Ever wanted to know what your “sixth sense” is like? Ever wanted to know what real hallucinations are? No, I am not talking about the schizophrenic kind of hallucinations or those caused by prescription drugs or dumping weed into your system… I am talking about experiencing real sensory hallucinations by playing a practical joke on your brain.
Well, did I say practical joke? At first it surely seems that way, but soon you will realize the power of your brain by this simple experiment which is called the Ganzfield Procedure. This is a well known procedure used to induce hallucinations in parapsychology experiments and you do not need a complex laboratory to do this stuff.
The Ganzfield Procedure-
Start off by turning on the radio to a station playing static. Lie down on a couch and place half ping-pong balls on your eyes just like in the picture. Within a few minutes, you will start experiencing a bizarre set of sensory distortions otherwise known as hallucinations. some people might hear voices or see a dead relative or animals. Some people might even find themselves stranded in the middle of a ocean or the unknown world.
Scientists have clearly been able to find out why these perceptual distortions occur and where they occur but they haven’t been able to find out the reason for what a person can see or hear. Studies have reported a variety of hallucinating experiences by individuals going through this experiment- some very striking.
The area of your brain that kicks out these distortions turns out to be your sensory cortex. Your cortex is addicted to perceiving sensations, so when it is deprived of its sensations by the static noise and half ping pong balls, your brain conjures up its own- resulting in these hallucinations. Amazing! isn’t it?
These experiments are the most recent ones in Parapsychology for testing the existence of affecting factors of telepathy- which is defined as the paranormal acquisition of information concerning the thoughts, feelings of activity of another person.
Parapsychologists such as Dean Radin and Daryl J Bem claim that the results of these experiments are one of the strongest evidence for telepathy to date and have published their results in the special issue of neuropsychology and paranormal experiences and beliefs. They say that there is significant deviation from randomness supporting their evidence but their critics like Susan Blackmore and Ray Hyman call for further studies before these results could be scientifically accepted.
Whatever may be the case, when I first read about it my curious mind got the best of me and I sat down with my headphones and a severed ping-pong ball. And what happened next was- truly bizarre and amazing….
Let me know what your experiences are if you ever wanna try it out! I will leave you with this BBC video about the Ganzfield Experiment which is directed by Keith McCarthy and was presented at the London Short Film Festival of 2010.
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