Scientists have developed a video game that makes gamers hear sounds that aren’t there
By Bob Garcia
Scientists are now able to fake hallucinations, already fake by their nature
Scientists want to keep getting involved in the world of video games in order to show research results and this time, they have developed something that for many seems to be incredible. According to a new study, many people and mice were induced to hear sounds that do not really exist while playing a PC game. This was achieved through an effect that is called “hallucination-like perception.”
In the experiment, neural circuits were affected by a new light, which produced different hallucinations, something that is very common in people suffering from schizophrenia, for example. Katharina Schmack, a researcher at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, New York was in charge of this project and indicates that the results offer “a promising entry point for identifying new treatment targets” in the human dopamine system, as well as “urgently needed mechanistic treatments for schizophrenia.”
The idea was to be able to combine the benefits of research with both species (humans and mice) by altering their hallucinations. Although humans are more capable of expression, mice are also helpful for this type of research because they can be subjected to a wider range of neurobiological tests. “The big challenge we are addressing here is really bringing this together by doing the same thing, both in mice and in humans, and using a model of hallucinations to bridge the subjective experience of hallucinations with the neurobiology, which we can study in mice,” Schmack added.
Dozens of mice and about 220 people were induced to play a computer game at the same time as specific auditory signals were played. When both species reported hearing something that was never actually played, the event was noted as a hallucination-like perception (HALIP).