Dec 10

Oliver Sacks and the Bewitching World of Hallucinations

No one else in the world has done a better job of illustrating the complex, contradictory and often wondrous world of the human brain than neurologist Oliver Sacks. An accomplished author, his groundbreaking article “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” which profiled a patient who was unable to recognize things or people, was turned into an opera. His 1973 book, Awakenings, detailed a group of patients who were administered a new type of drug and miraculously awoke after years of being catatonic. In 1990, it was made into Academy Award-nominated film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

In his latest book, Sacks has turned his attention to the strange world of hallucinations, delving into the science and its rich history. Recently,  the World Science Festival on FORA.tv presented Sacks in conversation with award-winning journalist John Hockenberry (famed astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson also made a surprise appearance).

In the 1960s, with a little help from LSD, Sacks sought out the transcendent color of indigo.

Finding Indigo: An Adventure in Pharmocology from World Science Festival on FORA.tv

Neil de Grasse Tyson asked Sacks if the medical establishment should work hard to eliminate human’s ability to hallucinate.

If We Could Cure Hallucinations, Should We? from World Science Festival on FORA.tv

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