Definition of sensory deprivation in US English:

sensory deprivation


  • A process by which someone is deprived of normal external stimuli such as sight and sound for an extended period of time, especially as an experimental technique in psychology.

    • ‘In this case, the mismatch between the beckoning brain and the answering world is not as extensive as in the case of sensory deprivation, nor does the breakdown come so quickly.’
    • ‘These latter hallucinations might be related to sensory deprivation, say experts.’
    • ‘It is also claimed prisoners have been subjected to isolation, shackling, sensory deprivation, and the use of strobe lights, loud music and temperature manipulation during interrogations.’
    • ‘In fact, aside from the unsettling animal cries which greeted visitors as they proceeded down the dark corridor that led to the main part of the installation, the work seemed an exercise in sensory deprivation.’
    • ‘When a person begins to lose normal sensory contact, such as when falling asleep or during sensory deprivation, this unusual perspective may be adopted.’
    • ‘The equipment means that they have no idea where in the world they are and suffer complete sensory deprivation without sight, sound, smell and touch.’
    • ‘The most common form of torture today employs techniques of brainwashing induced by sensory deprivation, which leaves no visible physical traces of abuse on the body.’
    • ‘In complete silence, I meditated and fought off the frightening hallucinations which often happen in the face of sensory deprivation.’
    • ‘The use of drugs, sensory deprivation and threats to the safety of family members leave no marks, but often have a greater impact than repeated beatings.’
    • ‘Crews endure loneliness, sensory deprivation, disorientating microgravity and the anxiety of knowing the vacuum of space is kept from them by an aluminium hull just a few millimetres thick.’
    • ‘Indeed, sensory deprivation can produce hallucinations in the sense mode that is deprived.’
    • ‘After three weeks of this sensory deprivation, she began to have panic attacks.’
    • ‘Survival-under-capture training also means that most officers are aware of the techniques of sensory deprivation.’
    • ‘The whole affair smacks of an elaborate experiment in sensory deprivation techniques for intelligence gathering - a process better known as torture.’
    • ‘The captain's rules of engagement included sleep and sensory deprivation, painful ‘stress positions,’ dietary manipulation and the use of dogs.’
    • ‘Exotic drugs and sensory deprivation and distortion, she knew, can provide an illusion of contact with the infinite.’
    • ‘The darkness and the warmth and the weightlessness were combining to hypnotise me: I was reminded of my experience of sensory deprivation in the flotation tank in Notting Hill.’
    • ‘She must be using sensory deprivation and drugs, maybe hypnosis.’
    • ‘The audience sits in a black box facing a black wall, but don't get the idea that this is about sensory deprivation.’
    • ‘He underwent long periods in a sensory deprivation chamber, experiments with weightlessness, endurance in heat chambers and test flights under stress with every reaction monitored.’


sensory deprivation

/ˈsensərē ˌdeprəˈvāSHən/