I came across an article in the academic journal “The Psychologist” a few days ago which quite intrigued me. In this article, entitled “When the trip doesn’t end”, the author, psychiatrist and Nobel-Prize Winner Dr. Henry David Abraham, makes this fascinating comment regarding something known as HPPD (Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder):
“If you look at a fluorescent light it is likely to glow in a continuous, unbroken beam. But in reality, the light is flickering at a rate too great to see, courtesy of the miracle of a 50- or 60-cycle per second alternating current through the bulb. But if the rate of the flicker is slowly lowered, there will come a point when you say, ‘Now! I see the flicker’. This is the test that Ernst Wolf and I did, comparing LSD users to drug-naive controls. Again we were taken aback. LSD users needed to have the flicker reduced by as much as 7 cycles per second more than the controls in order to see the flicker. This was especially marked in the peripheral visual fields.”
The cited article is – Abraham, H.D. & Wolf E, “Visual function in past users of LSD” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 97-443-447 (1988). This suggests that by taking LSD at sometime in the past (note that the effect was measured not DURING and LSD “trip” but in normal waking consciousness) a person’s perceptions with regards to the visual world are amended. What is of importance here is that these individuals perceive an external stimulus differently suggesting that there perception of TIME has changed. As Dr. Abraham states, he and Dr. Wolf were “taken aback” ….. he later states that “HPPD was a disorder of the disinhibition of visual information processing.”
The full article can be read here: http://
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