Take the 2-minute tour ×
Cognitive Sciences Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for practitioners, researchers, and students in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was thinking how powerful auditory and visual hallucinations must be, for the individual experiencing them to be unable to distinguish them from reality. I, personally, have not experienced a hallucination, but have experienced vivid dreams and know that when I'm dreaming it can seem real, and at that point, that is my reality (even though I am asleep).

Is there a correlation between the part of the brain responsible for dreaming and hallucinations?

What generates hallucinations, to make them indistinguishable from reality?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Psychosis results in hallucinations. States of psychosis are thought to be like seizures caused by imbalanced levels of at least dopamine and serotonin. Psychosis like depression creates new pathways in the brain which allow for the senses to be flooded with internal information. The person who is experiencing hallucinations may be forced by the psychosis to think that it is real. Some are able to realize that the hallucination is not real. For instance, it is a common condition of humanity to have isolated instances of hallucinations. People hear music when there is none or think someone calls their name but no one did. Normal people are able to recognize that there was no music and no one called their name.

Psychosis can be caused by extreme excitement. Excitement alone impairs judgment but if it goes to an extreme a person can become psychotic and begin to hallucinate or have other odd behaviour.

Often times people schizo type and bipolar disorder are accompanied with insomnia. If the illness progresses far enough the sick person can become caught in a state between awake and asleep. The hallucinations are combined with greater degrees of dissociation (day dream).

share|improve this answer

The short answer is "Yes" - there is a practice of taking conscious control of one's dreams called "Lucid Dreaming". This practice involves a number of techniques used to achieve awareness and control within a dream.

One of the techniques, called Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD) involves staying still in bed for extended periods of time. After a fairly long time (~45 minutes) the dreamer slips into a dream while being awake. The transition between waking state and dreaming state, when experienced consciously features numerous different types of hallucinations.

The phenomenon has been confirmed by a lot of people, the types of hallucinations most frequently described are: feeling "vibrations", hearing things, seeing things, feeling a presence of others in the room, falling through one's bed or being drawn out of the body. In most cases the dreamer is acutely aware that everything that is being felt is just a symptom of the WILD transition phase.

Because of the diversity of hallucinations experienced, I would conclude that dreaming and hallucinations are connected.

share|improve this answer

One way of describing it is that the brain is experiencing a case of non-shared deception. I say, "non-shared deception", for the following reasons....

People see cars stop, move, move faster, slow down, and stop again. However, a simple analysis of "motion", via the use of nothing but the mind, soon leads you to seeing the fact that all cars are constantly in motion, and that they never stop moving. This constant motion applies to all objects. All that can be done is change the direction of this constant motion as it is constantly on the go within a 4 dimensional structure known as Space-Time.

This simple ABC analysis of motion soon has you independently understanding Special Relativity, and it also has you independently, and successfully, creating all of the Special Relativity equations with absolute ease.

(To watch this easy breezy analysis of motion in action, goto youtube videos 1-9 at http://goo.gl/fz4R0I )

Thus, those who see objects, such as cars, speed up and slow down etc., are those whom are obviously "Seeing something that isn't really there.". They are experiencing an hallucination.

Now if the outward extension of the mind is reduced to an even smaller scale, via drugs or whatever, then the magnitude of the ongoing hallucinations are magnified even further, magnified to an even greater scale than the hallucinations that are being shared on a global scale.

share|improve this answer
1  
I don't think I follow this. A car can certainly speed up or slow down in my frame of reference, which I can perceive. How is this a hallucination? –  Josh Jan 8 at 20:35
    
Exactly, ..Variations in speed is seen while in "Your" frame of reference. What is occurring on the absolute scale, is a different matter all together. But many would say that this is absolute nonsense, and do so while being confined within a particular "frame" of reference. –  Sean Jan 8 at 21:51
    
I'm still not sure how that makes it a "hallucination" when I see a car stop. –  Josh Jan 8 at 21:56
    
Hallucinations are not confined to motion. In fact, auditory hallucinations are far more common in psychoses –  AliceD Jan 8 at 23:31

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.