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  • Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

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    Old 08-06-2008, 11:34 AM   #1
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    Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    If this is in the wrong forum/area, let me know, and i'll post elsewhere.

    ometimes, when I am talking to someone - usually when I am being lectured - the person seems to look fine until something strange begins to happen; The person seems to get smaller and smaller - or more precisely, it seems as though my field of optical awareness (which is usually something like 5-10 degrees in a circle in the direction you look at) gets much larger, effectively making the person seem smaller by making him/her take up a smaller fraction of the field.
    Once this happens, if I ignore it, it goes away within a few minutes, but if I pay attention to it, by concentrating on how small things look, and visualizing them becoming smaller, this feeling stays (i have held it for about 10 minutes, and then got bored).
    When this occurs, besides the region of optical awareness getting bigger, my depth perception changes, and becomes more sensitive. What i mean, is that everything seems to be farther away then normal, which is especially noticeable if I try to walk - it feels as though my feet are soo far away, even though I have no problem walking. By more sensitive, I mean that I feel the difference between the distances of various objects from me.
    All in all, it feels very cool, and I feel very focused and tranquil - almost as if time seems to slow down, but not really. (I still feel 1 second per second, but it seems that if need be, I would be able to act and react faster). I find that it would be very interesting to play games or sports using this mode of vision/mental state, and would like to know more about it.
    Is there any name for it?
    Has anyone else felt this way?
    Is it possible to control, sustain, and etc, for any period of time.
    And any other information would by nice.

    The closest thing i found was objective vertigo;
    from ****:
    "The dolly zoom is commonly used by filmmakers to represent the sensation of vertigo, a "falling away from oneself feeling", feeling of unreality"
    Not very similiar to dolly zooming....but "falling away from oneself feeling" seems to get pretty close.

    its not a problem, and i don't feel bad at all when it happens. My perception is perfectly fine, if not well above average - i play racquetball, ping pong, pool, tennis, and have no problems with perception.
    I haven't taken, nor will ever take non medical drugs.

    and my peripheral vision isn't changing...since this effect has been observed by me many years already, and it occurs, and then goes away. Everything returns to normal.
    I'm just interested in finding out more about it so that perhaps I can learn what exactly causes it and if I can turn it on and off at will.

    Sorry, but i'm not looking for anything philosophic, or religious, or spiritual in any matter. I'm looking for either a biological explanation, or a psychological explanation.

    its not a problem. My vision is 20/20

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    Old 08-06-2008, 12:30 PM   #2
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    I don't have any answers for you, but I thought I'd share a similar experience I have had. Not quite the same, but a sort of perceptual size distortion.

    Ever since my kids were born, when I have the chance to just gaze at them, usually when I'm feeding them or putting them to bed, they sometimes appear (for lack of a better term) larger than life. Kind of the opposite of what you describe. I almost feel like I'm hallucinating, but nothing about them is distorted. While you said the person takes up a smaller fraction of your field of vision, my boys take up a larger portion of mine. At first it was a really freaky feeling, and I would snap out of it for it to reoccur moments later, at which point I had to focus my eyes on something else. It happens less frequently now, but I'm not as bothered by it and when it does I can maintain the perspective for several minutes. I have no physical sensation along with it, such as vertigo.

    Old 08-06-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    It's possible that it could be a Temporal Lobe seizure. Temporal Lobe seizures (or the auras before them) seem very strange. They include visual distortions like you described- suddenly seeing things larger or smaller than they really are, deja-vu, smelling/hearing things that aren't there, time seeming to slow down or speed up, mood swings, etc. You may want to look into Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Maybe ask about your symptoms at the Epilepsy board...

    Old 08-06-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    I don't think it is any form of epilepsy - because for the last time that it has occurred, i virtually willed it too occur (with the help of my mom talking to me), and held it, at will, until I decided not too.

    The first reply is pretty interesting - however I still can't find anything concrete info anywhere besides short anecdotes of some few people's experiences.

    Old 08-06-2008, 09:30 PM   #5
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    There is something called "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome". It's associated with neurological disorders; drug induced episodes, TLE, migraines, tumors and bipolar disorder.

    As you said you can will it, perhaps you're simply focusing/defocusing your eyes, albeit unconsciously.

    (the medical term for "things appearing smaller" w/o eye disease is micropsia.)

    Old 08-07-2008, 04:34 AM   #6
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    Interesting. I don't have headaches or take drugs at all. At wikipedia it says:
    "Micropsia is a neurological condition affecting human visual perception, in which objects appear smaller than normal, and the subject bigger. It is the reverse of macropsia."
    But in my case, everything appears smaller.
    I think it is more appropriate to imagine what I see when it happens as this:
    Imagine you have a camera. The camera "sees" whatever is located in a cone of sight. Depending on the lens system used, the angle of the cone changes.
    Say, an object is located a foot from the camera. And the object is a ball with diameter equaling 1 foot. If the cone is sight is angled at 45 degrees, then the object will take up the whole surface of the film, or almost, because of the circle not equaling a square...
    If you make the cone angle larger, then, even though the distance between the object and the camera remained the same, the object would take up a smaller fraction of the surface of the film, and would seem to be smaller.
    That is the best way I could describe what I see. I see 2 things that are most different - objects appear smaller/farther away, and the cone of vision that is in focus, appears much larger. I can almost say that I see what is near my peripherals, just as well as what's infront of me.

    Last edited by carrotstien; 08-07-2008 at 04:35 AM.

    Old 02-28-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    I couldn't help but point out that I've felt the exact same way. Word for word as you've described it. I also have a history of seizures, starting back in grade 11 to now. I have one about every 3 months. I get an aura before each of my seizures, its tough to describe, the best I can do is to say I get a strong feeling of deja vu. This 'simple partial seizure' is then followed by a 'complex partial seizure' where I'll walk pointless from one point to another, and I'm unable to communicate with people. It's the most frustrating feeling, because I can hear and understand what they are saying, and I know what I want to say, but I just can't for the words. Then about 5 minutes into this I'll collapse into a tonic-clonic seizure. But this 'zoomed out vision' feeling you're describing isn't one that precedes any of my seizures. I still have them, but they'll go away after about 5 minutes. But, like you, if I focus my eyes I can prolong it. Simple partial seizures, or auras, are defined as, among other things, feeling a sense of spatial distortion--things close by may appear to be at a distance. I'm not sure about you, but thats exactly how I feel when I get that 'zoomed out vision'. And I have seizures. Just something to consider.

    Old 02-14-2011, 01:03 PM   #8
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    I've had the exact same thing occur every now and then since I was young. I just decided to google it and was surprised I actually found something since it's kind of difficult to describe. I only remember it happening when I'm either reading something on the computer or focusing on someone who is talking to me in person. I remember it happening when my mother was talking to me like someone mentioned here. It seems to be just a visual thing. I start to lose focus on what the person is saying or what I'm reading and just kind of zoom and focus on the image. It's kind of fish eye lens one split second and then focusing in on one word in the text I'm looking at the next. I can end it at any second but it is kind of a cool feeling so I usually choose to hold it for a while and ponder what could be causing it. It's really difficult to explain but that was my attempt.

    Old 05-09-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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    Re: Has anyone every experienced this? What is it? Zoomed out vision...

    Just wanted to let you know that I've had the same thing occurring several times and would also like to know what this is, I find it very interesting. (I don't have any conditions, nor do I take any medication/drugs.)

    I also get a "zoomed in" effect, which can pass and move into the "zoomed out" type, or the other way around. I'm not sure about controlling it, haven't tried much, but it usually goes away after 5-10 min and it doesn't disturb me. Sometimes this comes together with an unusual feeling (maybe like just a little bit high). I have a feeling that maybe it could involve a little lack of blood/oxygen to some parts of the brain (I think I have a little low blood pressure), but this is just a random guess.

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