TED Talk: What Can Hallucinations Reveal About Our Minds?

These are the sources I used to gather information for my talk:

Oliver Sacks on the Kind of Hallucination He Would Have Liked to Have. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://motherboard.vice.com/read/oliver-sacks-on-the-kind-of-hallucination-he-would-liked-to-have-had

Hallucinations. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.minddisorders.com/Flu-Inv/Hallucinations.html

Which part of the brain generates dreams? (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2016, from http://www.sciencefocus.com/qa/which-part-brain-generates-dreams

Cerf, M. (n.d.). How Scientists are Trying to Hack Your Dreams. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/moran_cerf_how_scientists_are_trying_to_hack_your_dreams

Sacks, O. (n.d.). What hallucination reveals about our minds. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/oliver_sacks_what_hallucination_reveals_about_our_minds?language=en

Sacks, O. (2012). Hallucinations. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

7 thoughts on “TED Talk: What Can Hallucinations Reveal About Our Minds?”

  1. Hi Renee, very interesting TED Talk! As a fan of Kermit memes, I’m interested in the fact that many people have hallucinations involving him. Do you know why he is such a reoccurring theme in people? I recall that you said that dreams and hallucinations are two different things, but are the meanings behind each similar? As in, I know that common dreams have common meanings to many people, is it the same with hallucinations?

    Also, you mentioned how hallucinations may be some reasoning behind people’s ghost stories. Just out of curiosity, before doing research on hallucinations, did you believe in people speaking with ghosts? Did reading about hallucinations change or strengthen your thoughts/opinions?

  2. I love how you are talking about a topic that usually has a negative connotation around it, but are talking about how normal it actually is. I haven’t seen a lot of articles about hallucinations and the stigma around it, so I’m glad you talked about it!

    Something I remember a friend mentioned to me a bit back is that a difference between dreams and hallucinations is that dreams contain people you know while with visual hallucinations, you’ll never hallucinate the face of someone you’ve seen before. However, I can’t seem to find anything on it and you also mention in the video that some people hallucinate dead loved ones, so I was wondering if you knew anything about this. If it is true, does it have something to do with the different parts of the brain that are involved in dreams vs. hallucinations or is it something else?

  3. Great job Renee! I really found this topic very interesting as I have always thought that hallucinations were the result of something bad happening, like a traumatic event or a serious mental health issue. Hearing that a lot of hallucinations are normal and happen for a natural reason was really cool and it made me think about what life would be like for me if Kermit just appeared every now and then. I think after a while when you know that your hallucinations are normal and not something to be scared of, they can almost become part of your everyday life. Perhaps they could even turn out to be helpful, since they are a part of your mind perhaps Kermit could remind you of something you have to do later on in the day, or something of the sort.
    Very good job, I was captivated the whole time!

  4. Hey Renee! This was so well done! I loved your topic so much and your information was very well organized. I also liked your graphics and the way you explained everything made perfect sense to me . Great job! Something that I thought of during this was is: If dreams and hallucinations are different and come from different parts of the brain, why do people hallucinate and dream about the exact same things? For example, I watched a documentary about this girl with Schizophrenia, and she always hallucinated that she had a black cat, which she played with. She also would talk about how she played with the cat in her dreams as well. Is it possible that she was dreaming about the cat but hallucinating at the same time so that she could feel it? So is this something more because of the Schizophrenia. This is super interesting, so awesome job!

  5. Awesome job Renée!
    I really liked how your entire TED-Talk was focused, clear, and engaging. You did an amazing job staying on your topic. Your pauses, slides, and gestures were effective and your clarity of voice made watching easy to follow. Having an overview of the three misconceptions of hallucinations in the beginning was super helpful as well. I also liked your use of stories and examples for it helped me get a better grasp your topic.
    Why do you think people have such big misconceptions on hallucinations? Do you think it is because of the lack of research in this field or because people are simply ignorant or both? When, or in what situation do you think that hallucinating can become a negative thing?

  6. Amazing job with your TED talk Renee!
    I love your TED talk because the information is clearly laid out and easy to follow. In addition to this, I love your hook and your conclusion, because the full-circle ending helps to tie the whole TED talk together. Also, I think that it was really cool that you broke a couple of myths about hallucinations because it helps to decrease the stigma around mental health issues.
    I have a few questions for you. Firstly, are there any other major myths about hallucinations that you would like to share with me? Also, if you were planning on doing more research on hallucinations, what type of hallucination, other than the Charles Bonnet hallucination, would you want to learn about more in depth?
    I learned so much about this interesting topic in just ten minutes, so thanks again for the amazing TED talk!

  7. Renee, I loved your talk! I learned so much through listening to it, and it was so easy to understand and follow along thanks to your effective use of language and pacing. I honestly did believe some of those myths prior to this video – thanks for debunking them for me!
    I was really curious about what sparked your interest in this topic. Did you believe some of those myths earlier and want to share the new information you learned once you knew more about it? Have you known someone who has had a hallucination before?
    I was also wondering about how our craving for narrative differs between us. Though I now know dreams and hallucinations are not similar, you said at the end of your video that our brains feed our craving for narrative through hallucinations as well as natural urges or dreams. Does the way our brains do this differentiate between people? What makes some brains do it through hallucinations rather than dreams (or vice versa)? Is it a trait we carry, genetic perhaps?

    Thanks Renee!

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