Study: The Modified Ganzfeld Effect

The Ganzfeld effect can cause hallucinations and other strange sensations just by messing with your perception. I want to amplify it!

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This page will be an ongoing project.  As I build new devices and test different variables, I will compile my data and notes of the study sessions here.

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From Wikipedia:
The ganzfeld effect (from German for “complete field”) or perceptual deprivation, is a phenomenon of perception caused by exposure to an unstructured, uniform stimulation field.

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I’ve been fortunate to find that others are also conducting their own research into the Ganzfeld effect, as you can see in the video above.

 

The Modified Ganzfeld Effect

Consciousness itself is an incredibly fascinating topic, one that through closer personal examination will unravel your understanding of reality.  There are many methods for exploring consciousness and each has its own unique value.  Drugs, meditation, exercise, music, and sensory deprivation are just a few examples of consciousness altering catalysts.  While the Ganzfeld effect is usually associated with sensory deprivation, I plan to orient my ‘Modified Ganzfeld Effect’ study towards sensory saturation.

Observation:

[quote_right]Two of the most profound effects I’ve felt from my near death experiences were the slowing of time and a feeling of detachment from my physical body.[/quote_right]

I’ve noticed while practicing meditation and attempting OBE’s that it’s VERY difficult to silence your mind and focus on nothingness.  Consciously trying to think nothing can be more distracting than just thinking basic thoughts.  I sometimes try counting or focusing on a single word or idea but I find my mind eventually wandering or I realize I’ve fallen asleep.  I have had some weird sensations and sensory anomalies while practicing these mind focusing techniques but I’ve also had similarly powerful experiences with sensory saturation.

Unlike calming techniques which may take extended durations of time to induce, sensory saturation effects can happen near instantaneously.  Many people, including myself have had perceived near death experiences.  During these situations, our brains react by treating every iota of stimuli as if it was critically important.  This flood of sensory input nears our perceptual capacity which can cause some strange effects on the psyche.  Two of the most profound effects I’ve felt from my near death experiences were the slowing of time and a feeling of detachment from my physical body.  With my first-hand knowledge of sensory saturation and its effects, I’ve grown far to curious to not poke it with a stick.

kaleidoscopeimage

Questions:

  • Does sensory saturation produce similar effects to sensory deprivation?
  • If saturation does produce similar effects, do they happen quicker or slower than deprivation?
  • Are the biological processes and effects the same between deprivation and saturation?

Materials:

I have not completed construction of everything I need to conduct this study but I should have it completed in due time.  My modified Ganzfeld study will consist of a few different sound files to include:

I will also use audio deprivation and try different sounds to each ear to increase the intensity of sensory saturation.
I will have a few visual variables as well.  The main visual device will be a homemade tri-kaleidoscope projector.  Similar to audio, I will create some variables such as covering one eye, seeing different images in each eye, etc.

Hypothesis:

  • Sensory saturation will have a similar but more intense effect than sensory deprivation.
  • Altered state onset will come quicker with saturation than it would with deprivation.
  • The effects of saturation and deprivation will feel similar but could have substantial differences.

 

Procedures:

I will probably run each study session for an hour unless the stimuli causes negative effects.  I haven’t created a master list yet but I will try to conduct at least one experiment with each variable on the template below.

MGEtest

Results: [TBD]

 

Conclusion: [TBD]

This may not be an entirely formal scientific study but since I practice things like meditation already, I thought “why not examine it a little closer”.  If you’re interested in helping me compile results please try these tests out on your own and tell me about it!  When I finish the tri-kaleidoscope projector I’ll post a video of it.

I look forward to your correspondence!