Arguably, our brain is the most important organ in our body, next to our hearts. Well, a person can be brain dead but still be alive as long as his heart is still beating. But what’s the point of being alive if you can’t really do anything. So, here comes the arguments that the brain indeed is the most important organ we have.
However, as important as it may be, there are still some ways to manipulate it and cause it to have hallucinations or fake memories. Here are some of them:
1. False Memories
This may sound like it’s been taken out from a psycho movie, but it’s real. Julia Shaw, the author of The Memory Illusion, a doctor and researcher from University of Bedfordshire in the UK, conducted a study in the university where they had willing student participants have their memories planted with fake ones.
The students agreed that the researchers will contact their parents and ask about certain events in their life, like their bestfriend when they were 14, where they hung out and all those simple events.
They then have 3 sessions with the participants, first gaining their trust and then implanting a who-what-when-where scenarios in their brains.
An example of this scenario according to Shaw is that “Your parents told us that when you were 14, you assaulted someone with a weapon, you were with Paul in San Francisco, it was fall.” Just these details and then the students were asked to relive and tell the story in the most detailed way as possible based on what they remember.
Surprisingly, 70% of the students, wove 10-12 or more details into the story with just the vague instructions. Some were even able to remember small details in their surroundings, smell and even taste.
2. Temperature Trick
The photo above is the “thermal grill” illusion trick where it tricks your brain into getting hurt when you feel harmless levels of warm and cold all at once in a grill-like pattern.
The scientists have known about this experiment for years but all they have are theories. They concluded that the brain signals the pain faster than the actual body part. So, the brain thinks you will get hurt even before your hand signals your brain that it doesn’t really hurt to hold the grill-like patterns.
3. Balls and White Noise
A German scientist Wolfgang Metzger came up with a theory that if someone stares into a featureless void like a snowstorm, for instance, they would start hallucinating. It is called Ganzfeld experiment because it means total field in German. It is coined as the experiment’s name referring to the subject having their total field of vision obscured by something featureless.
People in more modern times perform this experiment by putting a halved golf ball in their eyes, they have to shut off all their peripheral vision, and using headphones to listen to white noise.
4. Sensory Deprivation
When you say hallucinations, the first thing that comes to most people is mental illness or drugs. Little do these people know, that there are ways to delve into the realms of hallucinations without these two things.
A study at the University of Cambridge was conducted where test subjects were put in a room that was devoid of sound and light, in just fifteen minutes, the subjects essentially start tripping out like they were on drugs. Some even claimed that they “felt and evil presence in the room”. The researchers concluded that in the absence of sensory feedback where our brains are used to, it comes up with made up sensory feedback that explains the hallucinations.
Ghostly apparitions and eerie sounds stories are not something that we are unused to. A lot of people will swear that at some point in their lives, they experienced hearing scary sounds or seeing ghostly apparitions.
Not to burst the supernatural enthusiasts’ bubble, but most of the time, there is a perfectly logical explanation for it and it has nothing to do with ghosts or the realm beyond. As it turns out, the culprit is a little thing called infrasound. It is a sound that is just barely below audible to human perception, but our brains still pick it up on some unconscious level.
Interesting, huh? But you know what they always say..
Don’t try this at home.
Image via Pixabay