The Chemistry of Conscious States

[From Bruce Gregory (971223.0915)]

"The power of lucid observation was demonstrated to me by Harriet North, a
patient of mine at The Psycho in the 1960s. She too was psychotic, but had
come to the realization that she had a problem and had found a way to begin to
control it. When a hallucination began, she would try to picture her library
at home. She would look at the imaginary shelves and start to count the books,
focusing on each one as best she could as she counted. Soon, her hallucination
would stop. Harriet's insight did not stop her psychosis, but the library
trick did. The visualization and counting were voluntary motor acts; she
directed her eyes at the books and carried out the rational exercise of
counting. By doing both these things, she was imposing top-down control, which
quashed the bottom-up hallucination signal."

J. Allan Hobson
_The Chemistry of Conscious States_