This is a zany form of classical conditioning that usually occurs when you experience two memorable but totally unrelated things at the same time. If this happens enough, then subconsciously what happens is that experiencing one will cause some sort of reaction which is actually related to the other.

I've had three experiences of self imposed classical conditioning:

  • The first time was when I was 5 and I used to love banana flavored sweets. Anyway for Christmas I got an entire bucket of banana lollies, which I consumed while we were travelling about 500k's up the coast. Being a real stickler for motion sickness and none too smart, I would eat lolly upon lolly in the car while feeling highly nauseous. After some 6 hours of this I promptly vomited out the window. To this day the smell or even the thought of eating my treasured banana lollies - a half bucket left - made me nauseous.

  • A few years back I also got obsessed with Diablo. It was also the time I spilt one of those perfumed air fresheners in my room, making it reek of toilet deodorant. Given the fact that I was up all night playing computer games and sniffing the goodness for several weeks, now whenever I smell strong perfume or scented air I think... DIABLO.

  • The afternoon of my first university all nighter I bought half a kilogram of beef jerky. Very tasty. I gnawed it all night while studying, and now beef jerky reminds me of work. I hate work. Avoid at all costs.
  • Getting a new computer game and a new album at the same time is my thing. I tend to play both at once for several days straight, which rapidly entrains the association DEEEP into my subconscious. Now there are several albums that conjure up images of specific games whenever I listen to them.
    Whenever I listen to Play by Moby, I have mild hallucinations of Heroes of Might and Magic trotting around in their cartoony way, and listening to White Zombie makes the main character from Flashback dance, dance! before my eyes. Mezzanine by Massive Attack is my Quake song, and I see hordes of Hydralisks whenever I hear Protection.
    Also, cream is not for me any longer, as I ate slightly too much while ill ill ill with a fever a few years back. Same goes for dried banana flakes, which I loved more than life itself until I went on a roadtrip, while delerious, while eating a bag of them, when I was about 6, but I'm slowly recovering from that trauma, 13 years later.
    I just recently read Stephen King's 'IT' for the first time (yes, it took me a while to get to it). Now, the only time I get to read is on the train to and from work, and I usually listen to music at the same time, to block out any outside noise.

    A couple of days after finishing the book, I put on Sevendust's latest album, Animosity, and as I listened to a few of the songs, certain 'feelings' came rushing back to me, reminding me of some of the powerful moments from that book. I realised that I had listened to that album so many times whilst reading the book (it's a long book), that my mind had made a stronger connection than usual between the two things. Which is just so cool, and now makes listening to Animosity that much better.

    As for computer games, a certain level I was replaying in Quake 3 the other day brought an almost deja vu type feeling as I recalled a Drew Carey episode, and I have strong memories of playing multiplayer Warcraft 2 with Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the background....

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