Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What I see when I Close my Eyes

For my whole life, I have occasionally had a repeating visual hallucination -- I used to almost be able to receive it at will, by rubbing my eyeballs with the palms of my hands. I hadn't seen it in a few years until yesterday, when I went jogging through the local nature preserve, perhaps a little too fast. The whole progress of the event, from blackness to blackness, takes about 5 minutes (and it is a smoothly developing process--my images are "freeze frames" in what is in fact a very slow manifesting and receding). What I have depicted below is what I see against closed eyelids, but if I open them, I can still see this translucent white-yellow light glowing in my field of vision:

I know this is an exceptionally odd post, but I thought that my representation of the vision (with help from "Paint" and "PhotoImpression5") was so true to form that it warranted me sharing. Two things: a) what a great thing to hallucinate, huh? And, b) should I be worried?

UPDATE: I remembered a little illusion-trick I learned when I was a kid -- if you want to experience my hallucination for yourself, stare at the white in the center of the image below (Stage 6, inverse) for 45 seconds, then look at a white wall:


Davo said...

I'd do a little check-in with the folks in the medical profession about intraocular pressure. such things as well as flashes can be brought about by glaucoma and other things that cause high pressure inside the eye (thus the reason that you are able to replicate it by pressing against your eyes).

Wishydig said...

Yeah I see something almost exactly like that when I push against my eyes. But it only works once ever 10 minutes or so. My eyes need time to reload.

My habitual hallucinations are a plaid design and tiny dancing blue and red stars. They always dance starting in the lower left of my "field" of vision then they start to spin and swirl then settle twinkling "in front" of me. There's also a dull and barely noticeable snowflake pattern behind them. Like a watermark on black paper.

I've said too much.

Casey said...

Gretchen sees parquet floor for her habitual hallucinations... yellowy colored. Sort of like plaid, Michael?

Wishydig said...

Actually plaid isn't the right description for what I see.

I'd say it's more like a bunch of 'rounded' squares...OH

I just thought of it exactly. You know the style of background on some Klimpt paintings? Especially like on "Adele Bloch-Bauer I"? I see that sort of pattern.

Wishydig said...

*Klimt not Klimpt.

Casey said...

You think Adele Bloch Bauer is one of Jack Bauer's ancestors?

Cathy said...

When my son was a child he announced that he was seeing these interesting patterns and colors. I tried not to reveal my extreme concern. As he seemed otherwise normal - I didn't mention it to any one.

Years later I read that this type of visual hallucination accompanies very high IQs. I think there's a name for this phenomenon and I can't recall it.

Wishydig said...

Buffy's getting defensive about the IQ issue. I asked her what she sees and I think she started making up stuff.

Then she started staring at light bulbs to raise her IQ.

Casey said...

Haha... I have no comment about the I.Q. thing, other than to say: I totally believe it.

No, seriously -- whatever the cause, I'm glad to know I'm not alone!