01.12.2021

Psychedelics, a blind musician and shifted synesthesia

Our ability to perceive the surrounding world depends on the functioning of the sensory cells that send the correct information to the brain. And just as a blind person since birth wondering, what to see, deaf from birth a person thinks about how to hear it. In other words, our reality is always limited sensory data we receive, and are accustomed to. But all of that stops working when people take hallucinogenic drugs.

It is known that mescaline, hallucinogenic mushrooms, LSD and some other psychedelics cause a revolution touch, also known as acquired synesthesia. Recall that synesthesia – a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive system leads to involuntary response in another (letters have color, sounds can “try” on taste and so on).

While a person who takes a psychedelic drug, usually activated by several sensors simultaneously. Most often it is the coincidences in the audiovisual perception: for example, the song playing on the radio, suddenly “sounds” like red or purple.

Despite the fact that scientists have long known about the function of hallucinogens, one situation still has not been investigated is how a blind person will respond to drugs closely related to visual distortion of reality. Scientists from the British University of Bath (University of Bath) decided to fix it and find out what happens in this case is something quite interesting.

The results of a study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, was based on the experience of the 70-year-old rock musician, blind from birth in the 1970s, by his own admission, pereprobovali quite a lot of psychedelic drugs. A volunteer said that when taking these drugs it is often faced with a temporary synesthesia, loss of ability to speak clearly and build thoughts and distorted perception of time, but never formed visual images.

“Every time we took things, it was unusual, but it was never the visualization, – quotes its words IFL Science. I can’t see and can’t imagine how looks the light or the darkness, so I never had visual images. But the feeling, I think, was available to me in full measure.”

According to researchers, the displacement of synesthesia in the absence of the necessary sensory systems generally reflects the results of the tests conducted using the replacement devices that convert images into electrical impulses soft. But how to use it to help the blind from birth people better understand the world, remains to be seen.

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