samedi 10 juin 2017

New Insights into Hallucinations and Paranormal Phenomenon

By definition in modern psychology, hallucinations are perceptions that occur in the absence of external objective stimulation, namely, perceptions by internal false stimulation. According to this definition, perceptions can occur in two ways. One is that external objective stimulation affects perception through sensation, while the other is that internal false stimulation directly affects perception. For perception, the two ways lead to the same effects. But what happens when external and internal stimulations affect perception together in hallucinations?

We find in our research that a theoretical framework of hallucinations can be constructed by a further analysis of the changes in the relation of their relative strength on perception. At the same time, a scientific interpretation of the so-called supernatural phenomena will be made. But what need to be emphasized is that, in our discussion, the strength of hallucinations is applied not to one single stimulation (for example, strong visual shock), but to the completeness, consistence and vividness of the whole imaginary scene.

1. Internal false stimulation is far weaker than external objective stimulation.

When internal false stimulation is far weaker than external objective stimulation, one is actually in “elementary hallucinations” mentioned above. Firstly, he will detect some internal false stimulations which are not in accordance with the external objective scene. Then, since he can distinguish reality from illusions in this state, he is able to determine that the inconsistent stimulations are hallucinations.

2. Internal false stimulation is almost equal to external objective stimulation.

The mixture of the two kinds of stimulation causes two conflicting experiences in perception simultaneously, and furthermore, leads to paradoxical and deranged apperceiving. One is hesitant to determine which is real. This is quite fancy, but often happens in “deep hallucinations”. It is the first stage of “deep hallucinations”, and we call it “paradoxical hallucinations.” The shift from “elementary hallucinations” to “paradoxical hallucinations” happens when internal false stimulation becomes stronger to make clear scenes.

This paradoxical state can explain the generation mechanism of many supernatural phenomena. Let’s take out-of-body experiences as an example. When one is in such experiences, internal false stimulation makes him feel that he goes to another place, but his objective touching and seeing still operate to confirm him that he still stays in the original place. This sense of paradox and derangement is the fundamental reason for the feeling of being out of body. Let’s take another example: synesthesia. Seeing a sound and hearing a picture result from that the internal and external stimulations affect perception together so as to mismatch the two pairs of five senses. For example, when the external hearing is much stronger than its counterpart and the external vision is much weaker than its counterpart, one will naturally mismatch the objective hearing and the false vision, that’s, experiencing synesthesia.

3. Internal false stimulation is far stronger than external objective stimulation.

In this condition, there are many fancier effects. When internal false stimulation is far stronger than external objective stimulation, all kinds of complete, consistent and vivid imaginary scenes are formed. Being totally lost in fantasies means the temporal ignorance of the external objective world. This is the second stage of “deep hallucinations”, which we call “complete hallucinations”. Since vision takes account of 70% of the information one receives, external objective stimulation is greatly undermined when the eyes are closed. Therefore, the shift from “paradoxical hallucinations” into “complete hallucinations” happens mostly because internal false stimulation becomes relatively stronger when eyes are closed to weaken external stimulation.

At this moment, if some external objective stimulation becomes stronger, people in fantasies will detect that such stimulations are not in accordance with the internal imaginary scenes.

Since one is totally lost in fantasies, he regards all internal false stimulation as real and actually has no idea of what is real or false. Therefore, the inconsistent and “unexplainable” external objective stimulation will be wrongly treated as supernatural phenomena or ESP. This is opposite to the previous “elementary hallucinations”. The former is the stronger external against the weaker internal while the latter is the weaker external against the stronger internal. We can call it “the real is the false when the false is treated as real”. Obviously, it is a wonderful experience to watch the real world from another imaginary world.

If hallucinations are examined in light of the definition of ESP (Extra Sensual Perception), the former actually can be treated as the latter: perception in our daily life results from external objective stimulation through sensation, while hallucinations from the direct effects of internal false stimulation on perception instead of on sensation. People, however, regard it as hallucinations rather than ESP.

Therefore, ESP happens because there are two pathways to affect perception and the essence of ESP is that internal false stimulation is mistaken as external objective stimulation which happens through various senses and that external objective stimulation as perception which does not result from various senses.

4. Another extreme state of hallucinations

Dreams are not often treated as hallucinations. But according to the definition of hallucinations, that is, “perceptions that occur in the absence of external objective stimulation”, the paper holds that dreams, in nature, are a kind of hallucinations. Unlike common hallucinations whose cause is the reduction of self-awareness, the cause of the hallucinations in dreams is sensory deprivation. When sleeping, the sensations of the five senses shut down and the external stimulation to perception, which is far lower than that in the sensory deprivation experiment (especially the sense of touch), almost vanishes. Therefore, within a very short time, imaginary scenes can appear. It is because sensation shuts down in dreams that perception is affected only by internal false stimulation.

5. Conclusion

In common hallucinations, external objective stimulation and internal false stimulation affect perception together. The changes in the relation of their relative strength are three-fold: “elementary hallucinations”, “paradoxical hallucinations” and “complete hallucinations”. The last two belong to “deep hallucinations”.

The so-called supernatural phenomena usually appear in “deep hallucinations”. The above analysis proves that there are no supernatural phenomena at all in ASC, and they are simply illusions which happens along with hallucinations. But many people who claim to have experienced them, firmly hold that they are real. The reason lies in that waking from “deep hallucinations” is essentially different from waking from dreams. In dreams, sensation shuts down and all the stimulation perception receives is internal and false. Therefore, one can easily determine that he was dreaming (in hallucinations) after waking, even though he cannot distinguish reality from illusions during the dream. However, in “paradoxical hallucinations”, both internal and external stimulations affect perception and their strengths are similar. As a result, once waking up, one cannot clearly determine what parts are reality and what parts are hallucinations. In “complete hallucinations”, ESP “truly” happened, totally different from “dreaming out” ESP in dreams. Consequently, once waking up, one wrongly thinks that supernatural phenomena are real.

If you are interested in our research, you can read the paper "New Insights into Hallucinations, PSI and ASC" at SSRN.

via International Skeptics Forum

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