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I am hearing voices

  1. Aug 14, 2013 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2013 #2


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    I've got kids. I hear voices all the time.
  4. Aug 14, 2013 #3
    I loled when I read that.
  5. Aug 14, 2013 #4


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    ...but no beautiful musick.
  6. Aug 14, 2013 #5


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    For me it happens when it is pretty quiet, but there is a very soft source of white noise from something. Like it I'm at work on a weekend in my office, and the HVAC is making very quiet noises. Sounds like undefined music or maybe a radio talk show (even though there are no radios around).
  7. Aug 14, 2013 #6


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    From what I've read, it is not that uncommon with either auditory or visual hallucinations. Personally, I have only experienced it when extremely fatigued.
  8. Aug 14, 2013 #7
    I don't think it's a good idea to seek this experience because you run the risk of having it happen to you involuntarily at a later time when it is not welcome.

    Musical hallucinations are sometimes experienced by elderly, partially deaf people, and it is a great irritation to them. Oliver Sacks explains that the auditory cortex of the brain experiences a sort of starvation for stimulation when deafness sets in, and it makes up for this by repeating the firing patterns experienced in the past while hearing music in the background. These people can't control what they hear or when or the volume, and in many cases it drives them nuts.
  9. Aug 14, 2013 #8
    I've noticed when I'm in complete silence, like when I was a kid hiding in a closet, I start to hear a high pitched sound.
  10. Aug 14, 2013 #9


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    True, the article is not about doing this for "fun". The article is about a controlled study of psychosis induced through extreme sensory deprivation.

  11. Aug 14, 2013 #10
    This is almost exactly how I would describe it, too.

    Although I've only experienced this, oh, probably fewer than 10 times. The most irritating part was that the songs would always be vaguely familiar, so I would become temporarily obsessed with trying to figure out what song I was hearing.


    I also had a set of speakers on an old desktop that, when turned off, would produce what I interpreted as human voices, but, even after putting my ears right next to the speakers, I was unable to distinguish any words. The tone seemed very professional.

    Although, once I unplugged the speakers, the noises stopped.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  12. Aug 14, 2013 #11
    A television on a non channel with the hshhchchsht white noise has tiny voices sometimes.
    Could this be the explaintion about some particular people needing anti-alien and anti-government tin foil hats to hearing a burning bush talk to the explaantion of "so and so told me to do it"?
  13. Aug 15, 2013 #12


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    Just a quick note on terminology, if you are misinterpreting a sensory input (like white noise) as something its not, it is an illusion. So an illusion is based on a real external stimuli, it just isn't correctly interpreted.

    A hallucination is a sensory experience not based on a real external stimuli.
  14. Aug 15, 2013 #13


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    I'm curious, do people in this thread who report audio illusions/hallucinations consider themselves to have a high caffeine intake?
  15. Aug 15, 2013 #14
  16. Aug 15, 2013 #15
    Nope. Most of the occurrences were when I was much younger, anyway, before I even knew how great coffee can be.
  17. Aug 17, 2013 #16
    I had audio hallucinations, as well as the feeling the cabinet was falling on top of my bed, when I had tonsillitis. It was the night after the day of a headache not going away where I could not sleep at all.
  18. Aug 18, 2013 #17

    jim mcnamara

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    Humans have perception templates. Did you ever see a face or an animal in a cloud? Everyone has. The same thing is true for a broader range of sensory inputs, including sounds.

    Our sensory processing is analogous to what radio astronomers do - we employ built in filters which try to make sense of otherwise random-appearing input. Minus FFT's.

    So, at night when local background noises are not drowned out by traffic and hustle and bustle from outside, our processors pick up low level noises. Some are actually things we can identify, others may (or may not) get fudged by sensory processing into "speech". Or animal noises.

    This kind of background noise has been used to great spooky effect in some scary movies.

    Anyway, in: Douglas Hofstader's 'Metamagical Themas' and 'Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid' (1980) -- are the places I first encountered the concept of hard-wired perception templates. Both are probably secondary sources, but I never followed up.
  19. Aug 18, 2013 #18


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    Sensory deprivation has long been observed to trigger hallucinations.
  20. Aug 19, 2013 #19

    jim mcnamara

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    Sensory deprivation does that. I thought the thread was on about being alone in a quiet time and hearing things.
    Things that are not actually there.

    Drugs do that as well - meaning psychoactive prescription drugs. My wife died from Alzheimers; during the last months was prescribed valproic acid - a drug from 100 years ago. It was first synthesized in 1882. It helped her, but induced auditory hallucinations.
  21. Aug 22, 2013 #20
    Whisper voices to the voices so they hear voices and go crazy and stop speaking to you
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