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Quietest place on Earth messes with your head

  1. Apr 4, 2012 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    I think I could handle it. How about you?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2012 #2
    I've had four operations on my ears. Being deaf sucks, but I can certainly handle it because I've been there before.
  4. Apr 4, 2012 #3
    I’m so used to noisy teenagers that I don’t know if I could handle complete silence but it would be fun to try.

    Sensory deprivation or lack of any external stimuli does contribute to hallucinations. I think that if the brain is deprived of certain stimuli, the level of random activity increase in the nervous system.

    I thought the Charles Bonnet syndrome was also intriguing. People who suffer from visual loss can develop it. People who suffer from hearing loss can also hallucinate. They can hear music, voices, etc. There's even a hearing voices movement.



    I've never tried it but the Ganzfeld effect is supposed to work.

    “The Ganzfeld effect is the result of the brain amplifying neural noise in order to look for the missing visual signals. The noise is interpreted in the higher visual cortex, and gives rise to hallucinations. This is similar to dream production because of the brain's state of sensory deprivation during sleep.

    The Ganzfeld effect has been reported since ancient times. The adepts of Pythagoras retreated to pitch black caves to receive wisdom through their visions[2], known as the prisoner's cinema. Miners trapped by accidents in mines frequently reported hallucinations, visions and seeing ghosts when they were in the pitch dark for days. Arctic explorers seeing nothing but featureless landscape of white snow for a long time also reported hallucinations and an altered state of mind.”

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  5. Apr 4, 2012 #4
    I have tinnitus, so there is no such thing as silence. I usually listen to soft music when I go to sleep to stop the internal crickets. I think a quiet place like that would ruin me!
  6. Apr 5, 2012 #5
    I remember when I was a kid hiding in a closet and it was extremely quiet. I couldn't hear any sounds. But when it was completely silent, my ears would make a faint high pitched sound after a few seconds. Like my brain refused to hear complete silence, so it started making its own sound.

    But if that room can cause you to hallucinate just from it being so quiet, does that mean deaf people hallucinate?
  7. Apr 5, 2012 #6
    Only if you could hear your heartbeat...
  8. Apr 5, 2012 #7
    I would totally LOVE to go there. Sweet silence. Who cares about insanity? :biggrin:
  9. Apr 5, 2012 #8
    In Richard Feynman's book "Surely you're joking..." he goes into detail how he used to visit a sensory deprivation lab specifically to hallucinate!
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