Sometimes hallucinations can appear in a healthy person, if he is in a homogeneous auditory and visual environment. For example, the researchers of the Arctic, who for a long time have to look at the endless expanses of ice, or the miners, after an accident, found themselves locked in a mine.
This phenomenon is called the “ganzfeld effect”, it is the German “full field”. Some people deliberately evoke such visions in themselves. Is it dangerous for the psyche?
What is the Ganzfeld Effect?
About its existence, people knew the ganzfeld effect for a long time. Thus, the northern people who had to deal with such phenomena believed that these visions were sent to people by spirits. The followers of Pythagoras spent a lot of time in dark caves to gain wisdom by connecting with their subconscious.
When we are in a homogeneous, infinite space, where there is nothing to catch the eye, hallucinations may appear. The brain does not receive information, neither visual nor auditory. It cannot exist in reality, where there is no information, so it takes white noise as a basis and supplements it with some kind of visual picture.
The ganzfeld effect is not an aberration. It is based on the work of the brain, which needs to receive a flow of information from the senses. With the help of them, it recognizes models familiar to it, gives out ready-made templates. It does not need to be given any commands or instructions, the brain independently carries out this work. If there is not enough visual information, it complements the visual picture of sensations o its own accord, i.e. a person sees what is not really there.
This was confirmed experimentally in the 1930s by Wolfgang Metzger. His subjects, for a long time looking at a homogeneous field, began to see hallucinations. There are instructions by following which, you can evoke these visions in yourself.
To try this method for yourself, you need to find a clean ping-pong ball, cut it in half. It is advisable to turn on the red light in the room or turn off the lighting. To create “white noise”, you need to tune the radio so that only hiss is heard. You can lie down, fix the halves of the balloon in front of your eyes and wait. If you do not fall asleep, then hallucinations may appear after 10-30 minutes.
Experts advise against doing this. Psychiatrists write that this procedure is stressful for the psyche. If a person has caused such visions in himself many times, he may develop neurotic states. But if you had to face this phenomenon, you should not worry about it, there should be no negative consequences for the psyche.
The ganzfeld effect and telepathy
It is believed that the ganzfeld effect is associated with clairvoyance. Due to the fact that auditory and visual analyzers are completely turned off, a person seems to fall out of objective reality and can plunge into a dialogue with the subconscious. It is this that creates different images in the head.
Many believed that in this way it was possible to establish contact with the universal information field and receive information from there. In the 1970s, experiments took place on the transmission of information telepathically.
One of the subjects sat in a room with dim red lighting, with halves of ping-pong balls in front of him, headphones with white noise in his ears. In another room, a second subject was sitting, trying to transmit a message using psychic abilities.
In 1983, 354 pairs of subjects took part in the experiment, 34% of the participants chose the right card from the proposed ones. In a similar 1985 study, that number rose to 37%. Given that the probability of random guessing is 25%, we can say that it was not possible to prove the presence of telepathic abilities at that time.
The ganzfeld effect does exist, scientists have tried to study and explain it. Knowing about it, one can understand the origin of many legends and superstitions associated with caves, mines, etc. People really heard mysterious sounds and saw some figures, but all these images could be created by our brain, the work of which has not yet been fully studied.