Experiments on Consciousness

Has there ever been a set-up wherein the subject is deprived of all basic senses, yet remains fully conscious? In any case, how would a person cope with such an experience? Would it be life-threatening?

Also, see the movie Altered States.

It’s also on the suspicious side, but sensory deprivation was practiced during parapsychological Ganzfeld experiments

As Riemann, who beat me to it, observes, they showed two types of sensory deprivation tanks in the movie **Altered States/B], which ought not to be taken as a documentary. Almost none of the subjects physically regressed to proto-human status and had to be fitted with digital shoes.

The normal reaction is to quickly start going insane. Look at a few of these Google links.

That was the William Hurt movie! Weirded me out because Hurt was talking about memory at the atomic level.

But the links concerning sensory deprivation pretty much sums up my suspicions (that it would make a good torture / interrogation medium. :eek:

As to my basic question of how a human would react, it deprives one of the usual sensory stimuli that a person is used to. So one’s brain will try to make up its own stimuli and result in hallucinations. In short, an ordinary person is not likely to survive such an experience for long.

There are also “float spas” where you pay for the privilege of depositing yourself of sensory input. A friend of mine sweats they are incredibly relaxing; I’ve never tried one.

What would be the cause of death? Hallucinations are generally not fatal.

Wouldn’t your heart stop beating sooner or later? Or go crazy, which is just as bad?

There needs to be some sort of mechanism for that to happen. Your heart just doesn’t stop for no physical reason.

Solitary confinement, as in some prisons, is considered a form of psychological torture. It can lead to insanity and suicide.