Posts Tagged ‘ video

Breathing Wall Visualization

The previous discussions about form constants involved certain noise types traveling across the visual cortex which were then twisted by the wiring between retina and brain to produce archetypical psychedelic visuals. One interesting thing to consider is in order to produce these form constants, the magnitude of this noise was mapped to a certain hue. If it is instead mapped to a depth value, other simple psychedelic visual effects occur.

In this example low frequency noise at a random direction across the complex plane is mapped to depth values, and produces the classic “breathing walls” effect using a model identical to that used to generate Type I form constants. This effect is typically most visible when most of the visual field is filled with an object at a consistent distance from the observer. If one were to observe a scene with many actors at various depth values this noise effect will be less prominent, but observation of an object filling the visual field with a constant depth value (such as a wall) will result in this noise field becoming more apparent.

Form Constant Visualization – Type I

Form constants are archetypical visual patterns generated by noise in the visual cortex which is then twisted by the wiring between retina and brain. Type I form constants were described as “tunnels” by Kluver, and postulated to be generated by the non-contoured roll noise pattern described by Cowan and Ermentrout. I decided to visualize this model in higher resolution to further explore the generated forms. All of the following use sinusoidal noise to approximate visual cortex noise for the first half of the video, and then show the transformed result of the mind’s eye for the latter half of the video. The direction of travel of noise across the complex plane can be shown to produce three form constant subtypes.

Sinusoidal noise traveling along the imaginary axis produces a tunnel effect.

Sinusoidal noise traveling along the real axis produces a ripple effect.

Sinusoidal noise traveling in any direction other than an axis produces a spiral.

Note that all of the previous effects are simply a single sinusoidal noise function in a selected direction. If multiple sinusoidal functions are layered in linear superposition, more complex and visually appealing patterns form.

This examples uses four linearly superimposed sinusoidal noise functions with random wavelength and orientation parameters.

Effects of LSD on Troops Marching

Rich Remsburg works as an archival image researcher on documentaries for PBS, National Geographic, the History Channel, museum exhibits and independent films. While working on a documentary on the history of biological warfare he came across a clip detailing US Army research in LSD and its effect on troops marching. Transcript:

US Army Chemical Corps
Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland

These film records do not necessarily denote official Army doctrine. They cannot be obtained from the US Signal Corps.

A typical drill seargeant orders his men to fall in. The squad, composed of volunteers for the test, responded like well trained soldiers, immediately and without question. On the drill field the men obeyed his commands accurately and with precision. A second drill seargant assumed command. He put the squad through its paces capably. This man also proved to be an able drill seargant, giving precise commands.

Two hours later, the squad all except the [first] drill seargant are drugged with LSD and again were ordered to fall in. The response was not the same. The squad leader thought it was not necessary for him to dress right. There was much laughter as the group attempted to give expression to inner emotions. This elation was group supported, and an individual who was seperated from the group would show severe disturbance. Notice the volunteer who salutes several times. Five minutes later a severe depression [of the saluting volunteer] convince the medical officers to end his participation in this test.

Response and reaction to the [first] drill seargant who did not receive LSD were as before. But in marching, the drugged squad, although starting fairly well, gave a sluggish and ragged performance. After a few minutes, the men found it difficult to obey orders, and soon, the results were chaotic.

The second drill seargant, who had performed effectively earlier in the day, was now given command of the squad. He too had received LSD and he no longer was an effective leader. When an officer ordered the leader to drill the squad, he responded with “You want a drill? You drill ’em!”. Ordered to leave the field, he refused to go. In answer to a direct question, he said he was capable of drilling the men and was instructed to do so. Minutes later, it was evident that he was unable to carry out his orders, and he was escorted from the field.

We have seen some of the effects of LSD. What effect would it have on a vital operation? Further research is required to give us that answer.

[cut to a Nike Ajax missile battery readying for launch, typically placed around population centers and strategic locations such as long-range bomber bases, nuclear plants, and ICBM sites in the late 1950s]

A far better explanation for why LSD is currently Schedule I under the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances than I have heard to date.

SiHKAL: Shulgins I Have Known and Loved

Hamilton Morris, Vice magazine’s emissary for all things mindbending, conducts a new interview with Sasha and Ann Shulgin.

After spending days, weeks, months poring over the work of psychonaut-in-chief, Alexander Shulgin, Hamilton Morris mustered up the chutzpah to give him a call and request an interview. The result is this: an epic love-fest on the man who birthed Ecstasy in a test-tube. Hamilton visits the Shulgin residence (in San Francisco, naturally) and tempers his fanboy freakout with a rare and intensive look at the home and laboratory that caused the balls of millions to trip.

VBS.TV: SiHKAL: Shulgins I Have Known and Loved

Videos of the Brain

Some great videos illustrating brain anatomy. First, anatomy and function using color coded 3D animation.

Next, a more in depth dissection with Ami Cohen, a graduate student at USCB.