Here’s a new study of the effects of as little as 15 minutes of sensory deprivation on the brain:
After spending 15 minutes deprived of sight and sound, each person completed a test called the “Psychotomimetic States Inventory,” which measures psychosis-like experiences and was originally developed to study recreational drug users.
Among the nine participants who scored high on the first survey, five reported having hallucinations of faces during the sensory deprivation, and six reported seeing other objects or shapes that weren’t there. Four also noted an unusually heightened sense of smell, and two sensed an “evil presence” in the room. Almost all reported that they had “experienced something very special or important” during the experiment…
The researchers were not altogether surprised by such dramatic results from only 15 minutes of sensory deprivation.
Although few scientists are studying sensory deprivation today, a small body of research from the 1950s and 1960s supports the idea that a lack of sensory input can lead to symptoms of psychosis.
“Sensory deprivation is a naturalistic analogue to drugs like ketamine and cannabis for acting as a psychosis-inducing context,” Mason wrote, “particularly for those prone to psychosis.”
This is what Bush and Cheney did to prisoners for days and weeks at a time. Jose Padilla was kept blindfolded and without sound even for routine dental trips. This is what it did to him:
“During questioning, [Padilla] often exhibits facial tics, unusual eye movements and contortions of his body,” Mr. Patel said. “The contortions are particularly poignant since he is usually manacled and bound by a belly chain when he has meetings with counsel.”
This was the basis for the Bush administration’s intelligence. Feel safer?