Monday, April 21, 2008

Almost (but not quite) S&M

I felt like I was in Clockwork Orange this past Saturday when I showed up for a psychophysiology study at the University of Tulsa. The whole thing lasted 5 hours, and I sat in a small airconditioned room by myself watching a variety of images on a projection screen in front of me. I had various sensors attached to my body: 1 each on my left ankle, left knee, left hamstring, left index, left forefinger, left earlobe, left eyebrow, righ forearm, and waist. I also had 2 under my left eye and 3 on the top of my head. The pictures ranged from those of inanimate objects to those of mutilated corpses. Somewhere between those two extremes were images of snakes, sexual imagery, violence, and sports events. The goal of the study was to investigate physiological reactions to a variety of stimuli (noises, pictures, electrical stimulation). The most insane part of it was the electric shocks that were delivered to me through my left ankle. My left leg was leaping off of the recliner like nobody's business. Stanley Kubrick would've been so proud.

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