of the article.

What do you guys think? Not really that surprising, eh?

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I wish people would stop misusing the term "hallucinogen". To say "the hallucinogen psilocybin" is not only misleading, but outright inaccurate. Hallucinations are sensory distortions which are perceived by the subject as being real, a part of consensual reality. Psychedelics rarely evoke true hallucinations - sometimes they produce "pseudohallucinations" (where you see or perceive something unreal but know that it's not real), or more often simply sensory alterations. The misuse seems especially lazy in this case where the original paper (here) is very careful to make this distinction by using phrases like "enhanced imagery" and "perceptual changes".

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I have this hypothesis, it is kind of under formed and I haven't done much research on the subject.

So basically the hypothesis goes, You know how our brains aren't actually seeing what is there. There making up parts of our vision (we have a blind spot in our vision), creating fill in textures etc. Just doing their job so life goes on smoothly.

However with prolonged use of psychedelics, this mechanism degrades somewhat and the trails, sense of distortion, variation in colour, aerial snow is our brain failing to properly regulate what we see.

I'm not a scientist or a scholar by the way so i cant really explain this too well.

What is everyone's thoughts on this?

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^^^

You mean you're not a real doctor?! :o

:lol:

I know what you mean - I think most people who use psychedelics would form this theory at some point or other. Basically that psychedelics, rather than causing hallucinations per se, are actually just removing some of the "reality-filters" (for want of a better term) that allow us to function in everyday life instead of crawling around grinning at fractals. And yes, there's a few scientific studies that support this idea! New Scientist had a good old article discussing how the various types of visual patterns seen on LSD usually fall into certain groups, which correspond to certain aspects of our visual processing - I can't find the original, but it's copied here.

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^^^

You mean you're not a real doctor?! :o

:lol:

I know what you mean - I think most people who use psychedelics would form this theory at some point or other. Basically that psychedelics, rather than causing hallucinations per se, are actually just removing some of the "reality-filters" (for want of a better term) that allow us to function in everyday life instead of crawling around grinning at fractals. And yes, there's a few scientific studies that support this idea! New Scientist had a good old article discussing how the various types of visual patterns seen on LSD usually fall into certain groups, which correspond to certain aspects of our visual processing - I can't find the original, but it's copied here.

When people usually talk about me they go, doctor who?

....

jokes aside THANK YOU! An interesting read and good to know Im not crazy :P

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I have this hypothesis, it is kind of under formed and I haven't done much research on the subject.

So basically the hypothesis goes, You know how our brains aren't actually seeing what is there. There making up parts of our vision (we have a blind spot in our vision), creating fill in textures etc. Just doing their job so life goes on smoothly.

However with prolonged use of psychedelics, this mechanism degrades somewhat and the trails, sense of distortion, variation in colour, aerial snow is our brain failing to properly regulate what we see.

I'm not a scientist or a scholar by the way so i cant really explain this too well.

What is everyone's thoughts on this?

sounds about right to me. i've definitely had long term effects similar to what you've described... good to know i'm not the only one.

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^^^

You mean you're not a real doctor?! :o

:lol:

I know what you mean - I think most people who use psychedelics would form this theory at some point or other. Basically that psychedelics, rather than causing hallucinations per se, are actually just removing some of the "reality-filters" (for want of a better term) that allow us to function in everyday life instead of crawling around grinning at fractals. And yes, there's a few scientific studies that support this idea! New Scientist had a good old article discussing how the various types of visual patterns seen on LSD usually fall into certain groups, which correspond to certain aspects of our visual processing - I can't find the original, but it's copied here.

i posted thoughts on another forum. to sum it up, while i thought that study was probably valid in some way we still only have a pretty rudimentary understanding of visual processing and the supposedly common hallucination patterns being discussed really, truly, didn't give any credit to the complexity of tryptamine hallucinations.

too many thoughts that i've already shared in older threads so i'll just reiterate: relegating the imcomprehensible complexity of trip visuals to categories like 'swirling tunnel' is condescending and i just can't take it very seriously. we know a lot but there is so much more to know.

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Interesting topic is interesting. Sometimes I see the works of other visionary artists and *know* that they have had a basically identical vision. Similarly plenty enough folks have said of my own works that they've 'been' to that space. I find it interesting considering that it is possible for two people to live simultaneously in different parts of the world and not ever see the same things in waking life. It seems to me that there is a legitimate congruity between the experienced visual phenomena associated with non-ordinary states of reality.

On a slightly related note this should give you some food for thought. I don't condone this type of treatment of cats btw. Not sure of how legitimate the science behind it is yet is is somewhat interesting and disturbing in equal measure.

This is supposedly how we would look if we were proportional to how we see our own body.

post-5454-0-77105800-1392287462_thumb.jp

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This is supposedly how we would look if we were proportional to how we see our own body.

image.jpg

Imagine what masturbating would look like with hands that size.

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^^^

Ah proprioception! Now that's a weird one! For anyone who hasn't read about it already, proprioception is basically our body's sense of itself - it's what lets you touch your nose when your eyes are closed. The picture above is a "sensory homunculus", which the size of each body part is supposed to correspond roughly to the amount of brain we devote to processing sensory information from it. It's interesting to compare it to this one. a "motor homunculus", which corresponds to the brain power we devote to then moving those same parts.

motor_1.jpg

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