Healthy_back (healthy_back) wrote,

Studying sensory deprivation

"Lie in Bed in a Cell Doing Nothing For Days" (purpose: studying sensory deprivation)

At McGill University in Canada in the 1950s, male college students were paid $20 a day to don translucent goggles, wear cotton gloves and to lie on a bed in a tiny room, air conditioning humming in the background. They stayed for as many days as they could bear, with breaks for meals and toilet visits. The idea wasn't to test complete sensory deprivation but to see "how human beings would react in situations in which nothing at all was happening". The students soon became irritated and paranoid, their mental function impaired, and they experienced increasingly disturbing hallucinations, including seeing squirrels marching with bags over their shoulders, and having the feeling of being hit by pellets from a miniature rocket ship. "Prolonged exposure to a monotonous environment has definitely deleterious effects," one of the researchers concluded in his write-up. [1957: The Pathology of Boredom; pdf]
Tags: Психосоматика

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