Sensory Deprivation

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by darco
Posted in

The BBC ran an article on Monday about the effects of sensory deprivation. Several individuals consented to be locked individually in a fall-out bunker, without light or sound, for 48 hours. The results were both insightful and terrifying.

I found it insightful in that it gives insight into how the mind works. Our brains crave information so much that if deprived of it for too long we loose the ability to recognize what was is and what was real—whether it be cars buzzing around your head or a constant feeling that someone is there in the room watching you.

It's easy to see how this technique would be useful for brainwashing someone, but I have my doubts as to its usefulness as an interrogation technique.

As a commenter on the original article pointed out, compared to the history of torture methods that humans have used against humans this method does seem rather tame. While it leaves no physical scars, I have a hard time believing that prolonged sensory depravation would not have permanent repercussions on someone's mental health.

Worth a read.