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    Thread: The Ganzfeld effect: Quick, safe, homemade hallucinations

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      The Ganzfeld effect: Quick, safe, homemade hallucinations

      Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia.com
      The Ganzfeld effect (from German for “complete field”) is a phenomenon of visual perception caused by staring at an undifferentiated and uniform field of color. The effect is described as the loss of vision as the brain cuts off the unchanging signal from the eyes. The result is "seeing black"[1] - apparent blindness.

      In the 1930s, research by psychologist Wolfgang Metzger established that when subjects gazed into a featureless field of vision they consistently hallucinated and their electroencephalograms changed.
      The Ganzfeld effect is an effect caused by sensory deprivation. When your mind is deprived of sight, and sound, it will often forfeit the two with hallucinations.

      The Ganzfeld experiment is an experiment in which the subject lies in a chair/bed/whatever, and the Ganzfeld effect is induced.

      How it was done:

      The subject, as stated before, laid down in a comfortable position. Halved ping pong balls were strapped around the subjects eyes (often accompanied by a red light) like so.

      Without red light:



      With red light:



      This was to ensure that only one consistent "unstructured" color would be perceived by the brain.

      As you can see in the above pictures, headphones were also worn by the subjects and white noise was played through them. This also provides "unstructured" sound for the brain.

      Sometimes people will also wear gloves to block out touch, but only deprivation of sight and sound is necessary to duplicate the experiment, which we will also discuss.

      How to replicate the experiment at home:

      Required materials:

      Scissors

      Two ping pong balls

      Tape

      A radio

      A comfortable place to rest


      Suggested, but not necessary:

      Headphones

      An mp3 player or computer


      Step 1.

      Half the ping pong balls so that they will fit comfortably over your eyes. Use the above images for reference.

      Step 2.

      Tune your radio to static, and place it beside the place that you will perform the experiment. Turn it up so that it is all you will really be hearing. This will serve as your white noise.

      Alternate step 2:

      Download a white noise mp3 to your MP3 player/computer, and set it to continuously play. Plug in your headphones, and set it to a comfortable volume. A white noise download link is located at the bottom of the post.


      Step 3.

      Lay down in your spot.

      Step 4.

      Strap the ping pong balls over your eyes with the tape. Not too hard, but sealed enough so that you cannot see any notably large cracks. Preferably none at all.

      Step 5.

      Wait. Depending on you, it could take ten-forty-five minutes. Just relax. Try to zone out and just daydream.



      Really, the effect is so simplistic and inexpensive I'm rather surprised that I have not seen it discussed here before.

      There have been many interesting results from this experiment:

      “For quite a long time, there was nothing except a green-greyish fog. It was really boring, I thought, ‘ah, what a non-sense experiment!’ Then, for an indefinite period of time, I was ‘off’, like completely absent-minded. Then, all of sudden, I saw a hand holding a piece of chalk and writing on a black-board something like a mathematical formula. The vision was very clear, but it stayed only for few seconds and disappeared again. The image did not fill up the entire visual field, it was just like a ‘window’ into that foggy stuff.”

      “an urban scenery, like an empty avenue after a rain, large areas covered with water, and the city sky-line reflected in the water surface like in a mirror.”

      “a clearing in a forest [Lichtung], a place bathed in bright sun-shine, and the trunks of trees around. A feeling of a tranquile summer afternoon in a forest, so quiet, so peaceful. And then, suddenly, a young woman passed by on a bicycle, very fast, she crossed the visual field from the right to the left, with her blond long hair waving in the air. The image of the entire scene was very clear, with many details, and yes, the colours were very vivid.”

      “I can see his face, still, it's very expressive… [I could see] only the horse that comes as if out of clouds. A white horse that jumped over me.”

      “A friend of mine and I, we were inside a cave. We made a fire. There was a creek flowing under our feet, and we were on a stone. She had fallen into the creek, and she had to wait to have her things dried. Then she said to me: ‘Hey, move on, we should go now’.”

      “It was like running a bob sleigh on an uneven runway right down… [There] was snow or maybe water running down… I could hear music, there was music coming from the left side below.”

      “In the right side of the visual field, a manikin suddenly appeared. He was all in black, had a long narrow head, fairly broad shoulders, very long arms and a relatively small trunk…. He approached me, stretching out his hands, very long, very big, like a bowl, and he stayed so for a while, and then he went back to where he came from, slowly.”


      (Quotations courtesy of Mind Hacks)

      It is speculated that this effect could be fuel for a Wake Induced Lucid Dream.

      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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      Sounds like it can work, very nice find.

      You know what this reminds me of...have you seen that movie Altered States? It's very similar to what you've shared here. There is a guy who is doing the same sensory deprivation, except he is in a tank filled with salt and body temperature water.

      The salt makes the water very buoyant and makes the person float easily. With the water being body temperature the person also doesn't feel the water on his skin...so it's as if he is floating in mid air.

      The tank is also pitch black inside which also is another sensory deprivation, and the person wear some certain type of ear plugs to cancel out the sound.

      I've heard some success with it, this seems more like a similar attempt to experience the same hallucinations. Regardless...

      very cool

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      Quote Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
      Sounds like it can work, very nice find.

      You know what this reminds me of...have you seen that movie Altered States? It's very similar to what you've shared here. There is a guy who is doing the same sensory deprivation, except he is in a tank filled with salt and body temperature water.

      The salt makes the water very buoyant and makes the person float easily. With the water being body temperature the person also doesn't feel the water on his skin...so it's as if he is floating in mid air.

      The tank is also pitch black inside which also is another sensory deprivation, and the person wear some certain type of ear plugs to cancel out the sound.

      I've heard some success with it, this seems more like a similar attempt to experience the same hallucinations. Regardless...

      very cool
      Thankyou!

      I've not seen the film, but I am familiar with the tanks. They are actually not fictional.

      They are called isolation tanks.



      These would definitely be the ideal way to deprive your senses (poor senses!), but they're just a liiiiitttle bit hard to come by. You might check your local spa though, because they sometimes have them.

      I posted this, because this is a homebrew. Everybody loves homebrews!
      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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      Does nobody else find this interesting enough to aknowledge?
      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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      i do!

      I'm going to try this in a few days (gather supply's) and i will post the results here.
      This should be very interesting if it works!!

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      I wonder why the pingpong balls are necessary. What about a sleep mask, or just closed eyes? Do the eyes need to be physically open as part of tricking the brain?

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      The ping pong balls allow only a certain wavelength of light into your eyes, clearing the way for distractive light.

      I have tried this before, and nothing special came of it. To be fair, I did get bored halfway through and decide my time was better spent doing anything else

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      Member Ladon's Avatar
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      A couple of nights ago I stayed up late, it was about 2am and I was reading this board, it was a very long post and I just sat back looking at my laptop screen and reading it (I have quite a big resolution so I didn't need to scroll for a long time). I was pretty tired at that moment as well and I sat completly still.

      Then suddenly everything went black except my laptop screen... I freaked out... Like I turned of the lights or something. Then I was confused, got to the toilet (kinda spooked out), then went back to reading and the same thing happened again after some minutes o.O

      So is this kind of like the same thing? You know... no stimulus and then hallucinations begin. Only like this was the first part? Everything getting black like the mind shutting of or something?

      And isn't this just HI? It's what I do when I lay in bed when I try to WILD. After a while you just start getting visual feedback. Like one night I had this imaginary of the party I went to the day before and I saw people dancing and the camera moving around like I was there and then it suddenly 'sucked' me in, everything getting crisper like you were actually there. It shocked me and then I was back, 'zoomed' out.

      I'm gonna try this experiment tonight, I'm gonna focus completly on the hallucinations, let's see where that gets me Instead of allways focussing on my darn body that needs to fall asleep :p
      Last edited by Ladon; 12-27-2009 at 09:56 PM.

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      Noogah have you tried it?
      And where's the white noise mp3 in your post.
      It seems interesting though, I think I'll try it some time

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      Presumably it doesn't HAVE to be ping pong balls, just something with the same kinda translucency I guess. So I was wondering whether something easier to get my hands on right now would work. Something like paper? In fact, I may even have to give paper I go. I did want to try this before, but alas I couldn't find a single ping pong ball in the house. I'm really not surprised by that though.

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      Paper should work just fine. Instuctables.com even gives you a print out paper mask template and tells you how to utilize it. I've been meaning to try this again with that mask instead of getting ping pong balls.
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      Seems feasible enough, I bet this requires a special narrow pectrum light source though, since just using a colored bulb or something would still be letting other spectrums through. I'll prob have to order a unique light source but Ill give it a whirl.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Noogah View Post
      Does nobody else find this interesting enough to aknowledge?
      I absolutely do. Over the summer I experimented with the Ganzfeld procedure, because I was skeptical as to how vivid and realistic the hallucinations would be. I got bored and began dozing off, and eventually I began having these weird visions and auditory hallucinations. They weren't as vivid as I had hoped, but it was certainly an interesting phenomena.


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      I read online that you can just evenly color each ball and lay in a well lit room. Also a question must you have your eyes closed or do you blink like normal with open eyes?
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      I wonder if you could control these hallucinations, like in lucid dreams. Sounds plausible enough.
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      Quote Originally Posted by oniman7 View Post
      I wonder if you could control these hallucinations, like in lucid dreams. Sounds plausible enough.

      I've been pondering that as well, those hallucinations sound a lot like HI to me. I see no reason why sensory deprivation cannot be used to induce a lucid dream, especially 5+ hours into your sleep cycle.
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      This seems interesting especially as I've never experienced vivid HH.

      Has anybody really had any succes? Please post your results.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ladon View Post
      A couple of nights ago I stayed up late, it was about 2am and I was reading this board, it was a very long post and I just sat back looking at my laptop screen and reading it (I have quite a big resolution so I didn't need to scroll for a long time). I was pretty tired at that moment as well and I sat completly still.

      Then suddenly everything went black except my laptop screen... I freaked out... Like I turned of the lights or something. Then I was confused, got to the toilet (kinda spooked out), then went back to reading and the same thing happened again after some minutes o.O

      So is this kind of like the same thing? You know... no stimulus and then hallucinations begin. Only like this was the first part? Everything getting black like the mind shutting of or something?

      :p
      Yeah i think this is kinda similar. This actualy happens to me al the time, if you just keep your vision fixed to one place for a whil eit will just fade out and as soon as you move your eyes everything will come back your eyes just need to get new stimulus to send new messages to your brain.


      And While back i did try this experiment thought i didnt color the ping pong balls. I may have been a little impatient but i didnt get any hallucinations i would expect only some faint swirling colors kinda like when you look at the inside of your eyelids.

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      Quote Originally Posted by oniman7 View Post
      I wonder if you could control these hallucinations, like in lucid dreams. Sounds plausible enough.
      Bingo. Talk about a WILD, your eyes are still open!

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      I bumped this thread because I wanted to bump it.
      John 3:16

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      Once I tried this without a mask, staring into the dark (it was pitch black) with white noise on my iPod. I managed to get some interesting visual noise, and my senses seemed... heightened to a degree.

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      The Sighted One A dreamer168's Avatar
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      I think I'll try this tonight...I'll just use the white noise from my TV. Is printer paper OK to use for this?
      Last edited by A dreamer168; 03-28-2010 at 03:27 AM.
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      thanks...i'll have to try this really soon and i look forward to what others report!
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      Sounds interesting. I don't think I'll try it though.

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      Quote Originally Posted by A dreamer168 View Post
      I think I'll try this tonight...I'll just use the white noise from my TV. Is printer paper OK to use for this?
      I don't think so. Although, wax paper might work.

      Are ping pong balls so difficult to attain?
      John 3:16

      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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