Visual enhancements

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Visual enhancements can be defined as any subjective effect which improves one's ability to perceive the external environment through their sense of sight.

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

Acuity enhancement

Main article: Acuity enhancement
Visual acuity enhancement by StingrayZ - This animation serves as a replication of visual acuity enhancement, which is a common psychedelic effect. It demonstrates the general differences between normal vision and acuity enhancement by shifting between the two states. There is also a subtle amount of visual drifting within this replication.

Acuity enhancement can be described as an enhancement of the clearness and clarity of vision. This results in the visual details of the external environment becoming sharpened to the point where the edges of objects become perceived as extremely focused, clear, and defined. The experience of acuity enhancement can be likened to bringing a camera or projector lens that was slightly blurry into focus. At its highest level, one may experience the perception that they can now observe and comprehend their entire visual field simultaneously, including their peripheral vision. This is in contrast to a sober person, who is typically only able to perceive the small area of central vision in detail.[1][2]

While under the influence of this effect, it is very common for people to suddenly notice patterns and details in the environment they may have never previously noticed or appreciated.[3] For example, when looking at sceneries, nature, and everyday textures the complexity and perceived beauty of the visual input often becomes suddenly obvious.

Acuity enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as color enhancement and pattern recognition enhancement.[4][5] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

Image examples

Colour enhancement

Main article: Colour enhancement

Color enhancement can be described as the experience of colors becoming extremely bright or vivid and standing out.[6][7] During this experience, reds may seem “redder”, greens may seem “greener, ” etc and all colors will likely have become much more distinct, powerful, and intense to look at than they comparatively would be during everyday sober living.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Studies have also suggested an accompanying effect of decreased hue discrimination resulting in anecdotal accounts of perceiving colours which are seemingly impossible.[8][9]

Colour enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and pattern recognition enhancement.[14][15] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of certain stimulants and dissociatives such as MDMA or 3-MeO-PCP.

Image examples

Frame rate enhancement

Frame rate enhancement can be described as an effect which increases the detail at which a person can perceive quickly occurring events that appear within their field of view. This may give the appearance that the external environment is being viewed in slow motion and that time has been "stretched out". For example, fast moving objects such as birds, insects, and cars may begin to present themselves as clearly viewable instead of as fleeting blurs of motion, which is often the case during every day sobriety.

In terms of its intensity, this effect can be subtle in its appearance in a manner which only slightly slows down a person's perception of motion. However, at higher levels, this effect can temporarily bring the speed of events down to an almost complete standstill.

Frame rate enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and thought acceleration. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Magnification

Main article: Magnification
Magnification by StingrayZ - This is an animated example of the common psychedelic visual effect known as magnification. There is also a significant amount of visual drifting present within the animation.

Magnification can be described as the experience of distant details within one's visual field appearing closer and more "zoomed in" than they actually are due to both visual enhancements and hallucinatory effects.[16] This can give one the perception that they are seeing objects from greater distances than is usually possible within everyday life.

At its lower levels, this can allow people to see objects that are within reaching distance as closer than they really are, resulting in the perception that there has been a general enhancement of visual capabilities.[16] At its higher levels, this can induce the perception of seeing objects as if they were right in front of the user across vast stretches of distance. These distances can range between several feet to hundreds of meters. Since this is most likely a physiological impossibility, it suggests that higher level magnification may actually be a seamless hallucinatory state in which the details of distant visual input are predictively simulated in a realistic and convincing manner.

It's worth noting that this effect is considerably more likely to occur if a person spends extended periods of time staring at an object or scene within the distance.

Magnification is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and pattern recognition enhancement. It is a rare effect that is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Pattern recognition enhancement

Face in a cloud by Neil Usher - This image serves as an example of pattern recognition enhancement.

Pattern recognition enhancement can be described as an increase in a person's ability to recognise patterns (usually faces) within vague stimuli. Psychedelics enhance the availability of information managed in the brain through inhibiting the lower brain structures' gating systems.[17][18] General effects of psychedelics involve the temporary disruption of the normal neural hierarchy, replacing the normally predominant top-down control of information transfer in the brain with an increasingly bottom-up dynamic characterized by an increased influence of posterior regions over frontal areas of the brain. This decoupling of the frontal areas with the medial lobes resulted in a disorganization of the high-level networks responsible for large-scale brain network integrity, resulting in increased flexibility of networks and a more open communication among them.[19][20]

This innate ability which human beings possess in everyday life is referred to by the scientific literature as pareidolia and is a well documented phenomenon.[21][22][23] Common examples of this include spotting faces in everyday objects, such as the front of a car, or seeing different objects in clouds.[24]

During this effect, pareidolia can become significantly more pronounced than it would usually be during everyday sober living.[25] For example, scenery may look remarkably like detailed images, everyday objects may look like faces, and clouds may appear as fantastical objects, all without any visual alterations actually taking place. Once an image has been perceived within an object or landscape, the mind may further exaggerate this recognition through the hallucinatory effect known as transformations, which goes beyond pareidolia and becomes a standard visual hallucination.

Pattern recognition enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as acuity enhancement and colour enhancement.[26][27] It is most commonly induced under the influence of mild dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.

Image examples


See also

References

  1. Fischer, R., Hill, R., Thatcher, K., & Scheib, J. (1970). Psilocybin-induced contraction of nearby visual space. Agents and actions, 1(4), 195. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01965761
  2. Sardegna, Jill; Shelly, Susan; Rutzen, Allan Richard; Scott M Steidl (2002). The Encyclopedia of Blindness and Vision Impairment. Infobase Publishing. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-8160-6623-0. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  3. Hill, R. M., & Fischer, R. (1971). Interpretation of visual space under drug-induced ergotropic and trophotropic arousal. Agents and actions, 2(3), 128. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01966750
  4. Papoutsis, I., Nikolaou, P., Stefanidou, M., Spiliopoulou, C., & Athanaselis, S. (2015). 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers. Forensic Toxicology, 33(1), 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11419-014-0242-9
  5. Bersani, F. S., Corazza, O., Albano, G., Valeriani, G., Santacroce, R., Bolzan Mariotti Posocco, F., ... & Schifano, F. (2014). 25C-NBOMe: preliminary data on pharmacology, psychoactive effects, and toxicity of a new potent and dangerous hallucinogenic drug. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/734749
  6. Abraham, H. D. (1983). Visual phenomenology of the LSD flashback. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 40(8), 886-887. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/493119
  7. Baggott, M. J., Coyle, J. R., Erowid, E., Erowid, F., & Robertson, L. C. (2011). Abnormal visual experiences in individuals with histories of hallucinogen use: a Web-based questionnaire. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 114(1), 63-64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.09.006
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hartman, A. M., & Hollister, L. E. (1963). Effect of mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide and psilocybin on color perception. Psychopharmacologia, 4(6), 449-451. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00403349
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kleinman, J. E., Gillin, J. C., & Wyatt, R. J. (1977). A comparison of the phenomenology of hallucinogens and schizophrenia from some autobiographical accounts. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 3(4), 562-567. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/3.4.560
  10. Gallimore, A. R. (2015). Restructuring consciousness–the psychedelic state in light of integrated information theory. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 9, 346. https://dx.doi.org/10.3389%2Ffnhum.2015.00346
  11. Obreshkova, D., Kandilarov, I., Angelova, V. T., Iliev, Y., Atanasov, P., & Fotev, P. S. (2017). PHARMACO-TOXICOLOGICAL ASPECTS AND ANALYSIS OF PHENYLALKYLAMINE AND INDOLYLALKYLAMINE HALLUCINOGENS. PHARMACIA, 64(1), 41-42. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Violina_Angelova2/publication/317528151_Pharmaco-toxicological_aspects_and_analysis_of_phenylalkylamine_and_indolylallkylamine_hallucinogens_Review/links/593d59f50f7e9b3317a45adf/Pharmaco-toxicological-aspects-and-analysis-of-phenylalkylamine-and-indolylallkylamine-hallucinogens-Review.pdf
  12. Luke, D., & Terhune, D. B. (2013). The induction of synaesthesia with chemical agents: a systematic review. Frontiers in psychology, 4, 753. https://dx.doi.org/10.3389%2Ffpsyg.2013.00753
  13. Dillon, P., Copeland, J., & Jansen, K. (2003). Patterns of use and harms associated with non-medical ketamine use. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 69(1), 26. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0376-8716(02)00243-0
  14. 14.0 14.1 Papoutsis, I., Nikolaou, P., Stefanidou, M., Spiliopoulou, C., & Athanaselis, S. (2015). 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers. Forensic Toxicology, 33(1), 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11419-014-0242-9
  15. 15.0 15.1 Bersani, F. S., Corazza, O., Albano, G., Valeriani, G., Santacroce, R., Bolzan Mariotti Posocco, F., ... & Schifano, F. (2014). 25C-NBOMe: preliminary data on pharmacology, psychoactive effects, and toxicity of a new potent and dangerous hallucinogenic drug. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://dx.doi.org/10.1155%2F2014%2F734749
  16. 16.0 16.1 Fischer, R., Hill, R., Thatcher, K., & Scheib, J. (1970). Psilocybin-induced contraction of nearby visual space. Agents and actions, 1(4), 195. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01965761
  17. Recent advances and concepts in the search for biological correlates of hallucinogen-induced altered states of consciousness. Heffter Rev. Psychedel. Res. 1, 21–32. https://heffter.org/docs/hrireview/01/chapter3.pdf
  18. Vollenweider F. (2001). Brain mechanisms of hallucinogens and entactogens. Dialogues Clin. Neurosci. 3, 265–279. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181663/
  19. Riba, J., Rodrıguez-Fornells, A., Strassman, R. J., & Barbanoj, M. J. (2001). Psychometric assessment of the hallucinogen rating scale. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 62(3), 215-223. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0376-8716(00)00175-7
  20. Winkelman, M. J. (2017). The Mechanisms of Psychedelic Visionary Experiences: Hypotheses from Evolutionary Psychology. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11, 539. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2017.00539
  21. Liu, J., Li, J., Feng, L., Li, L., Tian, J., & Lee, K. (2014). Seeing Jesus in toast: neural and behavioral correlates of face pareidolia. Cortex, 53, 60-77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2014.01.013
  22. Kato, M., & Mugitani, R. (2015). Pareidolia in infants. PloS one, 10(2), e0118539. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118539
  23. Coolidge, F. L., & Coolidge, M. L. (2016, August 09). Why People See Faces When There Are None: Pareidolia. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-think-neandertal/201608/why-people-see-faces-when-there-are-none-pareidolia
  24. Abraham, H. D. (1983). Visual phenomenology of the LSD flashback. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 40(8), 886-887. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/493119
  25. Halberstadt, A. L. (2015). Recent advances in the neuropsychopharmacology of serotonergic hallucinogens. Behavioural brain research, 277, 99-120. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.bbr.2014.07.016
  26. Papoutsis, I., Nikolaou, P., Stefanidou, M., Spiliopoulou, C., & Athanaselis, S. (2015). 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers. Forensic Toxicology, 33(1), 4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11419-014-0242-9
  27. Bersani, F. S., Corazza, O., Albano, G., Valeriani, G., Santacroce, R., Bolzan Mariotti Posocco, F., ... & Schifano, F. (2014). 25C-NBOMe: preliminary data on pharmacology, psychoactive effects, and toxicity of a new potent and dangerous hallucinogenic drug. BioMed Research International, 2014. https://dx.doi.org/10.1155%2F2014%2F734749