Multisensory effects

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Multisensory effects are defined as any subjective effect which directly alters two or more senses at a time.

It is worth noting that although hallucinatory effects may affect multiple senses at one time they are usually not categorized as multisensory effects unless they consistently affect multiple senses every time that they occur. For example, while experiences with autonomous entities may sometimes have a tactile component to them, more often than not they are a primarily visual experience and therefore classified as such.

This page lists and describes the various multisensory effects which can occur under the influence of certain psychoactive compounds.

Anticipatory response

Main article: Anticipatory response

Anticipatory response

Component controllability

Component controllability is the rare experience of gaining partial or complete conscious control over the details, content, and intensity of other currently occurring subjective effects. This occurs in a manner which is extremely similar to the level of control experienced by well-practised lucid dreamers during ordinary dream.

For example, this state could give a person the ability to manually manipulate and direct their current visual effects by allowing them to will specific components into occurring, stopping, increasing, decreasing or changing their behaviour. It could also allow the person to manipulate their cognitive or physical state by letting them select and control the presence and intensity of potentially any combination of specific components present within the subjective effect index. However, it is worth noting that it's questionable whether or not this experience is reflective of genuine control over the effects observed as it may simply be a delusion that gives one the feeling and perception of control.

Component controllability is a very rare experience that most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Dosage independent intensity

Dosage independent intensity is the particularly rare and inconsistent experience of spontaneously amplified psychedelic effects which are extremely disproportionate to the dosage consumed. For example, a user may ingest a threshold dosage but spontaneously experience high intensity effects such as moderate to overwhelming geometry, distortions, hallucinatory states, spirituality enhancement, and even ego death.

This experience can often feel like a defiance of normal pharmacology, it usually takes the user by surprise and most commonly occurs during the peak of the trip. Individuals who experience this effect often describe it as being very profound and intense due to its unexpected and spontaneous nature. It is also worth noting that this effect seems to primarily happen to users who are already somewhat experienced with the substance being consumed.

Dosage independent intensity is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic tryptamine compounds, such as ayahuasca, psilocybin, 4-AcO-DMT, and DMT.


Main article: Machinescapes

Machinescapes are a complex visual and tactile experience in which one perceives hallucinatory mechanical landscapes which are vast in both size and intricacy. These landscapes are almost exclusively comprised of ever-changing and interlocking mechanical parts which move between each other in a variety of ways. Their mechanisms are based upon a seemingly infinite variety of potential materials which form impossibly intricate arrays of cogs, gears, pulleys, conveyor belts, levers, panels, hydraulics, and other moving parts. The precise arrangement of these mechanical parts is often subjectively perceived to be a direct representation of both a person's current mind state and their sensory input.

During this experience, a prominent sense that one has become the perceivable machinescape is often present through a complex change in one's felt bodily form. This manifests as the sensation that one can physically feel and perceive every detail of the machinescape as if it were their own body. These tactile hallucinations are also often accompanied by seeing distinct internal hallucinations that correlate with the felt sensations.

Machinescapes are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as memory suppression and geometry. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of salvia divinorum. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of psychedelic compounds such as LSD, psilocybin, and 2C-P.

Scenarios and plots

Main article: Scenarios and plots

Scenarios and plots are the situations, stories, scenarios, and events which occur within both external and internal hallucinations. These behave in an almost identical fashion to the plots and scenarios that occur during ordinary dream states and often include cognitive delusions that result in one accepting the plot as a real life event. On rare occasions, however, they will be immediately recognized as a mere hallucination and not a real life event.

During this effect, the typical components which comprise standard hallucinatory states (settings, sceneries, and landscapes and autonomous entities) begin behaving and co-operating in a manner which results in the experience of events occurring within the hallucination itself. These are often perceived as linear and coherent plots that occur in a logical sequence by leading into other events through normal cause and effect. However, they are equally likely to present themselves as completely nonsensical and incoherent. For example, they may consist of nonlinear or spontaneous events which are capable of ending, starting, and changing between each other repeatedly in quick succession.

These hallucinated plots can consist of new experiences that are completely unlike the real world, old experiences such as accurate memory replays, or a combination of the two. However, in terms of their precise content, this effect is impossible to define in a comprehensive manner in much the same way that one cannot predict the exact plot of unknown literature and films. They can, however, be summarized as basic occurrences which often entail visiting a setting that contains interactive objects and autonomous entities. It is also worth noting that the possible situations one may find themselves in as a result of this effect can be either positive or negative to experience in a manner which is dependent on both its content and the individual undergoing them.

Hallucinatory plots and scenarios usually feel as if they are being experienced in real-time. For example, when 20 seconds has passed within the hallucination, the same amount of time will usually have passed in the real world. At other points, however, time distortion can occur, resulting in plots and scenarios that can feel as if they last days, weeks, months, years, aeons, or infinitely extended periods.

Scenarios and plots are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, they can also occur less commonly under the influence of stimulant psychosis, and sleep deprivation.

Spontaneous physical movements

Spontanious physical movements are the experience of seemingly random, but structured, movements or twitches of groups of muscles throughout the body. These are not typically uncomfortable to experience and often feel as if they somehow occur in conjunction with or as a direct representation of both a person's current cognitive state and their sensory input.

Spontaneous physical movements are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as ego death, synaesthesia, and spontaneous bodily sensations. They most commonly occur under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.


Main article: Synaesthesia

Synaesthesia (also spelled synesthesia or synæsthesia) is a condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.[1] For example, during this experience a person may begin seeing music, tasting colors, hearing smells, or any other potential combination of the senses.[2] At its highest level, synaesthesia becomes so all-encompassing that each of the senses become completely intertwined with and experienced through all of the other senses. This is a complete blending of human perception and is usually interpreted as extremely profound when experienced. It is worth noting that a significant percentage of the population experience synaesthesia to varying extents during every day life without the use of drugs.[3][4]

Synaesthesia is commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds,[5] such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it is seemingly most commonly experienced under the influence of stimulating psychedelics such as the 2C-x, DOx, and NBOMe series.

See also


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.), 830. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
  2. Why are there different types of synesthete? |
  3. Synaesthesia: the prevalence of atypical cross-modal experiences (ncbi) |
  4. Modality and variability of synesthetic experience |
  5. The induction of synaesthesia with chemical agents: a systematic review (ncbi) |