Would you still get the auditory hallucinations if you made noise? I mean, couldn't you get through it by talking/singing to yourself?
“Sensory deprivation – because it can only be produced through human manipulation – is at once the most human and inhuman method for the protracted degradation of life. Applied for months or years, [it] is the proverbial ‘perfect murder’ for which no one – or everyone, except the victim – is responsible.”
Dutch psychiatrist Sjef Teuns in 1973 (“Isolation/Sensorische Deprivation: Die programmierte Folter,”)
From Ulrike Meinhof's diary:
"The feeling, one’s head explodes (the feeling, the top of the skull will simply split, burst open) —
the feeling, one’s spinal column presses into one’s brain —
the feeling, one’s brain gradually shrivels up like, for example, a baked fruit —
the feeling, one is uninterruptedly, imperceptibly, under a torrent, one is remote controlled, one’s associations are hacked away —
the feeling, one pisses the soul out of one’s body, like when one cannot hold water —
the feeling, the cell moves. One wakes up, opens one’s eyes: the cell moves; afternoon, if the sun shines in, it suddenly remains still. One cannot get rid of the feeling of motion.
One cannot tell whether one shivers from fever or from cold —
one cannot tell why one shivers — one freezes.
To speak at a normal volume requires an effort like that necessary to speak loudly, almost like that necessary to shout—
the feeling, one stops speaking —
one can no longer identify the meaning of words, one can only guess —
the use of sibilants — s,ss, tz, sch — is absolutely unbearable guards, visits, the yard seems to be made of celluloid —
Orfield is particularly excited about his firm’s latest patented product. It’s called Architectural Dynamics, and it’s a computerized system designed to create an indoor environment of “perceptually fluctuating stimuli.” By orchestrating subtle changes in lighting, daylighting, acoustics, thermal comfort, and olfactory stimuli, Orfield says, he can make workers feel stimulated in ways similar to enjoying a day outside, in perfect weather—all while seated at their workstations.
“Preferred environments tend to be parks and lakes—places where you are mildly perceptually loaded,” he says. “You hear sounds, smell smells, but nothing is very harsh. All your senses are alive, and you are up and open.”
In an “architecturally dynamic” office, the indoor environment would change throughout the day. Colored lightscapes on core walls would brighten moods. Muted sounds from natural environments would soothe and de-stress—or wake people up. Scents wafting through the building could heighten perceptions. If everyone were walking around, the system could tell the building to calm people down; if everyone were seated, energizing stimuli might be needed.
“The question is: How aurally loaded can you be and still be able to do your work?” Orfield says. “We’ve got maybe another five or 10 years to begin to understand this concept. But that’s the fun! It really is a whole new area of psychology. Nobody [else] has thought to patent the concept of an intentionally fluctuating building. There’s nothing else like it.”
At one point, Orfield Labs Founder and President Steve Orfield offered a six-pack of Guinness to anyone who stayed in the room for longer than 45 minutes. Only three individuals have endured the quiet room's discomforting environment for an extended period of time. Beer is no longer used as incentive these days, but Steve still invites people to try to bear the silent space, which is used to analyze the design and sound quality of products ranging from heart valves to motorcycles (psychoacoustic research is Orfield's bread and butter).
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