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A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

How much of what you see is a hallucination?

Credit: Gettyimages

What is a hallucination?

Has it ever happened to you to see something, which you are totally aware doesn't actually exist materially? Maybe you have heard a song that is not written yet, or have smelled an odor that is not present around you at the moment. Well, that is not so terrifying as it seems. In fact, it happens more often than one might think. It's like a dream but you aren't asleep. Moreover, it is not necessary that you have taken some medication or that you are experiencing some mental disorder. It's just a hallucination and it is part of human brain activities. Traditionally, hallucination is seen as a result of psychological malfunction or drug consumption but recent scientific researches reveal that it is a much more complex and natural phenomenon than we have reckoned before.

Reality, illusion, or hallucination?

The definition of hallucination given by Encyclopedia Britannica goes as follows: "the experience of perceiving objects or events that do not have an external source, such as hearing one's name called by a voice that no one else seems to hear. A hallucination is distinguished from an illusion, which is a misinterpretation of an actual stimulus." However, it seems that hallucinations have much more in common with our everyday perceptions. Maybe, we should become more conscious of the subtle layers of reality and open our eyes to other perspectives. Because, after thousands of years invested in philosophy and science there is still no definite distinction between reality and dream. One of the best though was conceived by René Descartes. He speculated that the only solid argument that makes the first different from the latter is the presence of some regularity in the memories from when we are awakened. However, memory is a really elusive phenomenon.

Below you can enjoy a short video on the topic of hallucination.

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