The disturbing effects of isolation on man have been known in anecdotal form for many years, as witness accounts of feral children, lonely explorers, and prisoners in solitary confinement, but only in the last few years have efforts been made to investigate the nature of these processes in the laboratory. Hebb and his colleagues in Montreal and later Lilly in Bethesda reported the dramatic consequences of experimental "sensory isolation." Their observations of hallucinations and personality disorganization attracted wide attention and led to a proliferation of studies, as well as many speculations.
In 1958 a conference on the topic was organized by Dr. Philip Solomon and his coworkers. There were more than 64 active participants, including those who presented the 14 formal papers which make up the substance of volume. The papers sample the far-flung implications of the term "sensory isolation" and range from