Staring Into Someone’s Eyes For 10 Minutes Can Make You Hallucinate
Tags: opinion, Psychedelics
For many generations “eye gazing” has been a part of numerous different mystical practices, and some scientific studies have recently shown that this practice can actually change your mental state.
A few years ago, a vision researcher by the name of Giovanni Caputo, from the University of Urbino in Italy, conducted an experiment that showed how staring into someone’s eyes for just ten minutes can alter your consciousness. For his experiment, Caputo assembled 50 volunteers and set them each in front of a mirror to stare at their own reflection for 10 minutes.
Caputo was surprised to hear his volunteers report that they began having hallucinations very early on in the experience. Many of the volunteers reported that their faces began to change while they were looking at their reflection, even taking on the appearance of animals, monsters, or deceased family members in some cases.
Caputo built upon his earlier research with a study that took 40 young adults and split them into pairs. Half of the groups were told to look into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes, while the other groups spent the time with their backs to one another, staring at the wall.
According to the British Psychological Society, the participants in the group that faced one another reported having heightened senses, such as increased color intensity or hearing things better.
Some volunteers said that time seemed to slow down and it began to make them feel spaced out after a while, and as in his previous study, they also reported seeing monstrous or animalistic faces in front of them. Nearly 90% of the participants said that their partner’s face became somehow deformed during the experience, with 75% saying they saw monstrous beings and 15% saying that they saw a relative’s face.
Caputo surmised that the hallucinations were the result of “disassociation,” or that perhaps it is an illusion caused by staring at a focal point for too long, but he admits that there is still no clear explanation for this phenomenon.
IMAGE CREDIT: sergeyp