Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dreamachine

Dreamachine
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(Redirected from Dream Machine)


the Dreamachine (or Dream Machine) was invented by Beat generation members Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville in 1959.

In its original form, the Dreamachine is made from a cylinder with slits cut in the sides. The cylinder is placed on a record turntable and rotated at 78 RPM or 45 RPM. A light bulb is suspended in the center of the cylinder and the rotation speed allows the light to come out from the holes at a constant frequency, situated between 8 and 13 pulses per second. This frequency range corresponds to alpha waves, electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain while relaxing.

The Dreamachine is "viewed" with the eyes closed: the pulsating light stimulates the optical nerve and alters the brain's electrical oscillations. The "viewer" experiences increasingly bright, complex patterns of color behind their closed eyelids. The patterns become shapes and symbols, swirling around, until the "viewer" feels surrounded by colors. It is claimed that viewing a Dreamachine allows one to enter a hypnagogic state. [citation needed] This experience may sometimes be quite intense, but to escape from it, one needs only to open one's eyes.

It should be noted that the Dreamachine may be dangerous for people with photosensitive epilepsy or other nervous disorders. It is thought that one out of 10,000 adults will experience a seizure while viewing the device; about twice as many children will have a similar ill effect.[citation needed] Also, others report that viewing a Dreamachine can become addictive, and moderation is encouraged when using the device. [citation needed]