Last summer, over 40,000 people visited in various UK cities dream machinea large space designed for Inspire illusionary experiences with strobe white light And electronic music, “At first we had guardians to guide and comfort people through breathing exercises,” says Anil Seth, a neuroscientist at the University of Sussex and collaborator on the project. Including a team of artists, engineers, designers and musicians.
20 to 30 people were allowed into the room and asked to lie down on the floor and close their eyes. After that 30-minute session, participants described the experience with adjectives such as vivid, fast changing, powerful And magical, “It was so strange and magical to see the reactions of the participants when they came out on the other side of the screen and just experienced it,” Seth recalls. “We’re really turning something that’s intrinsic and transcendent and personal into the collective experience.”
dream machine It originated from an idea by an artist named Brian Gysin from an experience he had on a trip. Sitting by the window of a bus that was taking her down the highway, she gazed at the row of trees they had left behind. Friends say that when he was close to falling asleep, he had an experience he considered momentous. He saw extraordinary images, colors and patterns appear and disappear before him. But when the trees moved out of his field of vision, so did the hallucinations. Could it have something to do with sunlight twinkling through the trees?
Gysin invented a fairly simple machine. Die-cut cylinder with holes forming a pattern. said cylinder is mounted on top of a record player; A light bulb is placed inside and it starts moving. Light flashing at the right speed creates an experience.
Based on Gysin’s invention, the DreamMachine project emerged. Seth has been doing research for over a decade, with one of his main goals being to shed light on: strobe light effect on brain, “This is a phenomenon that is not yet understood,” he explains. “Flickering lights indeed give rise to unexpected and powerful perceptual effects and conscious experiences that have nothing to do with there. It psychedelic effect may be the key to understanding neural basis of visual experiencebecause the participants are reported to be visual experience Even if their eyes are closed. “Experiencing the power of your mind and your brain to create an experience is truly transformative,” says Seth.
Composer of the music that participants listen to in the experience, John Hopkins, says this was the first time they had the opportunity to design sound that was heard in 360 degrees, reaching the listener from everywhere. He says that the task of positioning those sounds was difficult but also very rewarding.
i don’t see what you see
What also fascinates Seth is that participants reported very different experience, even if they are immersed in the same environment. “Of course, it doesn’t just happen on the DreamMachine,” he says. “One lesson is that everywhere, at the same time, at all times, we all have a different experienceeven when we share the same objective reality”.
A participant named Angela says she has vision problems that make it difficult for her to see colors, but in the experience she saw colors she hadn’t seen in years. “It made me emotional,” she adds.
(translated to tagged) brain