Why are some people prone to hallucinations? According to new research from the University of Cambridge and Cardiff University, hallucinations may come from our attempts to make sense of the ambiguous and complex world around us.
Each person experiences the world in a different way. Even if two people are present at the same event, their own personal experiences, ways of knowing the world, and point of view can greatly impact the experience for them and how they recount it to others later.
This is such a striking phenomenon that several major motion pictures have been made about how things look different to different people. Many studies have been done on how people interpret ink blots on paper, how people experience master works of art, and how people recount the scene of an accident to a first responder when help arrives.
Some people experience hallucinations their entire lives
Hallucinations, often associated with psychotic disorders, may result from a natural process used by the brain to make sense of the world, say scientists.
Professor Paul Fletcher, from the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge University, said: “Having a predictive brain makes us efficient and adept at creating a coherent picture of an ambiguous and complex world. But it also means we are not very far away from perceiving things that aren’t actually there, which is the definition of a hallucination.”
However, in some cases, people experience hallucinations as a result of mental illnesses that cause psychosis. Psychosis is defined as disconnection between what people think and see and what is actually happening to them: a kind of different reality.
This can cause great difficulties for people who are trying to make sense of the world around them, particular events, or even their own existence.
Because psychosis can be accompanied by changes in perception that are long lasting, people can experience hallucinations beyond the visual and also experience sensations related to feeling, seeing, touching, tasting and hearing.
This can make it even more difficult to convince someone that what they think is real, is not.
There are a number of factors that come into play when a person is suffering from hallucinations or psychosis which causes hallucination.
These include medication, past medical history, injury or trauma, post-traumatic stress disorders, abuse, family history, and an unstable mental history. Sometimes though, psychosis and hallucinations can come out of nowhere and it is can be difficult to treat patients who don’t seem to have any explanation associated with this type of condition.
The ability to interact with the environment depends heavily on our perception
Our ability to interact with the environment depends heavily on our ability to accept what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and experience as real.
If we question what we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and experience, we might begin to construct new meanings for those experiences, which can also lead to hallucinations.
Of course, drug addicts or people who use stimulants or other drugs that can cause hallucinations, may continue to use those drugs to get the sensations that are associated with their use.
This “high” is also difficult to manage because people become used to living in a world that is altered. It can make coming back down and coming back into the real world very difficult.
It can be difficult to trust our own eyes sometimes, even for people who do not suffer from hallucinations or psychosis causing hallucinations.
Have you ever had to look at a picture twice to make sure what you were seeing was actually there? What about those trick photos that look like a vase but it’s really two people’s profiles facing each other?
Those kinds of things can play tricks on our brains to make us think we are seeing one thing, but really it’s something completely different.
This also explains why some witnesses in criminal trials, after some probing, determine that the accused was not the person they saw commit the crime after all.
When you place a person in front of someone in similar clothing or with a similar build, skin tone and hair color, you can expect the witness to find other similarities too. It’s just the way our brains are wired.
So while hallucinations can be scary for some, they can be treated with care and consideration for what the person believes they are seeing.
Some people may experiences hallucinations due to lack of hydration, heat, extreme circumstances, daydreaming, sleep walking, and many other reasons.
Once someone has identified that they are hallucinating, they can begin the road to recovery through mental health, medication and therapy.
Some people may go their entire lives without ever realizing that they are seeing the world in a skewed way, and some people may never experience such hallucinations. Those who are prone to them should seek help to determine a proper treatment plan and to begin working toward identifying solutions for the hallucinations in everyday life.
Parenthood. One of the biggest changes in life one can go through.
It’s no longer just yourself. You now have to protect and care for an innocent and defenseless little human being.
Dealing with this change is tough enough, but have you wondered what biochemical reactions happen in the brain to the Mother who had to conceive this baby?
We all know giving birth takes a huge toll on the body, but we often don’t talk about the effects it has on the brain.
So today, we’re going to go over what science has found to Mother’s brain once she becomes pregnant.
What happens to the brain after pregnancy
A groundbreaking study recently found that being pregnant creates long-lasting effects in a mother’s brain, with MRI scans showing changes in grey matter volume that may actually help Moms look after their new babies.
What are these changes?
According to the researchers, gray matter concentrates in regions associated with social cognition and theory of mind – a region of the brain that’s activated when women looked at photos of their infants.
Here’s the definition of ‘theory of mind’:
“The ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.”
Also, activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety, and social interaction. These changes were still present two years after birth.
We all know that during pregnancy, there’s an enormous increase in hormones such as progestorone and estrogen to prepare a women’s body to carry a child.
We produce similar amounts of these hormones during puberty, which is known to cause dramatic and organizational changes in the brain. Boys and girls lose gray matter in the brain as it is pruned to be more efficient.
While it is not entirely clear why women’s gray matter concentrates during pregnancy, the lead researcher of the study, Heokzema, thinks it may be because their brains are becoming better prepared to adapt to motherhood and respond to their babies.
Mel Rutheford, an evolutionary psychologist, summarizes it best:
“As a parent, you’re now going to be solving slightly different adaptive problems, slightly different cognitive problems than you did before you had children…You have different priorities, you have different tasks you’re going to be doing, and so your brain changes.”
But ask any Mother:
One of the biggest changes that occur after giving birth are intimate ones – the emotional changes. The feelings of empathy and love that’s so deep it can’t be put into words. But, as it turns out, they are also largely neurological.
The researchers say that gray matter becomes more concentrated and activity increases in regions that control empathy, anxiety and social interaction, as well as a flood of hormones resulting from pregnancy, help attract a new mother to her baby.
In other words, the incredibly strong maternal feelings of love, fierce protectiveness and constant worry begin with neurological changes in the brain.
Have you ever wondered what humans will look like 1000 years from now?
It’s a fascinating question and one that science can finally answer.
This video, created by ASAP science, may be a little weird at first, but it’s incredibly interesting.
The video says that future humans will have vastly different faces, eyes and skin color as we adapt to the changing environment thanks to climate change.
Watch the video below to find out how your future cousins will look like:
If you can’t watch the video, here are the conclusions the video came up with:
Chances are, we’ll be a lot taller. In 1880 the average American male was 5 ‘7”. Today, he’s 5’10”.
It’s also possible that we’ll merge with machines to better our hearing, health, taste, eyesight and more.
For example, at the University of Oregon, they are developing bionic eyes that help the blind to see.
It could be possible that this technology becomes a tool for seeing what we currently consider invisible, like different energies of light.
Our genes will also evolve to aid our survival.
As an example, a study found that a group of HIV-infected children in South Africa live healthy lives. It was found that they have a built-in defense against HIV that prevents the virus from advancing to AIDS.
It’s also likely we could control our genes and DNA to the point where we make ourselves immune to disease.
Thanks to globalization, the 7,000 human languages that are spoken today will likely dip to under 100.
Also, the globe’s rising temperature will likely play a role in our evolution. Darker skin may become an evolutionary advantage as it protects against higher UV rays.
Taller and thinner bodies will be better at dealing with excess body heat.
Also, mutations may occur, which could lead to a new eye color or unique abilities. For example, a man today has the unique ability to digest anything, even metals and wood, as a result of a genetic mutation.
We may also engage in artificial selection and choose genes that we want our babies to grow up with, such as genes to avoid diseases and genes that allow us to be smarter and physically better looking.
However, this lack of diversity could lead to future problems that we’ll struggle to deal with.
Whatever happens, one thing is for certain:
Humans will continue changing – and the faster we change and branch out from Earth, the better chance we have of outrunning extinction.
Can science — which approves reason and evidence, and denounces faith and religion — really prove or disprove the existence of God? Can highly respected scientists — long perceived as the champions of atheism — change their mind? Can the creator of universe be caught on video? Well, there is scientific evidence that the universe was created by an intelligence — and, for the first time, science has proof that the universe was created out of nothing.
In 2004, English philosopher and the world’s most famous atheist Antony Flew did a volte-face to conclude that some sort of intelligence must have created the universe. In short, based on scientific evidence, he proved the existence of God. In a video title Has Science Discovered God?, Flew said:
A decade later, Israeli scientist Gerald Schroeder, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate with over thirty years of experience in research and teaching, claimed science has proven the existence of God as described in Genesis. In a five-minute video, Schroeder proved that the universe was created out of nothing by a “force of nature” described almost exactly as the God of Genesis in the Bible.
Then in 2015, an image captured by specialist NASA telescopes sparked speculation that God had been discovered 17,000 light years away. The Sunday Express reported:
“The space agency’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array — or NuSTAR — was aimed at a pulsar (or neutron star) called PSR B1509-58 a staggering distance from earth. What they were sent back was a spectral vision of an outstretched hand —which has become known as the Hand of God. The ‘hand’ is believed to be the remnants of the star which went supernova and ejected an enormous cloud of material – leaving pulsar PSR B1509-58 in its wake. The remnant cloud when viewed via high-energy X-rays shows up as a green, red and blue hand, a staggering 175 light years across.”
Recently, Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist at the City College of New York and known as one of the developers of the revolutionary String Theory that describes how all particles are actually vibrating strings, and how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other, found evidence of a Higher Being, which he described as the action of a force “that governs everything”.
“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance. The final solution resolution could be that God is a mathematician. The mind of God, we believe, is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11-dimensional hyperspace.”
Can science really offer evidence and establish that God exists? Here is a video showing a few scientific insights that indeed point to the existence of God…