The Math Behind Geometric Hallucinations

An interesting article from Plus Magazine on the mathematics of geometric hallucinations (think swirling patterns) and what it says about the brain:

Think drug-induced hallucinations, and the whirly, spirally, tunnel-vision-like patterns of psychedelic imagery immediately spring to mind. But it’s not just hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, cannabis or mescaline that conjure up these geometric structures. People have reported seeing them in near-death experiences, as a result of disorders like epilepsy and schizophrenia, following sensory deprivation, or even just after applying pressure to the eyeballs. So common are these geometric hallucinations, that in the last century scientists began asking themselves if they couldn’t tell us something fundamental about how our brains are wired up.

5 Comments on "The Math Behind Geometric Hallucinations"

  1. oh yeah for sure. math is interesting though Im not that great at it… alright, my algebra is bad. I also took acid once (janurary 6 2009), with shrooms (1.5g) and saw colors, patterns, and such.

  2. bradnorwood | Mar 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm |

    Very common occurrence in my life.
    This phenomenon is unpredictable and can start while my eyes are open in the daylight.
    Shutting them, I can enjoy a lovely light show of lively geometric patterns running about in the blackness of my closed eyes. They are not singular patterns as shown above, but mixed, bright and colorful…sometimes chained patterns…they are not short-lived, but last for quite a few seconds.
    I do wish I could paint them as they are beautiful.

  3. ben allen | Apr 19, 2010 at 7:34 pm |

    also see artwork by keith haring

  4. This is very interesting…. makes a lot of sense to me, at least

  5. This is very interesting…. makes a lot of sense to me, at least

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