- Enhancement of mental visualization - At the lowest level internal hallucinations can be defined as a distinct enhancement of mental visualisation that a person drifts into when daydreaming or using their imagination. It can be described as a short-term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by an ill-defined fantasy. The details of this internal visualisation are slightly spontaneous or autonomous in nature but are mostly controlled by the content of one’s current thought stream.
- Partially defined imagery - At this level, internal hallucinations consist of partially defined, blurred, and faded imagery within a person’s visual field.
- Fully defined imagery - At this level, the vividness and intensity increases in a fashion which renders the imagery seen within one’s visual field as fully defined and realistic in its appearance.
- Partially defined immersion - At this level, the vividness, scope, and intensity of the hallucinations become all-encompassing in a way which begins to display momentary flashes of scenes which surround the person in an immersive environment in a similar fashion to that of a vague dream. Although all-encompassing, they are often blurred or transparent in appearance, and a person’s physical body still feels as if it is partially connected to the real world.
- Fully defined immersion - At the highest level, the internal hallucinations further increase to become all-encompassing in a manner which displays long-lasting scenes which surround the person with an explorable and fully immersive environment which is similar to that of a dream. This occurs in a fashion which is entirely realistic, detailed, and highly vivid in its appearance. It typically also occurs alongside relevant auditory and tactile hallucinations, as well as the sensation that a person has become completely disconnected from their physical body.
Internal hallucinations typically last anywhere between 30 seconds and several minutes before the person slips back into reality or the presence of another hallucination. There are several different methods through which these hallucinations are transitioned between, these are described and documented below:
- Zooming - Images can switch between each other via the experience of one’s vision zooming into or out of the current image to such an extent that it reveals an entirely new hallucination.
- Morphing - Images can switch between each other by transforming the details of their shape and structure to show an entirely new image. This can happen in a variety of different speeds and typically occurs in the style of a fluidlike motion.
- Sliding - Images can switch between each other by sliding in a specific direction which then reveals an entirely new image behind them.
- Fading - Images can change between each other by fading into nothingness before a completely new image fades back into view.
- Splitting - Images can switch between each other by splitting into two or more sections which drift away from each other to reveal an entirely new hallucination behind it.
- Tiling - Images can switch between each other by separating into geometric formations which then slide or fade away from each other to reveal an entirely new hallucination behind them.
The specific differences between each potential style of internal hallucination can be broken down into the following variations:
- Lucid vs. Delirious - Hallucinatory states can maintain a consistent level of awareness throughout them regarding the fact that none of these events are actually happening and that the current situation is simply a result of drug-induced hallucination. In contrast to this, hallucinations can also become completely believable, no matter how nonsensical they may be, in the same way, that one does not have any problem accepting “absurd” and non-linear plots within ones dreams.
- Interactive vs. Fixed – Hallucinatory states can either present themselves as completely separate in a manner, that is similar to watching a video play out in front of one’s field of vision, or they can be completely interactive. For example, conversing with autonomous entities or interacting with imagined objects in a fashion similar to lucid dreaming is entirely possible.
- New experiences vs. Memory replays – Regarding their subject matter, hallucinations can either be entirely new experiences or they can follow themes of normal, everyday situations and a replaying of specific memories.
- Controllable vs. Autonomous – Imagery and hallucinations can be partial to completely controllable. This can be described as the content of their appearance always seeming to perfectly follow and fit the general topic and subject matter of one’s current thought stream, with varying levels of partial to absolute control. In contrast, autonomous hallucinations are completely spontaneous in their subject matter and entirely uncontrollable.
- Geometry-based vs. Solid – Hallucinations can be comprised of condensed psychedelic geometry or they can appear to be made from realistic materials.
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- Kometer, M., Schmidt, A., Jäncke, L., & Vollenweider, F. X. (2013). Activation of serotonin 2A receptors underlies the psilocybin-induced effects on α oscillations, N170 visual-evoked potentials, and visual hallucinations. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(25), 10544-10551. | https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3007-12.2013
- Pekar, S. The connection between psilocybin and dreaming. | https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/news/6657-the-connection-between-psilocybin-and-dreaming
- Kraehenmann, R. (2017). Dreams and psychedelics: neurophenomenological comparison and therapeutic implications. Current neuropharmacology, 15(7), 1032-1042. | https://doi.org/10.2174/1573413713666170619092629
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