#049: Sensory Deprivation Tanks

October 22, 2014

In Episode #49, Jesse speaks to Crash, owner of Float Lab Technologies, a sensory deprivation tank center in Venice Beach, California. Crash explains the ins and outs of the Float Lab experience, and what can happen to our minds when they’re freed from all external distractions.

Also, some thought-provoking questions arise: Could marijuana actually promote neurogenesis? Is jet lag beatable? And what would it be like to be just a “point of consciousness”?

Key Terms Mentioned

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Show Notes
  • 00:00:51

    Introduction to Crash and sensory deprivation tanks

  • 00:02:21

    This Week in Neuroscience: Marijuana and Neurogenesis - What’s It All About?

  • 00:04:19

    iTunes Review thank-yous

  • 00:05:33

    What are flotation tanks, and why should you care?

  • 00:07:43

    Average lengths of sessions

  • 00:08:15

    Comparing the experiences of "regular" customers and practiced meditators

  • 00:10:24

    Do Luke Skywalker flotation tanks exist, or, what's the difference between horizontal and vertical tanks?

  • 00:11:23

    Float Lab's role in the experience

  • 00:12:52

    Manufactured fear of the unknown

  • 00:14:06

    John C. Lilly, sensory deprivation tank inventor

  • 00:14:44

    Comment on the relatively low number of people who've taken the plunge

  • 00:15:42

    Psychedelics in combination with float tanks

  • 00:17:15

    Jesse's experiences with sensory deprivation tanks, and thoughts on being just "a point of consciousness"

  • 00:20:27

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Is It Possible To Beat Jet Lag?

  • 00:24:40

    Open question to any listeners in the know: Does blindness affect how the body deals with jet lag?

  • 00:25:30

    Axon: New features in Version 1.2.1


  1. saintjohnny says:

    Hey Jesse,

    I think that the sunlight may interact in the same way that it wakes you up in the morning which isn’t just by your eyes, but actually wakes you up by shining on your skin. When people take melatonin, they are especially sensitive to the sunlight and will have trouble sleeping in since as soon as the sun hits your skin (not even your eyes), it wakes you up. I’m willing to bet that blind people will still get the effect just by having sunlight on their skin.

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      That seems reasonable. I almost feel like we’ve had a theme of “how would this work for blind people” tangential questions in recent episodes. Might be a divergent episode in the near future to get some of these questions answered. 🙂

      1. saintjohnny says:

        LOL. I might hold you to that!

  2. ben says:

    Crash, perhaps fitting of his name, seems like a pretty intense guy! Interesting that he didn’t mention (although it wasn’t asked) about his own personal experience using the tank. It’s quite the contrast to the mellow Shane Stott who’s also in the float tank vacbed business and appeared on the becomingsuperhuman podcast and the Float Nation documentary.

    I loved the Shower Thoughts Jesse had about how frustrating it would be to be a point of consciousness unable to intersect and impact the physical world!!

    I think I might have commented this before, but Rhonda Patrick’s interview with Dr. Satchin Panda (~10min mark) talks about the light receptors in the retina (melenpfsen) that allow even blind people to adjust their circadian rhythm, but not those who have had their eyes destroyed/removed.

    There was also an interesting study that talks about how spermidine (endogenous and those from foods (like peas, cheese)) can lower polyamines that are thought to be responsible for the body’s circadian rhythm. So apparently Roquefort cheese may not only help with dementia, but also slow down the body clock!

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