Crucial Craziness

Ganzfeld Experiment


Some people see horses prancing in the clouds.

Some hear their dead relative’s voice.

I came across this intriguing post of Facebook a couple of days back.

After reading this real good book, anything related to neuroscience and brain activity seems exciting.I have tried a phantom limb experiment from the book with my sister and it has worked.Seriously.I do lie, but not always.

Well, it’s not voodoo or black magic,but pure science,you see.If one believes in optical illusions,one needs to believe this as well.

Ganzfeld experiment, this is called.Here we go..

AIM: To experience bizarre set of sensory distortions


Headphones- Yes

Cell phone/Radio to play static noise – Yes

Red light- Optional

Cellotape – Yes

Halved Ping Pong ball – I didn’t have them.So,decided to use 2 water bottle caps. It’s okay. Haven’t we used cooked rice grains as glue?

As I got into the bedroom and switched off light,I began feeling a bit eerie.I made sure I locked up the room. If someone finds me  lying on bed with headphones,water bottle caps stuck to eyes, I’m sure they’ll start imagining all what they can.They may even take me to a psychiatrist. Moreover,the experiment said people may start speaking involuntarily.What if I blabber controversial stuff about X , Y or Z?! Very risky.Safety first! Room locked!

Then, I the took plastic water bottle caps and stuck them to both my eyes using cello tape.

Next,I lay on the bed, put on the headphones and tuned my the FM to play pure white noise.I was conscious that I shouldn’t move.

For a few minutes,nothing happened. After it too, nothing happened.Where are the hallucinations?The bizarre sensory distortions?

I started pondering if I was feeling anything unusual. I only felt an itch on my nose tip.Aargh..same irritating feeling you get when you have mehndi on hand.

I started telling myself to C-O-N-C-E-N-T-R-A-T-E !

To be able to achieve anything,you need to believe,wise people say. So, B-E-L-I-E-V-E !

I focused on the noise that came from the headphones..After sometime I realized I was free from all other thoughts. Ok, but where is this hallucination? ‘ You need to wait’, I convinced myself.

Minutes passed by, and I got accustomed to the noise. Suddenly, I heard someone playing Veena! I was stormed!

It was only in that week that one of my friends had shown me a video of him playing Veena.

I recollected it and felt ecstatic about how the human brain could pull out random memories lying somewhere inside the brain and throw it in front of you and you’ve not given even a small thought about it.

After some time, I could hear barking sounds.It grew clearer. I knew It was my dog I had lost.

I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing.Fascinating! But, I was a little disappointed that I did not ‘see’  anything. Not all people can experience visual hallucinations.It may be olfactory or auditory as well,right?Fine.

I spent little more time anticipating more. But wasn’t able to experience any.I decided to stop. I removed the headphones and got up from the bed with an immense sense of achievement.

I came out of the room.I ran to my mom to say about the experiment and explain her how it works.

Serial on TV. Dashing all my hopes, the background music was Veena! WHAAATT!

I then turned my ears to Malliga. She was my neighbor’s black skinny Rajapalayam,barking!!

DAMN IT!!! Experimenter’s bias!

But, my quest to experiment did not end.I already knew what the result should be. It is so true that you get what you expect.

“Ammmmaaaaa! Come here,no..Important. Come now”, I pulled her to the bedroom.

I could see she was getting tensed. “What? What happened?Why did you call me in?” she came in probing.

“Lie on the bed. I want to perform an experiment on you.Don’t ask me what.You will know as you do.”

She was in a good mood then that she readily obliged my order  humble request.

I stuck the bottle caps on her eyes, switched on the noise.She adjusted her posture, and I shouted..”Amma!Don’t move!”

I kept looking at her for sometime, and found her eye balls moving.I initially thought of moving away and coming back after few minutes and ask her what she saw. But decided against it as I thought I would miss hearing her, in case she speaks.

I lay on the floor thinking about what I read before sometime..

environment without distractions…..deprivation of patterned sensory input..create a homogeneous visual field.. wake Induced lucid dream…ESP…

The principle behind the experiment is that when the mind is deprived from visual input, but     exposed to a structured and uniform sound, the brain starts building up it’s own perceptions which may vary from person to person.

Suddenly, I heard some noise.Or,was I hallucinating myself? I waited.

I heard it again.Did she speak?

I went near mom and gazed at her.Her lips were a little curled up. Was she hallucinating?

I got a little scared. I thought I should stop the noise at once. But, I was also curious to know up to what extent it will go.

It was already 10 minutes. Quite a long time.I decided to bring the experiment to an end in a minute.

Should I touch her first or stop the noise? She might probably freak out if I touched.

I stopped the radio.I couldn’t control my urge to ask her what she saw.

I whispered.


“Amma. Get’s over”

I was worried. I had read it was not a very safe thing to do.But it didn’t seem credible. ‘It tends to build up a dangerous amount of pressure in your head’

‘It’s hacking your brain’.


*Sees mom sleeping.

Walks out of room, ‘hallucinating’ palm banging on own head.*

As is the daughter, so is the mother.



PS:Science is all about trial and error. I will try this again…..until I hallucinate….with ping pong balls….and red light….and pucca set up….when no one is watching TV…when Malliga is asleep…

If you are also as vetti as me, kindly try this and let me know what you saw.

More interesting experiments to try can be found here.


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