snow lights

   Also known as cocaine spots. The term snow lights is indebted to the noun snow, which is slang for cocaine. Originally a street term, the expression snow lights was brought to the attention of the scientific community in 1978 by the American psychopharmacologist Ronald K. Siegel. The term refers to the sensation of objects moving about in the periphery of the visual field. It is described by chronic cocaine users as akin to the twinkling of sunlight reflected off of frozen snow crystals or, in an alternative reading, cocaine crystals. At first the affected individual tends to respond to snow lights with rapid orientations towards - or away from - the perceived movement. As soon as the phenomenon is accepted as illusory in nature, motor reactions tend to die out. Snow lights may be classified as * simple visual hallucinations or as * photopsias.
   Siegel, R.K. (1978). Cocaine hallucinations. American Journal of Psychiatry, 135, 309-314.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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