As far back as I remember ... I have been subject to mild hallucinations ... Just before falling asleep, I often become aware of one-sided conversations going on in an adjacent section of my minde, quite independently from the actual trends of my thoughts. I is a neutral, detached, anonymous voice, which I catch saying words of no importance to me whatever - an English or Russian sentence, net even adressed to me, and so trivial that I hardley dare give samples ... This silly phenomenon seems to be the auditory counterpart of certain praedormitory vision, which I also know well ... They come and go, whithout the drowsy obersever's participation, but are essentially different from dream pictures for he is still master of his senses. They are often grotesque.
There is something about the rapid and spontaneous transformations specific to hynogenic imagery that suggests the brain is "ideling", as my correspondent Mr. Utter suggested. Neurosciencetists now tend to speak of "default networks" in the brain, which generate their own images. Perhaps one may also venture the term "play" and think of the visual cortex playing with the every permutation, playing with no goal, no focus, no meanings - a random activity og perhaps an activity with so many microdeterminants that no pattern is ever repeated. Few phenomena give such a sense af the brain's creativity and coputational power as the almost infinitely varied ever-changing torrents of patterns and forms which mya be seen in hypnagogic states.
Thought processes on the edge of sleep tend to differ radically from those of ordinary wakefulness. Hypnagogia may involve a "loosening of ego boundaries ... openness, sensitivity, internalization-subjectification of the physical and mental environment (empathy) and diffuse-absorbed attention."Hypnagogic cognition, in comparison with that of normal, alert wakefulness, is characterized by heightened suggestibility, illogic and a fluid association of ideas. Subjects are more receptive in the hypnagogic state to suggestion from an experimenter than at other times, and readily incorporate external stimuli into hypnagogic trains of thought and subsequent dreams.
Herbert Silberer described a process he called autosymbolism, whereby hypnagogic hallucinations seem to represent, without repression or censorship, whatever one is thinking at the time, turning abstract ideas into a concrete image, which may be perceived as an apt and succinct representation thereof.
The hypnagogic state can provide insight into a problem, the best-known example being August Kekulé’s realization that the structure of benzene was a closed ring while half-asleep in front of a fire and seeing molecules forming into snakes, one of which grabbed its tail in its mouth.Many other artists, writers, scientists and inventors—including Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Walter Scott, Salvador Dalí, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton—have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing their creativity.
Denne tærskel bliver så sænket under forskellige bevidsthedsmæssige tilstande, dels tilstande som hjernens kemiske og elektriske system selv iværksætter (migræne, parkinsonisme, epilepsi, skizofreni), dels tilstande skabt af hjernens belønningssystem når det får særlige kemiske eller kropsligt mentale input udefra.
Latent inhibition and fantasy proneness are two traits psychotic individuals havein common with creative individuals. And they go hand in hand with each other. Latent inhibition, a certain degree of intelligence, and fantasy proneness all factor into a theory of how creativity and psychoses are intertwined. Auditory and visual hallucinations are symptoms of fantasy-prone people in general and not only schizophrenics and manic depressives.
Some researchers concur that the link between genius and a small percentage of schizophrenics “boils down” to aparticular gene called DARPP-32: dopamine and cyclic AMP-regulatedphosphoprotein, which works as a neurotransmitter and links genius to madness. Three quarters of any given population inherit a version of the DARPP gene which enhances the brain’s thinking activity by improving the informationprocessing of the prefrontal cortex. It orchestrates thoughts and actions.