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Psychological Oddities

 
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 21-03-2009 00:10    Post subject: Psychological Oddities Reply with quote

In my journeys, I spent some time doing fieldwork in parapsychology, and it really hit me how incredibly specialized this field is. It's useful to know about psychological oddities, because they provide an alternative explain for some paranormal claims.

I am hoping that others will contribute their experiences or knowledge to this thread.

For example, I met someone with alien hand syndrome once. It was quite a serious issue. His hand kept putting itself on the oven hotplate, undoing his buttons, and attempting to choke him.

He thought the aliens had taken control of his arm and was highly distressed, as he had no conscious control of what was happening.

As it turned out, he'd had a stroke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_hand_syndrome
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Dingo667Offline
I'm strange...but true
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PostPosted: 21-03-2009 15:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I studied Neuroscience, one of our modules was abnormal neurobiology, which was the most interesting lectures ever. The few cases that I remember where [all mini-stroke related]:

The man that saw his wife in the garden, then in the garden in two places, etc until he saw "lots of his wives" like a series of stills all the way into the living room. This was a stroke in the occipital lobe where movement is processed.

Another of my favourites was the man on the train with a lady holding a white poodle on her lap, when after a while, he saw the poodles head everywhere where there was a face [instead of the persons face], this was down to a stroke that happened where our face recognition is and she probably had looked at the poodles face when it happened.

The others are capgrass syndrom but they have been discussed somewhere else on the FTMB. The two above were my favourites.
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 22-03-2009 04:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dingo667 wrote:
When I studied Neuroscience, one of our modules was abnormal neurobiology, which was the most interesting lectures ever. The few cases that I remember where [all mini-stroke related]:

The man that saw his wife in the garden, then in the garden in two places, etc until he saw "lots of his wives" like a series of stills all the way into the living room. This was a stroke in the occipital lobe where movement is processed.

Another of my favourites was the man on the train with a lady holding a white poodle on her lap, when after a while, he saw the poodles head everywhere where there was a face [instead of the persons face], this was down to a stroke that happened where our face recognition is and she probably had looked at the poodles face when it happened.

The others are capgrass syndrom but they have been discussed somewhere else on the FTMB. The two above were my favourites.


Wow, interesting cases. Capgrass syndrome (imposter syndrome) is fascinating, isn't it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capgras_delusion

I remember a friend telling me about how he'd visited a therapist one day, and whilst sitting in the waiting room, he noticed a beautiful woman. She was sitting reading a magazine, looking very well presented, and he naturally wondered what she was there for. They struck up a conversation about their lives and she seemed pretty together, until right at the end of the conversation when she said "Tell me, do I look upside down to you?" Smile

Of course synesthesia is another oddity:
http://www.synesthesia.com.au/id1.html
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Dingo667Offline
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PostPosted: 22-03-2009 12:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I remember a friend telling me about how he'd visited a therapist one day, and whilst sitting in the waiting room, he noticed a beautiful woman. She was sitting reading a magazine, looking very well presented, and he naturally wondered what she was there for. They struck up a conversation about their lives and she seemed pretty together, until right at the end of the conversation when she said "Tell me, do I look upside down to you?" Smile


Classic! rofl
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 24-03-2009 11:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

And today's psychological oddity is Stendhal Syndrome.

This syndrome occurs to certain people when they are exposed to particularly beautiful art, or where there is a lot of art in one place. The person's sympathetic nervous system is activated, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed, racing heart, dizziness, confusion and hallucinations. It can also occur where there a person witnesses overwhelming beauty in the natural world.

Razz
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 25-03-2009 21:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is definitely not something one wants to have:

Cotard's Syndrome

From the wiki entry:

"The Cotard delusion or Cotard's syndrome, also known as nihilistic or negation delusion, is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that he or she is dead, does not exist, is putrefying or has lost his/her blood or internal organs. Rarely, it can include delusions of immortality."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotard_delusion
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DelphisBorn
PostPosted: 25-03-2009 22:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Bonnet Syndrome:

...Of which one of the oft reported hallucinations is of diminutive beings in distinguished dress...eg stovepipe hats, period clothes, etc. Apparently odd beings wearing hats is a very common vision with this condition.

One is reminded of the "fairy funerals" people used to see, with sombre little beings surrounding a tiny coffin.

Interestingly, it is caused by eye disease and vision deterioration, as if the interpretive modules of the brain are struggling to make sense of new blocks of ambiguous data. But why fairies with stovepipe hats etc?

Or does CBS allow access to a well appointed dimension involving great sartorial elegance in small-scale tailoring?


Quote:
The elderly woman sitting in his office seemed sane enough, but the story she told was decidedly odd. About two and a half years earlier, she said, she'd begun having strange visions. The first time it happened, she was sitting quietly at home when she suddenly saw three or four two-inch-high, stovepipe-hat-wearing chimney sweeps parading in front of her, ladders in hand. "She was thinking, 'Well, I'm going crazy now,' " recalls Teunisse,. "But they didn't harm her, so she thought, 'What the heck, I'll try to catch me one.' But when she went near, they disappeared. So she knew it was some kind of optical trick." Her only medical problem of note was that she had poor sight due to macular degeneration.


Last edited by DelphisBorn on 25-03-2009 23:06; edited 1 time in total
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QUESTionerOffline
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PostPosted: 25-03-2009 23:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: Charles Bonnet

Wow Delphisborn! I was just about to post on this same thing. Talk about synchronicity!

Quote:
People afflicted with Charles Bonnet Syndrome see beings from another world. Many scientists would call these beings hallucinations. Others call this syndrome a portal to a parallel reality.

People with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (or "Bonnet-people") are otherwise mentally sound. The beings appear when the Bonnet-people's vision deteriorates as a result of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration -- or when patients have had both eyes removed. Charles Bonnet Syndrome is more common in older people with a high level of education.

Bonnet-people report that they see apparitions resembling distorted faces, costumed figures, ghosts, and little people.

Most Bonnet-people see beings wearing hats. For example, one very sane woman was sitting quietly at home when she suddenly saw several two-inch-high, stovepipe-hat-wearing chimney sweeps parading in front of her. (ref 2.) She tried to catch one, but could not. Her only medical problem was that she had poor sight due to macular degeneration.


http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/Pickover/pc/bonnet.html

Yeah, this really is a strange one I haven't been able to understand, as one has to ask themselves how certain folks essentially could be having the same hallucinations. It defies logic in my opinion.

Haha Elf, we have been down the same road before on this one.
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DelphisBorn
PostPosted: 25-03-2009 23:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

which raises the issue of course...if all you need is a little bit of eye float and flicker to see otherworld beings, can any of them be taken seriously?
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 26-03-2009 03:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

QUESTioner wrote:
RE: Charles Bonnet

Quote:
People afflicted with Charles Bonnet Syndrome see beings from another world. Many scientists would call these beings hallucinations. Others call this syndrome a portal to a parallel reality.

People with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (or "Bonnet-people") are otherwise mentally sound. The beings appear when the Bonnet-people's vision deteriorates as a result of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration -- or when patients have had both eyes removed. Charles Bonnet Syndrome is more common in older people with a high level of education.

Bonnet-people report that they see apparitions resembling distorted faces, costumed figures, ghosts, and little people.

Most Bonnet-people see beings wearing hats. For example, one very sane woman was sitting quietly at home when she suddenly saw several two-inch-high, stovepipe-hat-wearing chimney sweeps parading in front of her. (ref 2.) She tried to catch one, but could not. Her only medical problem was that she had poor sight due to macular degeneration.


http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/Pickover/pc/bonnet.html

Yeah, this really is a strange one I haven't been able to understand, as one has to ask themselves how certain folks essentially could be having the same hallucinations. It defies logic in my opinion.


That is such a fascinating condition, guys Very Happy

The article says "Perhaps when vision deteriorates, the brain's visual cortex is starved for information, and the brain is free to access parallel realities."

But I cannot help but think that the visual cortex, starved of information, tends to generate it's own stimulation. So, a sufficient explanation for the visuals might lay in the visual cortex stimulating itself. I can't think of a sufficient mundane explanation for the content of the stimulation though.

What if this kind of thing goes on all the time, with a range of content, but it is only the wacky stuff that attracts our attention. Some people may be predisposed to fantastic kinds of visuals just because they have an extraordinarily creative mind. If I were visualizing little people, they would most certainly wear pointy hats and pointy shoes. I know myself. Laughing
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DelphisBorn
PostPosted: 26-03-2009 03:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I were visualizing little people, they would most certainly wear pointy hats and pointy shoes. I know myself. Laughing


Aren't you just projecting your own fashions onto otherworld beings?
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 26-03-2009 08:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

DelphisBorn wrote:
which raises the issue of course...if all you need is a little bit of eye float and flicker to see otherworld beings, can any of them be taken seriously?


Well, yes. Just because a bit of eye float is correlated with this phenomena, it doesn't mean it's an adequate explanation.

Quote:
Aren't you just projecting your own fashions onto otherworld beings?


I haven't worn that stuff since the 80s. Wink
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tracyk3337
PostPosted: 26-03-2009 10:07    Post subject: Out of body with some odd features Reply with quote

I had always believed that there is a scientific explanation for any "odd" experiences people have. I always knew it was just people's beliefs making these things happen. I always considered myself sensible enough to know that there is a reasonable explanation for anything.

That is until i went into hospital for a routine operation and experienced an out of body experience. It was the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me - but also the most perplexing and amazing.

I woke up as I was being wheeled back from the theatre and told the staff I had been awake. I described their conversations while I was meant to be asleep with my eyes and mouth taped. I had also tried to join in - not realising that i wasn't actually "there."

I would have been very willing to try to find a reasonable, scientific explanation for wha was happening - until the staff realised I was actually reading their thoughts. They were all scared and so was I. We (me and the 4 staff) must have had one of the weirdest conversations on the operating suite that week! I could see my days stretching out in front of me for the nex 3 months (VERY frightening) andcould describe personjal details about the staff. There was also a blue light around my hands. The staff saw. I know it and so do they. The whole experience lasted for about 25 minutes until I eventually managed to have a proper sleep.

I'm still trying to return to "normal" but its a hard thing to forget. I'm glad that the staff acknowledged at the time that there was something very weird happening.

Has any other previously "sensible" person experienced something like this - which has completely changed their view of things?

I now think that, rather than being a psychologial "problem", that it's an aspect of the human mind that is not understood or explored in a serious way.
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MachineElf
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PostPosted: 26-03-2009 10:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, that's a really great story! Why don't you post it under "It Happened to Me"... we were just discussing a rather interesting NDE/OBE under one of the threads there - the one by Turtle62.

I think you will find that several of the participants on that thread have had similar experiences. I know of several posters here who come from scientific backgrounds, but who have had their assumptions about reality blown apart by a spiritual experience they couldn't explain. Including myself.

What you are describing sounds like a veridical OBE. It would be interesting to discuss it further.
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tracyk3337
PostPosted: 26-03-2009 13:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Yes I will post it under the "It happened to me..."

There are loads of other details I haven't included (I'm still trying to get my head round some of it and to find a good way to describe the events.)

It will be great to get the experience out in the open and talk about it to people who may be able to help me get it into some sort of perspective. My family know nothing about it as I was "normal" by the time they got me back to the ward.

I've been trying to act "normal" ever since as any talk of the paranormal is usually met with snorts or guffaws in our house (including me.)

Thanks
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