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Sensory deprivation

Sensory deprivation is the reduction of sensory input into the human system, whether naturally occurring or induced. Simple artificial systems can reduce visual and auditory input while more complex designs can also reduce olfactory, tactile, thermoceptive, gustative and 'gravity' inputs. Sensory deprivation is used in alternative medicine, torture or punishment, and psychological experimentation.

A common sensory deprivation system is termed a floatation tank or chamber. The subject is suspended in the sound-proof and light-proof tank which is filled with skin-temperature salt water, correctly restrained and positioned a subject will be unable to experience many common inputs. Hallucinations, anxiety, depression and unusual thoughts are a common reaction to extended sensory deprivation, proving a deep human need for almost constant stimulus. Shorter term exposure can be relaxing and other benefits are claimed.

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