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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 00:41
PapaPete PapaPete is offline
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What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Would they see cevs? Does anyone know?

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very interesting question
Great question that sparked a great discussion in this thread.
  #2  
Old 02-09-2011, 02:36
SlightlyBitter SlightlyBitter is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

I'm sure it would depend what causes the persons blindness. I mean if they got splashed with acid and lost their vision, then yeah they would probably experience CEV.

If the person was born with out any of the components necessary for vision. then perhaps they would not experience them. Honestly its all subjective to the particular person.

Hoever they would experience all the other effects of lsd.

Last edited by Phenoxide; 08-09-2012 at 13:55. Reason: post restored
  #3  
Old 02-09-2011, 03:34
Phungushead Phungushead is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

My understanding is that it all depends on whether the person was blind from birth (congenitally blind), or if they went blind later in their life.

If an individual is congenitally blind, it is physically impossible for them to "see" anything at all - The thing is that the visual cortex in the brain (and most of the rest of the brain, for that matter) cannot develop without stimulation. So, if someone is born blind then they are not receiving the visual stimuli that is necessary to develop the visual cortex. In these people, the visual cortex instead develops to support the four remaining functional senses (It is completely true what they say about blind people, that their remaining senses are more developed and stronger than someone with functioning vision).

In this case, the person may experience aural, olfactory, and tactile hallucinations, but no visuals.

However, if the person went blind later in life, they still would probably have some kind of visuals because their visual cortex should be fairly developed and working, it's just not perceiving any input.

The whole thing is similar to how people who are blind experience dreams: If someone is born blind, they will still dream when they sleep, but their dreams will only involve the senses that still function... But if someone is born with sight and goes blind later down the road, they continue to dream with nearly full vision. Since their brain already knows what it is like to see something, it can produce that sight while dreaming...


Trip report (mushrooms) from a congenitally blind individual:
Quote:
I have been totally blind since birth and about a week ago I tried shrooms for the first time. I read all I could about them from hyperreal and a.d.p and a friend said it would be interesting to see what it would do to me. It was not possible to have anyone with me so I picked a time when I knew I wouldn't be bothered for six hours. I decided the only thing I would do was to sit in my rocker with headphones listening to whatever felt good. I figured that would be pretty safe since most music you find on the radio has a positive message or if it didn't you could always tune into something else.

After about 30 minutes I became aware that the world, life, the universe or whatever was racing by at a trementous speed. I felt that this wasn't a problem if I stayed in the center and didn't get off track. But if I did, my life could shatter into millions of pieces and could never be put back together. After that acute intense phase I got the idea that whatever I was listening to was being played and written just for me. I became aware of a deeper understanding of life, people, and the music I was listening to. I got the idea that it would be nice to take all my clothes off and just bathe myself in whatever I was listening to. Around that time I began to notice many audio distortions. It seemed that the music began coming apart and unraveling. My conception of harmony became very strange. Most music began to echo around and around in my mind. It was like my brain would hear music in the present while still hanging on to what I heard a second ago. It was like a tape loop where you say something and a second later it repeats and feeds back until it builds into a jumble of music that kept on echoing. Also at the peak of the experience the music would actually change; transposing itself into other keys. It was the most intense and pleasurable musical experience you could ever imagine. Thoughts were racing through my mind at warp speed. About this time the phone rang somewhere off in the distance. I decided it was best not to answer because whoever it was wasn't on my channel/frequency. I thought about the time many years ago someone attacked Dan Rather and the guy said something like "Keneth whats the frequency?" I understand now, the guy was on shrooms! When you're on shrooms noone can find your frequency! More time went by and I decided that maybe I would make a phone call. When I turned the music off it was very strange. All sound was very distorted. My voice sounded strange as it bounced off the walls. It was like I was hearing everything from inside a tube. Sounds were "out of phase". It was like my ears were hooked to a fancy audio filter where you could vary the notch frequency and/or the passband. With great difficulty I was able to make a long distance call. After a few minutes I went back to my music. I had no idea what was real and what was not but that didn't matter because I wasn't hurting myself or anyone else.

What a great way to take a vacation without leaving home! It does disturb me to read about people who take drugs like this and insist on doing things like driving that require good judgment and a clear head. I was thinking that if we lived in more enlightened times there could be clinics where for a fee you could take a trip on your choice of psychedelic drugs in a controlled and safe setting. Maybe to start with your personal drug therapist would take a brief medical history ... depending on the drug you were taking and then arrange for music, vidios or other interesting things to do on your trip. I don't have much hope of anything like this in our lifetime at least not in the U.S. but maybe in Holand? But in the meantime we have to arrange our own trips. It's not our fault, it's the government's fault.
There's also a few other related threads here:

What would happen if a blind, deaf, or disabled person ate acid or shrooms?
Would a Blind Person Experience Visuals from Magic Mushrooms?
Taking LSD being blind
blind people tripping on LSD
Do blind people hallucinate on LSD?

There is also a very interesting study in the archive centered around this topic:
Effects of a hallucinogenic agent in totally blind subjects (1963)

Post Quality Evaluations:
Awesome answer that answers the question well.
as usual, a highly informative post, and linking to other related threads
  #4  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:30
Buddha2012 Buddha2012 is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

This was quite an interesting read haha, I wonder if there are any more reports on blind people and hallucinogens....
  #5  
Old 03-09-2011, 22:02
psyche psyche is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

On a related note, I recently watched a documentary where a blind person was using a software that translated views into sounds, which he learned to interpret. He actually saw the things, a ferris wheel, fences, people. Being blind from birth, he was quite scared at first about the mystical impressions that he perceived. So the blind person also has neurological means for perceiving visuals, they just aren't used normally.

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what documentary? Documentaries can be informative, or misinformative. saying you heard something in a documentary doesn't really tell us anything.
  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 22:41
narchitect narchitect is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

[QUOTE=Phungushead[/QUOTE] (the post was too long to quote the whole thing)

That sounds amazing - much more intense than any psychedelic experience I've had from both acid and psilocybin. On top of that, I have a lot of respect for any blind person who does a hallucinogen willingly - I can only imagine the kind of bravery it takes to put something in your mouth that you can't even see and which is supposed to completely alter your already-crippled/diminished perception of reality. Props to blind trippers.
  #7  
Old 03-09-2011, 23:01
psyche psyche is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by narchitect View Post
(the post was too long to quote the whole thing)

That sounds amazing - much more intense than any psychedelic experience I've had from both acid and psilocybin. On top of that, I have a lot of respect for any blind person who does a hallucinogen willingly - I can only imagine the kind of bravery it takes to put something in your mouth that you can't even see and which is supposed to completely alter your already-crippled/diminished perception of reality. Props to blind trippers.
I'm confused by what do you mean by "already-crippled/diminished perception of reality". Do you mean that psychedelics cripple or diminish perception? I think you know that they expand the consciousness, they don't cripple or diminish it. And you realize that when such an important sense as sight is missing, other senses develop more sensitive and inner realms possibly richer in amiss of visual perception? When you don't see, your imagination fills the void. Certainty can ruin imagination and impoverish richness.

I agree that blind people taking psychedelics is an amazing concept.
  #8  
Old 03-09-2011, 23:30
narchitect narchitect is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyche View Post
I'm confused by what do you mean by "already-crippled/diminished perception of reality". Do you mean that psychedelics cripple or diminish perception? I think you know that they expand the consciousness, they don't cripple or diminish it. And you realize that when such an important sense as sight is missing, other senses develop more sensitive and inner realms possibly richer in amiss of visual perception? When you don't see, your imagination fills the void. Certainty can ruin imagination and impoverish richness.

I agree that blind people taking psychedelics is an amazing concept.
By "crippled/diminished sense of reality" I meant that the person taking the psychedelics is blind, and sight is (in my opinion) the most important of the five senses in humans and most animals. I certainly agree with you that the imagination would fill the gap, but no matter how you slice it their ability to perceive reality/the outside world is limited in ways that the rest of ours' isn't, and that's all I was pointing out.
  #9  
Old 03-09-2011, 23:40
psyche psyche is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Yes I see(sigh, pun intended?). It was just the "already" that confused me. Like psychedelics would further diminish your senses, which they don't, just the opposite. But I see what you mean, the combination of blindness and psychedelics is one hell of a experience.
  #10  
Old 03-09-2011, 23:52
narchitect narchitect is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psyche View Post
Yes I see(sigh, pun intended?). It was just the "already" that confused me. Like psychedelics would further diminish your senses, which they don't, just the opposite. But I see what you mean, the combination of blindness and psychedelics is one hell of a experience.
Yup glad we managed to communicate on that one.
  #11  
Old 04-09-2011, 14:38
psyche psyche is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Someone asked about the documentary I mentioned. It was a tv-documentary about what is genius. Nothing LSD related. They showed a blind man "looking" out the window of car and describing what he saw. The man told his story and mentioned the emergence of a new sense, namely sight, and said it was frightening at first, and took some time to learn process it. He even called the developer of the software after first trying it, asking what the hell is happening to him. I have no reason to suspect they would lie.
  #12  
Old 01-10-2011, 12:33
sebs88888 sebs88888 is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

Funny that you ask this question, as I shared this story about three hours ago with a friend when we were discussing LSD.

I had a very interesting teacher in high school who would never admit to doing drugs, but it was obvious to all of us that he was a burnout.

He didn't mind sharing other people's stories about their experiences with drugs though, or educating us and/or sharing his opinion.

I vividly remember one day where a student blatantly asked him during lunch "What would LSD be like if you were blind?" Our teacher had served as a mechanic in the Vietnam war, and told us that he had a friend who was blind since the day they were born whom ingested LSD while they were in Vietnam. He said that the man only experienced a body-high and had no visual hallucinations or effects.

So, what Phungushead said seems to be pretty accurate. In this case anyways.
  #13  
Old 01-10-2011, 13:58
psyche psyche is offline
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Re: What would LSD be like for a blind person?

There is also an account of a congenitally blind(blind from birth) person seeing for the first time during an NDE in this documentary.

Speculating why this would be, apparently brain has much less absolute and central role in consciousness that was previously thought; specific memories, despite there being compelling evidence from some research in the beginning of the 20th century, might not be coded in the brain. A study looking to confirm those results studied salamander brains. Apparently they can be removed and re-installed without killing a salamander.

In the study, salamanders were given time to learn a maze. After that a portion of salamanders brain that was thought to be responsible for memories of the maze was removed. They still made it through. Even after most of the brain was removed, they of course limped their way, but still memory of the maze seemed intact. Furthermore, installing the brain upside down, switching the right and left hemisphere or even mixing parts of brains of different salamanders did not hinder the memory of the maze.

I can get the names of the studies after getting a book I gave someone back. It seems the memory is more likely preserved in interference patterns, in the same way the seemingly random pattern that forms when two or more stones are dropped in a lake and their waves collide, holds the information of all of the original waves. Also, the brains visual system processes the visual image in it's fourier transformation, that is, broken down to it's frequency components, not by simply imitating the shapes of the outside world in the firing patterns of the neural network.

Last edited by psyche; 01-10-2011 at 14:21. Reason: extrapolation

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