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Hallucinations

Hallucinations Have you ever seen something that wasn t really there Heard someone call your name in an empty house Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing Hallucinations don t belong wholly t

  • Title: Hallucinations
  • Author: Oliver Sacks
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 365
  • Format: Paperback
  • Have you ever seen something that wasn t really there Heard someone call your name in an empty house Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing Hallucinations don t belong wholly to the insane Much commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny,Have you ever seen something that wasn t really there Heard someone call your name in an empty house Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing Hallucinations don t belong wholly to the insane Much commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres Those who are bereaved may receive comforting visits from the departed In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one s own body Humans have always sought such life changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience Here, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human condition.

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    About "Oliver Sacks"

    1. Oliver Sacks

      Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, was a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple Sam, a physician, and Elsie, a surgeon When he was six years old, he and his brother were evacuated from London to escape The Blitz, retreating to a boarding school in the Midlands, where he remained until 1943 During his youth, he was a keen amateur chemist, as recalled in his memoir Uncle Tungsten He also learned to share his parents enthusiasm for medicine and entered The Queen s College, Oxford University in 1951, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts BA in physiology and biology in 1954 At the same institution, he went on to earn in 1958, a Master of Arts MA and an MB ChB in chemistry, thereby qualifying to practice medicine.After converting his British qualifications to American recognition i.e an MD as opposed to MB ChB , Sacks moved to New York, where he has lived since 1965, and taken twice weekly therapy sessions since 1966.Sacks began consulting at chronic care facility Beth Abraham Hospital now Beth Abraham Health Service in 1966 At Beth Abraham, Sacks worked with a group of survivors of the 1920s sleeping sickness, encephalitis lethargica, who had been unable to move on their own for decades These patients and his treatment of them were the basis of Sacks book Awakenings.His work at Beth Abraham helped provide the foundation on which the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function IMNF , where Sacks is currently an honorary medical advisor, is built In 2000, IMNF honored Sacks, its founder, with its first Music Has Power Award The IMNF again bestowed a Music Has Power Award on Sacks in 2006 to commemorate his 40 years at Beth Abraham and honor his outstanding contributions in support of music therapy and the effect of music on the human brain and mind.Sacks was formerly employed as a clinical professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at the New York University School of Medicine, serving the latter school for 42 years On 1 July 2007, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons appointed Sacks to a position as professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry, at the same time opening to him a new position as artist , which the university hoped will help interconnect disciplines such as medicine, law, and economics Sacks was a consultant neurologist to the Little Sisters of the Poor, and maintained a practice in New York City.Since 1996, Sacks was a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature In 1999, Sacks became a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences Also in 1999, he became an Honorary Fellow at The Queen s College, Oxford In 2002, he became Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Class IV Humanities and Arts, Section 4 Literature 38 and he was awarded the 2001 Lewis Thomas Prize by Rockefeller University Sacks was awarded honorary doctorates from the College of Staten Island 1991 , Tufts University 1991 , New York Medical College 1991 , Georgetown University 1992 , Medical College of Pennsylvania 1992 , Bard College 1992 , Queen s University Ontario 2001 , Gallaudet University 2005 , University of Oxford 2005 , Pontificia Universidad Cat lica del Per 2006 He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire CBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours Asteroid 84928 Oliversacks, discovered in 2003 and 2 miles 3.2 km in diameter, has been named in his honor.

    948 Comments

    1. Hallucinations come in more varieties than you can possibly imagine - and Sacks details them all, exhaustively so, whether they are visual, tactile, audio or more rarely of smell and a combination of any of them. He details the causes whether it is an organic brain problem, temporary or permanent, or a more generalised reaction (dehydration and exhaustion), unwanted or deliberate - drugs. Almost more than you might want to know.The "best" sort of hallucinations, are those that feel absolutely re [...]


    2. Another Oliver Sacks book, my last for a while. I definitely enjoyed this much more than The Mind's Eye though. Probably because hallucinations are much more fascinating to think about. I think the book did a good job going over hallucinatory experiences and I definitely learned a lot that I didn't know before. I even enjoyed hearing about Sack's personal experiences this time because he didn't give as much unnecessary detail and it was cool to know that someone so successful has his own struggl [...]


    3. I enjoyed this one, but I’m not going to review this book in any depth, really. It was all very interesting in its journey through both delusional and drug induced hallucinations – but what I found most interesting in this book, and the bit that I will remember in six months time, is the stuff about indigo.I need to start by saying I’m insanely dull, fairly close to the least interesting person I know. Unlike President Clinton, I have inhaled the smoke of the marijuana plant, but I found i [...]


    4. I think that my decision to pursue neuroscience, and eventually get my PhD, was partly inspired from reading Oliver Sacks's "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" just before starting college. The strange things that happen to people with brain dysfunction reveal more about the nature of reality than all the great works of philosophy. In addition to the significance of Sacks's books to my academic choices, I was particularly excited about reading this book because since childh [...]


    5. I have almost completed the entire Sacks's oeuvre, with just Oaxaca Journal and Seeing Voices to go. Oliver Sacks has been one of those life altering writers for me. He has changed the way I see the world. The great revelation with this volume for me was just how commonplace hallucinations are. There are myriad reasons why the brain might produce them: sensory deprivation, disease, drugs, etc.—many of them surprisingly benign. Fascinating and highly recommended. Also see Will Self's review at: [...]


    6. Two weird things happened while I was reading this book. I had been having some bad insomnia, so I took a little something-something to help get to sleep. Before it kicked in I was reading this book, and it looked like the background of my Kindle Paperwhite had clouds floating around behind the text. Conversation with my husband:Me:"There's clouds floating around the background of my Kindle."Husband:"Sounds kind of pretty."Me:"I guess."Me:"But I'm trying to read."The second weird thing is that I [...]


    7. Hallucinations was just not up to snuff for Oliver Sacks— actually, it made me question just how much I would like Sacks' work were I to read it today, having been exposed to a breadth of narrative science writing in the years since I first read his essays.Sacks presents hallucinations (forms of consciousness wherein sensations occur autonomously, sometimes overlapping with misperceptions or illusions, but without consensual validation) through case studies, seasoning each one with socio-cultu [...]


    8. 8-30-15 Rest in Peace, Oliver Sacks.The neurologist Oliver Sacks has written a compassionate book about hallucinations, full of individual patients' stories as well as his own experiences. Hallucinations caused by sensory deprivation were especially interesting. Blindness, hearing problems, solitary confinement, sailors staring at an endless calm sea, and sensory deprivation tanks can all lead to hallucinations because "the brain needs not only perceptual input but perceptual change." In additio [...]


    9. I gave this four stars at first because I think it's true that it's not written with quite the verve of some of Sacks' earlier books. But then I added a fifth because -- dammit -- I really did enjoy it. It did for me precisely what he's so good at -- leaving me thinking for hours about some of the case studies, the experiences and the far bigger points they raise about life and consciousness.Somewhere in it (and it is now enormously annoying to me that I can't find the quotation) he talks about [...]


    10. Ever get stuck talking about the fairly pedestrian dreams of a random stranger, ad nauseum? Yeah, that's this book.I've read several of Sacks' other books, which are usually good for both giving insight into how our minds work as well as scratching a certain voyeuristic itch. I'm not entirely sure why this book fails at both--perhaps because we don't really understand enough about why we hallucinate. (Or perhaps the answer of "neurons fire when they shouldn't have" is just too simple and not all [...]


    11. I have on my desk a drawing by Oliver Sacks of two octopi. He made it in my kitchen in the mid-90s in Germany to prevail in a discussion with my then ten-year-old son about the disposition of optical nerves in octopi. This tells you a lot about Oliver Sacks and Nick. I would suppose Sacks was right, but Nick wasn't having it. He'd looked into the question and Nick could see Oliver, as he called him, was all wrong, or at least part of him was wrong. Neither would give in. They stayed at it all th [...]


    12. This book is a comprehensive review of all types of hallucinations. It is packed with case histories of people with a relatively common condition called the Charles Bonnet Syndrome, as well as hallucinations induced by Parkinson's, migraines, deliriums, narcolepsy, sensory deprivation, and hauntings. The multitude of descriptions of hallucinations gives the reader the idea that hallucinations are not all that rare--and this might be true. It is clear that hallucinations are under-reported, becau [...]


    13. Updated: I accidentally deleted this review, so re-posting. I must've been Hallucinating.Herm, well. Disappointing. It was just so.ical. I guess, what did I expect? Apparently, neuroscientists have figured out that hallucinations are triggered by parts of the brain being over or under stimulated. Thanks for that.The most interesting tidbit to me within the book is that there is a scientist named Dominic ffytche (yes, lower case). It kind of freaked me out every time I read his name. Dominic ffyt [...]


    14. Ao iniciar a leitura deste livro tinha uma esperança que se concretizou: ler uma obra com dados científicos bem fundamentados, mas com linguagem acessível e um ritmo satisfatório que me permitisse usufruir destas "Hallucinations" de Oliver Sacks.E assim foi. Cumpriu e extrapolou expectativas.Foi delicioso ler Sacks e não vou parar por aqui.


    15. I love Oliver Sacks (I know I am not alone in his sentiment). He represents to me the coming together of western medicine and compassion, humane curiosity, intelligence, insight (things I don't tend to associate with western allopathic medicine). He has become such a beloved cultural and medical figure and it is only now that I am listening to his memoir "On The Move" that I understand how hard he worked and the enormity of the challenges and setbacks he faced before he became a public figure.Ov [...]


    16. UPDATE - 10-Feb-13: There's an essay in the Feb. 21, 2013 issue of the NYRB by Sacks. The telling paragraph is this:There is mechanism in the mind or the brain for ensuring the truthof our recollections. We have no direct access to historical truth, and what we feel or assert to be true.nds as much on our imagination as our senses. There is no way by which the events of the world can be directly transmitted or recorded in our brains; they are experienced and constructed in a highly subjective wa [...]


    17. Sadly, I actually didn't enjoy this book very much. I love Oliver Sacks, and have read everything that he has ever written. Seeing Voices is one of my favorite books. However, his last three books -- Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, The Mind's Eye and now Hallucinations -- I have not enjoyed as much.This book seemed like a list of descriptions of case studies illustrating the varying causes of hallucinations. A few of the descriptions were quite interesting, notably those of sleep par [...]


    18. Between The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, Robin Williams’ portrayal in “Awakenings,” and several NPR interviews, I’ve really come to admire Dr. Oliver Sacks, even though this is only the second book of his I’ve ever read. He writes with such love and respect about his patients, it’s impossible not to love and respect him in return. Accomplished a doctor as he is, he is never condescending. He portrays his patients as people, not quirky specimens. He’s [...]


    19. When I close my eyes at night, especially after a stressful day, I have always seen a small ball of tightly packed spheres of mixed jewel-like colors. The ball spins constantly until it breaks apart into sprays of very tiny, brightly colored spheres. As a child, I was surprised to learn that not everyone sees this "show" at night. Too bad because it is very relaxing. Oliver Sachs's new book taught me that what I see is a hallucination. This was news to me and worth the price of the book.Sachs' n [...]


    20. Okay, first and foremost I need to acknowledge that I can understand why not everyone would love this book. It’s not an Everyone Book, but it’s totally an Annie book. Now, look. If there’s a cause of hallucination, it’s happened to me. Let me explain.1) I have temporal lobe epilepsy, and have hallucinated mildly during auras prior to seizures.2) I have hallucinated as a reaction to delirium (bad reaction to prescription drug).3) I have hallucinated as a result of serious sleep deprivatio [...]


    21. I prefer it when Dr Sacks focuses more closely on one or three people and tells their stories in depth, but this is a fine and entertaining collection of anecdotes in a kind of catalogue of non-schizophrenic hallucinogenic experiences, including his own sometimes drug-induced experiences in the sixties. The feeling you get as you read this book is that the brain is not a very precise instrument for perception, and that auditory, visual and other sensory hallucinations are less commonly to be ass [...]


    22. Incisive and compassionate, as is usual with Sacks. He explains that hallucinations are underreported because most people (and many doctors) believe that any type of hallucination means you're crazy.Cool words I learned while reading this:the prisoner's cinema: a terrifying or entertaining hallucinated light show experienced by people confined in dark cellsCharles Bonnet syndrome (CBS): complex visual hallucinations by people who are blind or who have low visioncataplexy: a sudden and temporary [...]


    23. All the ways people can experience hallucinations. One of the most interesting cases was for me the first one. a blind woman who was experiencing hallucinations, but turned out to actually have a disease that caused this. Also the history behind the various facets of this phenomena. A little to dry and to many facts and figures. Tended to skip around a bit but some it was very interesting so I am glad I read this.


    24. Dr. Sacks books are medical journals. In which he tells the stories of his patients, patients who wrote to him, and patients from medical literature.I really enjoyed Dr Sacks talking about his experiences with drugs, getting dependent for a while, then getting help to quit.


    25. It's not you, it's me. Once I got halfway through the book, it was obvious that I was not as interested in the subject matter as that pretty cover had me believing. Additionally, this volume seemed to be quite heavy on the "what" and rather light on the "why."


    26. الراجل ده بقرأ/أسمع له علشان أندهشوأقول سبحان الله من عظمة خلق المخ البشري


    27. Oliver Sacks rescues hallucinatory experience from the narrow realm of psychiatric illness and psychedelic adventure and places it in a larger cultural context; he brings it into the mainstream and shows us how common hallucinatory experiences are. Sacks gently reveals the fragility of our minds and how subtle influences such as imagination, sensory or sleep deprivation can have an enormous impact on our perception of reality. He invites us to revel in the realities our minds can create while in [...]


    28. I have been a fan of Sacks for a long time and I really looked forward to this one. The general topic is of great interest to me and have read many other books on the subject. However, something about this book didn't quite work. It seemed a bit more laboured than his earlier books and it told stories around the subject without really doing the subject justice. To be fair to Sacks, however, it is a difficult subject to bring to life. There is something about the subject of hallucination and drea [...]


    29. some interesting descriptions of hallucinations that are not related to mental illness. Cases such as Charles Bonnet syndrome which occurs when vision is degenerating and the mind fills in the gap for failing sense organs. There are also descriptions of Sensory deprivation like the experiments carried out in sensory deprivation tanks in the 60s. Their is hallucinogenic experiences related to drugs like LSD, Peyote and DMT. Hypnogogic and Hypnopompic hallucinations related to just before falling [...]


    30. Why do we read Sacks? Is it the nature of all his subjects or is it the fact that there is always a Sacks memoir at the centre of all his books? "Hallucinations" is an examination not of the visions of the schizophrenic or the mentally ill, it is an examination of everyday experiences by people who hallucinate because of a point of stress - migraine, blindness, auditory loss or even the social use of drugs.Sacks opens each one of these boxes and shows the consistent patterns in each.He also look [...]


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