A friend has a son who suffers from schizophrenia. The condition seems to be more pronounced during the full moon. This will be the time when he becomes delusional: thinking that people are out to poison or murder him, and he becomes aggressive towards others. At other times he is a brilliant designer, meticulous and detailed. However his condition is now controlled with medication.
I might hazard a guess that his condition is probably due to a chemical imbalance in the brain that manifests during the full moon, like the ebb and flow of tides being also influenced by the moon. What's fascinating is that a schizophrenic cannot be fooled by optical illusions known as the "hollow mask" illusion. The brains of "normal" people tend to work by forming expectations based on prior experience i.e they see what they expect to see, whereas schizophrenics see things as they are.
Wired Science explains it:
In healthy viewers, the illusion is so powerful that even when aware of the illusion (see video below), they are unable to see the concave face — the mind just flips it back. Though the illusion is strong for faces, it doesn’t work well with other objects, or even with upside-down faces. This bias is likely due to the special relationship we humans have with faces. Many neuroscientists believe we have brain regions dedicated to processing faces, and some brain injuries can leave patients unable to recognize faces, even though their vision and other memories remain intact.
(Please hit the Stop button on my mix-pod to listen to the explanation of the illusion)
Schizophrenics aren’t the only ones who see the concave face — people who are drunk or high can also ‘beat’ the illusion. A similar disconnect between what the brain sees and what it expects to see may be occurring during these drug-induced states.
I certainly cannot "see" the back of the mask as what it is. I see a face. Therefore I can happily conclude that I am not schizophrenic or drunk or high.
But what irks me is that if a sufferer sees things as they are, wouldn't that mean that his delusions are not delusions, that he could really "see"or perhaps sense that people harbour ill-feelings towards him? And that those people might not really know it themselves?
Gives me the creeps this.
I'm so sad for my friends and their son. I pray that his condition be cured eventually.
So what do YOU see?