Thursday, 15 September 2016

Amplified noise - could it be real?

Crows in a treeMA (my acquaintance who experiences microsleep with REM - MWR) was at a lecture recently. Though it was an interesting talk, MA still had a few MWRs. During two of these, separated by seconds, MA experienced the curious 'amplified noise' phenomenon again (see here for background). As in previous incidents, MA heard sound apparently amplified during brief MWR episodes lasting a couple of seconds at a time.

MA was struggling to hear the speaker whose voice was not loud. However, during the MWRs the voice became louder and perfectly understandable. This much has happened before (here). However, on this occasion MA realized that the amplified words heard fitted perfectly into the content of the talk.

Unfortunately, because MA couldn't hear the speaker well outside MWRs it was not possible to say if the 'amplified' bits fitted EXACTLY into what was being said. This leaves open the possibility that the 'amplified' words were not what the speaker actually said but just MA's brain imagining likely ones to insert. However, it does nudge the evidence a little towards the possibility that noise really IS being amplified somehow in the MWR state!

Could sounds actually get 'amplified' in all dreams, both MWRs and normal night dreams? There is a big difference between normal dreams and MWRs. Normal dreams usually start well after the experiencer has gone to sleep. With MWRs the dream state starts straight away and tends to continue with a version of reality (sometimes with minor changes like the addition of a ghost - see here). So any differences, like 'amplified noise' will be apparent to the MWR experiencer straight away. By contrast, in conventional dreams there is no continuation of reality, so amplified noise would not be noticed. My point is that 'amplified noise' may be a normal, if rare, phenomenon in all dreaming but it hasn't been noticed much before.

Anyone experiencing MWRs who is not aware of their natural origin might be tempted to see 'amplified noise' as some kind of paranormal phenomenon. As to how the brain might achieve such a trick, it's open to speculation. And if it ISA a real trick, what other odd phenomena may occur within MWRs?

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