1. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    In the name of research

    Discussion in 'Research' started by soujiroseta, Sep 17, 2010.

    I have spent the better part of my free time with my head in books and my mouse on the Google homepage as i conducted what was the most extensive research project i had ever undergone. School included. I was researching about cloning and human advancement and read the words so many times that my head aches even to write this. While i feel i am many leagues better off than i was without doing the research there is a certain aspect which i simply fail to grasp no matter how i may try to imagine it. Sensory deprivation. In short one of the characters in my book is suddenly deprived of all his senses. He cannot hear, feel, taste, see or smell. He is for all intents and purposes locked in.

    In my bid to try and understand this i plan to attempt to experience this for myself for an hour or so to get a feeling of what it may be like. Many of my friends have voiced their concerns about me doing this, calling me crazy and stuff, but i feel i wouldn't understand how it would feel to be left alone with your thoughts if i didn't which would take away a crucial aspect of my story or rather lessen its effectiveness. This may sound extreme but it is a necessity in my eyes. I believe this experience will aid my ability to convey the character in a way that i believe is the most effective.

    I just wanted to get other people's (fellow writers) opinion on this subject.
     
  2. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    What exactly are you going to do to try and mimic the experience? If it's nothing too drastic, I would say go for it. There's nothing crazy about trying to understand what it would be like.
     
  3. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    Yeah. A friend of mine has a soundproof room i plan to use. It's just about putting on spray painted ski goggles, a set of really good headphones and wrapping my body up in foam rubber and letting me lie on a mattress with a few cameras and microphones. My friends objected to my original plan which was to do this for 48 hours but i decided to do a one hour test run first.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think a 1-hour test sounds reasonable. Then, if you feel like you want to try and do it longer, you can. You can always put a stop to it if you feel like things are getting too intense.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Have you researched sensory deprivation studies? There is a wealth of information about the effects of sensory deprivation, and you can probably learn more from them than from any sense dep experiments you can devise for yourself.

    Even your one hour test, I suspect you will feel the goggles accutely on your face, so yout focus will be there. Or you will find yourself trying to move your arms to feel the resistance.

    Most of the real sense dep experiments involved suspension in warm water tanks in the dark, with arm and leg movements only restricted enough to keep the subject from bumping one body part against another. Also, some studies used local anaesthetics to numb tactile sensations.

    The symptoms that sensory deprivation can cause are profound. I wouldn't recommend experimenting on yourself without monitoring by a medical professional.
     
  6. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    You will still feel the touch of the goggles, the headphones, the foam rubber will probably retain body heat and feel warm or hot after a while.

    In a 48 hours test, it is plausible that factors such as the need to urinate may disrupt your sensory deprivation. I'm almost certain you would sense or become aware of the need for food and water over a 2 day period.

    Under NO circumstance would I suggest such a course of action without someone else to act as an outside controller. Someone would need to be aware of the passage of time to know when you should be let out, for example.

    I must second Cogito's post about accessing existing sensory deprivation studies that are already avialable.
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dont, lock your self in or do anything else that keep you from ending the experince at any time. This is really improtant. You will endure much more if you know that you're in control of when it going to end, and the mental stress will be less.

    I were you I would try as much as 3 hours, from what I read and seen about the subject. A controller checking in on you wouldn't be critical in an one hour run, but in a 3 hour run I would definitely use one.
     
  8. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    I commend your determination to research the subject matter to such a degree but I am inclined to agree with Cog. I think you might learn more from collective experiences of a controlled medical experiment/study than your own experiment.

    I wouldn't like to see you come to any harm even if your were to undertake a test for a minimal period. Personally, I think I would be under a lot of psychological strain if I inflicted such an experience on myself.
     
  9. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    @ Cog and Lothgar - The purpose of the experiment would be to figure out how it feels to be left with naught but your mind for company. I have already tested the goggles and headphones and they are suitably comfortable but you are right my attention would eventually focus on that sensation. As for the foam, we decided it would better to not use them after testing and finding that the harnesses we were using to keep them in place were causing great discomfort and the foam itself was incredibly warm.

    @w176 and Perri Pict - I have researched thoroughly about this topic and even enlisted the help of my favorite mad scientists from a local med school to supervise and assist. While they are not exactly professionals i trust them profoundly to not turn me into a lab rat:)
     
  10. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    sorry about this
     
  11. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey. I slept back bound for research. And slept in armour for research too. Research ftw.
     

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