sensory deprivation

noun Psychiatry.
the experimental or natural reduction of environmental stimuli, as by physical isolation or loss of eyesight, often leading to cognitive, perceptual, or behavioral changes, as disorientation, delusions, or panic.
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World English Dictionary
sensory deprivation
 
n
psychol an experimental situation in which all stimulation is cut off from the sensory receptors

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sensory deprivation n.
The reduction or absence of usual external stimuli or perceptual opportunities, commonly resulting in psychological distress and sometimes in unpleasant hallucinations.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

sensory deprivation definition


A natural or experimentally arranged situation in which stimulation of a subject's senses is greatly reduced. Experiments have included floating subjects in soundproof water chambers. Though short periods of sensory deprivation can be relaxing, extended deprivation can result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, depression, and antisocial behavior. Sensory deprivation experiments have demonstrated that humans need constant sensory contact with their environment in order to function.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Twenty-first century aviation is an exercise in sensory deprivation.
The soundtrack is a silence so deep you could be in a sensory deprivation
  chamber.
He appears to confuse the womb with an isolation or sensory deprivation tank.
Aside from these distractions, sensory deprivation inside the chamber was
  absolute.
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