With funding from Canada’s Defense Research Board, famed Canadian psychologist Dr. Donald O. Hebb found that he could induce a state akin to psychosis in just 48 hours. What had the doctor done—drugs, hypnosis, electroshock? No, none of the above. For two days, student volunteers at McGill University, where Dr. Hebb was chair of Psychology, simply sat in comfortable cubicles deprived of sensory stimulation by goggles, gloves, and ear muffs.
Dr. Hebb himself reported that after just two to three days of such isolation “the subject’s very identity had begun to disintegrate.” If you compare a drawing of Dr. Hebb’s student volunteers published in “Scientific American” with later photos of Guantanamo detainees, the similarity is, for good reason, striking. (read more)