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WP3 Metacognitive Analysis

Scientific peer-review journals are dull, and many peer-review journal articles are lucky

to have readership numbers in the double digits. In contrast, Reddit r/nosleep posts attract tens of

thousands of readers from short horror stories written by users purposed to be so creepy that they

cause readers to lose sleep. I chose to translate the article, A Functional Neuroanatomy of

Hallucinations in Schizophrenia, into my own original Reddit r/nosleep post. The article is

intended for peer medical scholars and discusses the results of a study done to link audio and

visual hallucinations of schizophrenic patients to a biological source. My initial intentions were

to create a story about a psychotic schizophrenic killer, like the ones often portrayed in popular

media. However, after many revisions, further research, and completely rewriting my story, the

purpose of my translation was to present the scientific and biological roots of hallucinations in

schizophrenic patients and give readers a glimpse of how the real horror comes from the daily

experiences of those with the neurological disorder. In media and popular culture, schizophrenics

are often criminalized and my intention was to shed light on how frightening living life is for

them, and that schizophrenia does not correlate with homicide.

Translating an article so full of scientific jargon and statistical interpretation of

experimental results into a short story with conversational language was difficult. A Functional

Neuroanatomy of Hallucinations in Schizophrenia consistently utilized complex vocabulary,

discipline-specific charts, clinical jargon, and advanced statistics. Meanwhile, r/nosleep posts are

rarely so formal, and many authors write their stories from the first-person point of view,

addressing the readers directly as the storys narrator as if the events in each post actually

happened in real life. This method of writing is utilized in the community thread to evoke a more

immersive way of storytelling, effectively enhancing the horror experience. The article was
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translated into a thrilling story by replacing key conventions used by scientific journals with

more short story friendly writing methods. In order to successfully conduct a transitional shift

between two highly different genres, the key conventions needed to be changed were the tone,

diction, intended audience, and overall flow of the journal.

The monotonous voice of a passive scientist in the journal was changed into an intense,

frightening tone more suited to a Reddit r/nosleep story. I had removed much of the scientific

wording too complex for common readers to understand. Phrasing like auditory verbal

hallucinations, maximal activity was localized to the bilateral thalamus, (Silbersweig, et. al,

176) were replaced with simpler terms like basically, I was seeing things that werent real

(Ding, 9). Part of the essence behind a Reddit r/nosleep story is that it would keep the reader

awake and scared. Complex wording and phrases belonging to a scientific community would

cause the reader to fall asleep from boredom long before the story was developed. In addition to

the key point of vocabulary changes in the article to facilitate the transition of genres, the tone of

the paper became the focus of heavy editing.

The tone of a paper is largely generated by the wording it uses. While writing the story, I

wanted to achieve a firm balance between a sense of foreboding and the creation of a grim aura

around the reader. To do so, I established the tone of the writing and improved flow within the

structure of the r/nosleep story. For example, sentences like, Although I didnt realize it yet, this

was the first time Arteithio spoke to me (Ding 4) foreshadow the ending in a subtle way,

creating a sense of apprehension for the narrator and instilling uneasiness in the reader. The

purpose of this was to make the story more attention-holding and scarier to the target audience of

young to middle aged internet users who are fans of horror stories and are indifferent to gore and

other elements of horror.


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The structure of a r/NoSleep post is almost opposite to that of a scientific journal. The

article uses an abstract, a bolded introduction, and is heavily littered with data tables. Because

Reddit is a free website with open to access for all internet users, authors have creative freedom

to post however they wish, without the shackles of a conventional structure. I chose to use the

structure of novels, with separation of paragraphs, quotes, and indents aligned with separation of

ideas. This allows for easier presentation of character dialogue, and starkly contrasts the structure

of a scientific paper. Small adjustments like font size, modifying the spacing between lines, and

the removal of data tables all contribute to the creation of a more reader-friendly short story. In

the research journal, entire paragraphs are dedicated to the interpretation and explanation of the

results of the tests represented by data tables. Phrases like The findings presented here results

of these earlier studies are varied (Silbersweig, et. al, 179) essentially state that the authors

findings are reflective of the population. Therefore, I chose to incorporate the statistic result into

the Reddit post with, The main thing was, I wasnt alone. Thousands of people are struggling

and going through the same things as me. (Ding 9).

Many of the changes made to the article are related to the drastic change in audience from

neuroscience scholars and medical professionals to internet users looking for a spook. R/nosleep

is the source for readers looking for entertainment from horror stories. The purpose of the genre

shift was to translate the scientific journal into a story with wider reach, both based on the

platform of r/nosleep and the editing of heavy scientific tone, structure and jargon into simpler

language that more people could understand. I wanted people to be able to understand the

struggles of schizophrenic patients, and hopefully see the disorder and not the patients as truly

frightening.
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Works Cited

Silbersweig, D. A., E. Stern, C. Frith, C. Cahill, A. Holmes, Sylke Grootoonk, J. Seaward, P.

Mckenna, S. E. Chua, L. Schnorr, T. Jones, and R. S. J. Frackowiak. "A Functional

Neuroanatomy of Hallucinations in Schizophrenia." Nature 378.6553 (1995): 176-

79.Nature. Web.