In our new release book GENIUS INTELLIGENCE: Secret Techniques and Technologies to Increase IQ, we explore the value of sensory deprivation, or sendep, as a genius learning technique.

Our exploration into sendep actually began when we researched little known and hidden learning techniques for the fictitious orphans in The Orphan Factory, book two in our international thriller series. That was around a decade ago. In that book, our young charges receive some of their education in enclosed flotation tanks, also known as isolation tanks.

Floating inside isolation tanks of course is a type of sensory deprivation.

The following excerpt from Genius Intelligence includes more about the potential benefits of using sensory deprivation to boost intelligence: 

Sendep is achieved by reducing or completely removing stimuli from one or more senses. Certain brain glands, such as the pineal gland, are known to become more active in this state of reduced sensory perception.

Isolation tanks were invented in 1954 by American physician and neuroscientist John C. Lilly as a way to test the effects of sensory deprivation on the brain and also study the origin of consciousness itself.

Lilly proved that brainwaves are considerably altered while in this deeply relaxed state, making the floating participants very receptive to new information.

The ingredients of isolation tank sessions are simply water and salt, and the individual floats alone for about an hour inside the lightless, soundproof tank. The experience has been likened by many to being inside the womb.




LEFT: A coffin-like flotation tank.

BELOW: A flotation tank in use.

Celebrities known to have used such flotation tanks include Robin Williams, John Lennon, Jeff Bridges, Joe Rogan and Susan Sarandon.

William Hurt, the star of Altered States – a 1980 feature film based on Paddy Chayefsky’s novel of the same name and loosely inspired by John C. Lilly’s isolation tank experiments – is another celebrity said to have practiced sensory deprivation in his private life.

William Hurt's primary photo

William Hurt…a floater?

Various sports teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys have also used flotation tanks, as have Olympians such as American track star and nine-time gold medal-winner Carl Lewis.

You’ll recall how in earlier chapters we mentioned that the subconscious mind can be accessed more readily when individuals operate in less common brainwaves such as alpha, theta, delta or gamma.

Well, numerous studies have shown that during flotation tank sessions a transition from everyday beta brainwaves to alpha and theta brainwaves nearly always occurs in participants. Such brainwaves are usually only accessible just before, during or after sleep, or otherwise whilst in deep meditation.


“I think it’s one of the most incredible pieces of equipment for self-help and introspective thought that you could ever find.” –Joe Rogan quoted in an Oct. 12, 2012 article in The Atlantic


Being in the theta brainwave is known to be extremely conducive for super learning as well as stimulating other positive interrelated effects such as problem solving, achieving emotional stability and heightened creativity.

Studies have also shown the more regularly a participant does floatation tank sessions, the longer the theta brainwaves last during and after a session.

In the early 1990’s, research conducted at Ohio State University showed that floatation sessions improve accuracy in rifle shooting, creativity in musicians and concentration in students before exams.

Research in Europe has also shown significant reductions in stress levels are achieved by regular floaters.

However, floating in isolation tanks is just one way to achieve sensory deprivation.

The raw equivalent of floatation sessions is often carried out in scientific laboratories where subjects lie on a bed in a totally dark room with no sound. Even more basic forms of sendep can be achieved with the use of simple items such as hoods, earplugs or blindfolds.

We should also note (but not recommend!) other more extreme forms of sendep do exist. These include food deprivation, torture techniques and even methods that involve putting one’s life at risk such as breath play … Yes, as in the BDSM technique that employs oxygen starvation to increase sexual pleasure by making other senses more sensitive.

A March 2, 2014 article published on the Listverse site, listing secret habits of geniuses, mentions an additional and highly unusual form of sendep.

The writer reports that Japanese inventor Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu, who prefers to be called Sir Dr. NakaMats, uses an obscure and dangerous sendep technique to receive ideas for his greatest inventions. These (inventions) include his revolutionary creation of the floppy disk in 1952.

The article states, “Many of his greatest ideas hit him when he was close to drowning. Dr. NakaMats believes in the mental benefits of long, airless stints underwater.”

Dr. NakaMats is quoted as saying, “To starve the brain of oxygen, you must dive deep and allow the water pressure to deprive the brain of blood. Zero-point-five seconds before death, I visualize an invention.”

The eccentric inventor apparently writes down his ideas on a notepad underwater before swimming back to the surface.

It goes without saying, we definitely don’t recommend trying this form of sendep!


To read more about sensory deprivation check out GENIUS INTELLIGENCE: Secret Techniques and Technologies to Increase IQ

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To view the discussion thread on genius intelligence (the phenomenon) in our ‘Underground Knowledge’ group on Goodreads check out:—a-discussion-group >>> Everyone’s welcome!



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