Hallucinations by oliver sacks summary

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hallucinations by oliver sacks summary

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks l Summary & Study Guide by BookRags

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Oliver Sacks on Manipulating the Brain

Kermit meant nothing to her, she said, and his shifting moods sometimes he looked sad, sometimes happy, occasionally angry had nothing to do with her own feelings. In the beginning, he occupied most of the left half of her visual field, but he gradually began getting smaller. He describes visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, olfactory hallucinations and hallucinations produced by illness, fevers, sleep deprivation, drugs, grief, trauma and exhaustion.


Hallucinations is a book written by the neurologist Oliver Sacks. In Hallucinations , Sacks recounts stories of hallucinations and other mind-altering episodes of both his patients and himself and uses them in an attempt to elucidate certain features and structures of the brain [1] including his own migraine headaches. Hallucinations was written with the intention to remove the stigma of hallucinations in the eyes of society and the medical world. The hallucinations mentioned in this book come from the everyday citizen and his own experiences, which are used to connect the structure and function of the brain of a healthy person to the symptom of hallucination. Sacks also mentions the positive effects of hallucinations in culture and art. Sacks notes that the symptom of hallucinations have a negative connotation that was created by society. The purpose of Hallucinations was to take away the public fear of symptoms relating to mental illness by showcasing many instances where healthy individuals experienced hallucinations.

This is a great book review, Dr Stokes! I need to say, Oliver Sacks' books are amazing, but this one is particulary good. Hallucinations are still insufficently understood and sometimes society thinks that thy are the nucleus of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia but they aren't. Thank You for this great article, it is really interesting. I have one question- do You recognize the division of hallucinations into negative and positive? I read about them in some of the Freud's papers and I don't know whether we still use this division.

H allucinations are much more common than most people realise and in fact, may be a universal part of the human experience. In his page book, Sacks makes it plain that he is focusing on hallucinations that may result from "organic" disorders, such as migraines, delirium, epilepsy, drug use or certain medical conditions, like blindness or Parkinsonism, avoiding any mention of the hallucinations experienced by those diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The main point of the book that the brain is a thrill-seeker, in constant need of stimulation, and when that stimulation is lacking, the brain generates hallucinations to meet this need. For example, deficits in one of our five senses is a common hallucinatory trigger. People who have been partially or completely blind for years may suddenly see vivid and frequently exotic although silent visual hallucinations. Deaf people may hear music. But these deficits do not have to be permanent: temporary sensory deprivation or monotony can also spark hallucinations -- as early explorers discovered when they undertook long travels across vast unvarying landscapes like oceans, deserts or polar environments.

Hallucinations Summary & Study Guide includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis, quotes, character descriptions, Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks.
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Rate this book. Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury.

Who knew medicine could be so much fun? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres.

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