Monday, July 23, 2007

Bipolar disorder and binocular rivalry : Jack Pettigrew at Quantum TV

More to be found here

We’re all in two minds. Well, half minds actually. The left and right sides of our brains conduct different functions and, by constantly switching between the two halves, we make sense of the world around us. But what happens when our brain switch isn’t working properly? Could malfunctioning mind switches be causing some mental illnesses? And just what do we know about the functioning of the brain anyway?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Visionary Revue issue 4 out ! Entheogens & Visionary Art

A couple of years after the previous issue, Laurence Caruana edited a new issue of the Visionary Revue. This issue is about "Entheogens & Visionary Art", it is available online here.


Maura Holden

David Heskin Daniel Mirante
J. Myztico Campo Bruce Rimell
Olga Spiegel Matthias Staber
Carey Thompson Bryan K. Ward

L. Caruana

L. Caruana

Myrette St. Ange

Thomas Priemon


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Perceptive Pixel Demo Reel

Started as a research project, this revolutionnary multi-touch screen interface has grown into a spin off company, Perceptive Pixel

Better than words, have a look at their stunning video-demo here !

Monday, July 9, 2007

Hallucinogens - What's in a Name? or Defending the Indefensible

From Maps Bulletin XIII number 1, article by Gary L. Bravo and Charles S. Grob
Short and smart...
Archived here, PDf here
Reproduced here for educational purposes
Dr. Lenderts raises important and thought-provoking points in the ongoing dialogue over the proper nomenclature for these plants and chemicals which are the subject of scientific inquiry in the pharmacological, medical, psychological, anthropological and sociological literatures. We have no issue with his thesis that the term "hallucinogen" is in some ways reductionistic and misleading as to the myriad and profound effects these substances may potentially manifest in the brains, minds and souls of users. However, the issue as we see it is to identify a useful terminology which can be agreed upon by all who care to communicate about these protean substances and be recognized by those receiving these communications.

The term "hallucinogens," whether rightly or wrongly, and much to the chagrin of many who would prefer terms such as "entheogens," "psychedelics," or "visionary plants and drugs," has become the accepted nomenclature in the scientific and anthropological literature. For example, an Internet search of the biomedical literature using the words "entheogenic," or even "psychedelic," would probably not generate the desired results for the inquirer, whereas the term "hallucinogenic" most likely would.

In their classic text Plants Of The Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers, Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann do not equivocate in their use of what they consider to be the appropriate term. Over the last hundred years various investigators have alternatively proposed a bewildering nomenclature, including, though not limited to, "deliriants," "delusionegens," "eidetics," "entheogens," "misperceptinogens," "mysticomimetics," "phanerothymes," "phantasticants," "psychedelics," "psychodysleptics," "psychogens," "psychointegrators," "psycho-somimetics," "psychotaraxics," "psychoticants," "psychotogens," "psychotomimetics," and "schizogens." Each of these terms has its particular advantages, yet all fall short of encompassing the entire range of reactions these substances are known to induce.

Acknowledging that no individual appelation is entirely acceptable, it may be instructive to explore the etymological root of the contested term "hallucinogen." As clarified by Ralph Metzner, prolific writer, scholar and early explorer of altered states phenomenology, the Latin root of "hallucinogen" is hallucinari, or elucinari, which translates as "mind wandering" or "mind traveling." By moving beyond the obvious association to hallucination, which itself is defined as a false perception or false idea, and examining "hallucinogen" from the perspective of the induction of mind voyaging, the term is no longer constrained within the fixed, pathological framework Dr. Lenderts suggests.

There are many words in the English language which no longer are referent to their original meaning. We would wish that by using another term for "hallucinogenic" or "psychedelic" or "entheogenic" plants and chemicals -- if we could all agree on one -- that we will challenge or even change the preconceived notions and prejudices of others, but we're not necessarily convinced that this would be the case.

Our argument is basically a practical one -- the key is context. Pioneer pharmacological researcher Sasha Shulgin once told us, when asked about the debate between usage of the term "entheogen" versus "psychedelic," that if you talk to most people "on the street" and refer to entheogens, they won't know what you're talking about, but if you refer to psychedelic drugs, they probably would.

Most likely there will be no resolution to the dilemma of what to call these substances, and they will continue to harbor differing labels depending on the set and setting of the speaker. The term "entheogen" may even become the accepted referent in the religious and spiritual literature. But in the meantime, can't we all just get along?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Olfaction and Emotions ?

Started from a small lunch discussion, I seriously start to think that there is a strong link between olfaction and emotions. Namely it seems that depressed people have reduced olfactory abilities.

This is quite logic since the olfactory bulb has a direct connection to the limbic system and is the only sensory modality that is not relayed by the thalamus.

My prediction would then be that for bipolar disorders, there in alternating impairment / improvement of olfactory capabilities.

We might think of congitive rehabilitation approaches with smell for depressed people ..

Any comments ?

Sources of those pictures can be found here and there

Link to a study performed in 2001 : "Reduced olfactory performance in patients with major depression"

Link to a 2004 journal article : "Olfaction, Emotion & the Amygdala: arousal-dependent modulation of long-term autobiographical memory and its
association with olfaction: beginning to unravel the Proust phenomenon?"

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

PostModern Times

Very nicely illustrated interview of Daniel Pinchbeck.
Wathc it if you have TIME ;-)

Video Log

Audio-Visual Performance Xperiments : Part A Audio-visual jockey from ikar on Vimeo.

Teratone Vision Audio-Video workshop @ trip bubble lab.

::AV Mixing
Edirol V4 Video Mixer + Gemini DJ Audio Mixer
Alternate solo configuration with AV Mixer Demo

::AV Vinyl Timeline Control, Pitch & Scratch
Technics MkII Turntables + MsPinky IWS

::AV FX's
Legacy kaos pad with linked Audio & Video mapping

VJ Ikar + VJ Soyouth
Sony & Dell Dualcore laptops, Edirol & M-Audio Asio Soundcards, Novation Remote25 Controller

Expect some upgrade in the months to come ;-)

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