LSD trip simulation videos?
May 7, 2011 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm working on a project for my health class that requires us to explain the effects of certain types of drugs, and my topic is hallucinogenic substances. I'm looking for some kind of video that can demonstrate the images/patterns/sounds that can be common for someone to see during an LSD trip. Does anyone either have a video in mind, or a place where I might be able to find a video that's similar to what I'm describing?
posted by linzenoonoo to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The animated opening sequence of the Grateful Dead Movie makes an effort in this direction. That said, I hope you realize that the visuals you get from taking acid---while relatively easy to describe to those who haven't tripped---aren't at the heart of the experience of the drug. They're showing and fun, but they're not the main event and you shouldn't let them distract you from the main event.
posted by alms at 5:29 PM on May 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

You could also try this.

This video purports to be an attempt to illustrate trails but to my eye they're a poor imitation (i.e. no color, vibration, resonance etc).
posted by alms at 5:33 PM on May 7, 2011

For the neuroscience behind theses images/patterns/sounds, you should read "Beauty and the Brain": The first studies of aesthetics and the brain began with the sort of self-experimentation that science doesn’t encourage anymore. In the 1920s neurologist Heinrich Klüver documented the hallucinations he experienced while under the influence of mescaline, using four categories: grids, zigzags, spirals, and curves. Noting their similarity to the hallucinations experienced in various conditions, such as migraine, sensory deprivation, and the hypnagogic state that occurs in the transition from wakefulness to sleep, he named them “form constants.” These motifs do indeed seem to be constant — they recur throughout history and across cultures, and can be seen, for example, in prehistoric cave paintings, in the girih patterns of the tile mosaics decorating medieval mosques, and in the repeating tessellations of M.C. Escher’s impossible figures or the rectangular forms of Mondrian’s Compositions. Underlying those patterns, at least in part, are the intrinsic properties of the visual nervous system. Most neurons in the primary visual cortex occur in repeating structures called ocular dominance columns; these in turn are organized into hypercolumns, whose long-range interconnections are arranged geometrically. The spontaneous activity of these neural networks gives rise to the patterns Klüver studied.
posted by glibhamdreck at 5:48 PM on May 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

The movie itself is only OK, but the acid trip scene in Taking Woodstock is one of the best depictions I have ever seen, including some good visual effects, and might help you visualize this a bit.
posted by gudrun at 5:49 PM on May 7, 2011

Maybe you could try some animated zooms of fractals (Mandelbrot set etc), especially those with flourescent/neon colour schemes. e.g.
posted by carter at 6:00 PM on May 7, 2011

There are a gazillion tripping scenes in 60s and 70s movies, but probably the most famous would be the scene in Easy Rider.
posted by Forktine at 6:43 PM on May 7, 2011

Found this random oddity on youtube years ago (may have actually been linked on metafilter somewhere) but it's surprisingly realistic.
posted by mannequito at 6:57 PM on May 7, 2011 [5 favorites]

The video that mannequito posted is fantastically accurate.
posted by colin_l at 7:11 PM on May 7, 2011

Purely for fun but had to include this.
posted by Jayes8ch at 7:16 PM on May 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for comparisons with LSD, if you can find the first few minutes of Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void, that has what I'm told is an extremely accurate depiction of a DMT trip.
posted by CrystalDave at 7:30 PM on May 7, 2011

erowid on LSD.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:53 PM on May 7, 2011

I've found that this scene from Otto Preminger's Skidoo! actually does a decent job portraying a tripping person's thought process (in this case, Jackie Gleason's character coming to the realization that his daughter's father is his best friend).
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:28 PM on May 7, 2011

Here's a video of a woman describing her trip as she's tripping, in the 1950's.

And here's Timothy Leary and friends discussing it (1970's):
posted by at at 9:43 PM on May 7, 2011

Norman McLaren did a pretty good job of it.

(3rding mannequito's link, too. That's one's spookily accurate.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:22 AM on May 8, 2011

posted by Splunge at 4:10 AM on May 8, 2011

Here, stare at this rotating pinwheel pattern for about 40 seconds, and then look at your hand or your pants or anything. That's one of the effects it has on your visual field, only with much more variety: superimposing Moiré type patterns onto the surfaces of everyday objects.
posted by not_on_display at 12:31 PM on May 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks, guys. These will be really useful, I appreciate the help. @Mannequito; I'll probably use that in the presentation after talking it over with my group, since a few of you say that it's really accurate. (Also, really, really creepy. I can't even
posted by linzenoonoo at 8:51 AM on May 9, 2011

linzenoonoo, if you're still reading, this recently-published paper might be helpful/relevant/interesting:

link to PLoS Biology
posted by en forme de poire at 1:58 PM on May 10, 2011

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