Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fund for Research into Life after Death

The Helene Reeder Memorial Fund for Research into Life after Death.

Announcement for grant 2010


The Helene Reeder Fund is pleased to announce the availability of grants for small and medium sized scientific research projects concerning the issue of Life after Death.

Grants will be awarded in the range of EUR 500 – 5000 maximum.

The topic Research into Life after Death should constitute the main objective of the project.

Applications in English to be submitted by email to the HRF c/o edgar.muller@comhem.se should include:

- detailed description of the project, including the objectives of the project,
- methodology,
- cost budget,
- timetable,
- plans to publish the results in some scientific journals,
- CV of the applicant,
- how the applicant plans to report back to the HRF about progress and result,
- any other financing than from HRF.

Applications should be received not later than 30th of October 2010. It is the intention of the HRF to evaluate the applications and to make decision regarding the grants before the end of December. Applicants will be notified by email after the decision and the grants will be payable during December.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Brain Correlation Experiments

A reader asked for references to papers on EEG correlation experiments between isolated people. The following list may not be exhaustively complete, it is not in any particular order, and it includes a few fMRI studies. I am aware of at least one other published paper by Grinberg-Zilberbaum et al, but I don't have that reference handy. Study 5 is, I think, relevant but is not a psi study.


1. Achterberg, J., Cooke, K., Richards, T., Standish, L.J.,Leila Kozak, L. & Lake, J.. (2005). Evidence for Correlations Between Distant Intentionality and Brain Function in Recipients: a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11, 6, 965–971.

2. Duane TD, Behrendt T. Extrasensory electroencephalographic induction between identical twins. Science 1965, 150-367.


3. Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. & Ramos, J. (1987). Patterns of interhemispheric correlation during human communication. International Journal of Neuroscience, 36, 41-53.

4. Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J., Delaflor, M., Attie, L. & Goswami, L. (1994). The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox in the brain: The transferred potential. Physics Essays, 7,422–428

5. Hasson U., Nir Y., LevyI., Fuhrmann G., & Malach R. (2004). Intersubject synchronization of cortical activity during natural vision. Science 303, 1634– 1640.

6. Hearne K. Visually evoked responses and ESP. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 1977, 49, 648-657.



7. Hearne K. Visually evoked responses and ESP: Failure to replicate previous findings. J Society for Psychical Research 1981, 51, 145-147.



8. Kalitzin S. & Suffczynski P. (2003). Comments on “Correlations between brain electrical activities of two spatially separated human subjects”. Neuroscience Letters 350, 193–194.

9. Kelly EF, Lenz J. EEG changes correlated with a remote stroboscopic stimulus: A preliminary study. In Morris J, Roll W, Morris R. J (eds.). Research in Parapsychology 1975, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, p. 58-63 (abstracted in Journal of Parapsychology, 1975, 39, 25) 1976.



10. Kittenis M, Carul P, Stevens P. Distant psychophysiological interaction effects between related and unrelated participants, Proceedings of the Parapsychological Association Convention 2004, 67-76
(meeting held in Vienna, Austria, August 5-8, 2004).

11. Lloyd DH. Objective events in the brain correlating with psychic phenomena. New Horizons, 1973, 1, 69-75.



12. May, E. C., Targ, R. & Puthoff, H. E. (2002). EEG correlates to remote light flashes under conditions of sensory shielding. In C. T. Tart, H. E. Puthoff & R. Targ (Eds.). Mind at large: IEEE symposia on the nature of extrasensory perception. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 1979/2002

13. Millar B. An attempted validation of the “Lloyd effect.” In Morris JD, Roll WG, Morris RL. (eds.). Research in Parapsychology 1975, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 25-27.
Millay J. Multidimensional Mind: Remote Viewing in Hyperspace. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1999.



14. Moulton ST, Kosslyn SM. Using neuro-imaging to resolve the psi debate. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2008; 20(1): 182-192.

15. (deleted -- it was a duplicate entry)

16. Orme-Johnson, D.W., Dillbeck, M.C., Wallace, R. K.& Landrith, G. S. (1982). Intersubject EEG coherence: Is consciousness a field? International Journal of Neuroscience, 16, 203-209.

17. Radin D. Event-related electroencephalographic correlations between isolated human subjects. J Altern Complement Med 2004, 10, 315–323.

18. Rebert, C. S. & Turner, A. (1974). EEG spectrum analysis techniques applied to the problem of psi phenomena. Behavioral Neuropsychiatry, 6, 18–24

19. Richards TL, Kozak, L, Johnson LC, Standish LJ. (2005). Replicable functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence of correlated brain signals between physically and sensory isolated subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11(6), 955–963.

20. Sabell, A., Clarke, C. & Fenwick, P. (2001). Inter-Subject EEG correlations at a distance—the transferred potential. In: Alvarado, CS, ed. Proceedings of the 44th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, New York, NY, pp. 419–422

21. Schmidt, S., Schneider, R., Utts, J., Walach, H. (2004). Distant intentionality and the feeling of being stared at: Two meta-analyses. British Journal of Psychology, 95, 235–247. [Note: This describes meta-analyses of 3 dozen ANS tests, not CNS.]

22. Shealy CN, Smith T, Liss S, Borgmeyer V. EEG alterations during absent ‘healing.’ Subtle Energies 2000, 11(3), 241-248.


23. Standish L et al. J. Electroencephalographic evidence of correlated event-related signals between the brains of spatially and sensory isolated human subjects. J. Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2004, 10(2), 307-314.

24. Standish L, Johnson LC, Richards T, Lozak L. Evidence of correlated functional MRI signals between distant human brains. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2003, 9, 122-128.



25. Sugano H, Uchida S, Kuramoto I. A new approach to the study of subtle energies. Subtle Energies 1994, 5(2), 143-165.


26. Targ, R & Puthoff, H. (1974). Information transmission under conditions of sensory shielding. Nature, 252, 602-607.

27. Tart, C. T. (1963). Possible physiological correlates of psi cognition. International Journal of Parapsychology, 5, 375.386.

28. Vassy, Z. (1978). Method for measuring the probability of 1 bit extrasensory information transfer between living organisms. Journal of Parapsychology, 42, 158-160;

29. Wackerman, J, Seiter, C, Keibel, Walach, H. Correlations between brain electrical activities of two spatially separated human subjects. Neuroscience Letters 2003, 336, 60-64.


30. Wackermann J. (2003). Correlations between brain electrical activities of two spatially separated human subjects. Reply to the commentary by S. Kalitzin and P. Suffczynski. Neuroscience Letters 350, 194.

31. Wackermann, J. (2004). Dyadic correlations between brain functional states: Present facts and future perspectives. Mind and Matter, 2 (1), 105-122.

32. Walach H., Seiter C., and Keibel H. (2001). Transferred potentials – fact or artefact? Results of a pilot study. In Bridging Worlds and Filling Gaps in the Science of Healing, Ed. R. A. Chez, Samueli Institute for Information Biology, Hawaii, pp. 303–325.

33. Blake T. Dotta, Bryce P. Mulligan, Mathew D. Hunter, Michael A. Persinger (2009). Evidence of macroscopic quantum entanglement during double quantitative electroencephalographic measurements of friends vs strangers. NeuroQuantology, Vol 7, Issue 4, Page 548-551.

34. Michael A Persinger, Eric W Tsang, J Nicholas Booth, Stanley A Koren. (2008). Enhanced power within a predicted narrow band of theta activity during stimulation of another by circumcerebral weak magnetic fields after weekly spatial proximity: Evidence for macroscopic quantum entanglement? NeuroQuantology, Vol 6, No 1, Page 7-21.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Controls

A reader emailed me this query:

"This is an idea that a skeptic gave:

"In ganzfeld studies, instead of 4 pictures, you start with 2 paired sets (formed randomly) of 4 pictures (8 pictures altogether) - each picture in one set is paired with a picture in the other set. One picture from one set is randomly selected as a target (both the target and set selection are random) for the sender. You go through all of the usual procedure. At the end, the receiver is randomly shown one set of 4 pictures - either the set which contained the target or the set which did not. The receiver then judges which picture was the target, as per the usual procedure. No feedback is given. It is a 'hit' if either picture in a pair was the target. Then you compare the number of hits when the same set of pictures was used for the sender and receiver vs. the number of hits when different sets of pictures were used for the sender and receiver. Everyone remains blind as to the condition throughout the entire experimental series. This design requires very little change in the procedure, yet all of a sudden it contains the most powerful tool we have in research design - a control group. In one fell swoop, it would eliminate any of the bickering and nitpicking between believers and skeptics as to what the results mean.

I am truly curious about this though. Does anyone have any inside knowledge into why control groups were never really built into the design? It seems so obvious that their absence is weird.

What do you think about the design? And why the ganzfeld studies have not controls groups?"


My reply:

The suggested method does not test for the presence of telepathy any better than the existing method. The ganzfeld technique is already controlled by protocol. That means that as long as the targets are selected at random, there is no way that any response bias can systematically guess the right target. So comparing the observed hit rate vs. the chance expected hit rate over the long run is a perfectly suitable method for inferring the presence of telepathy. The adequacy of this approach has been confirmed many times by statisticians.

What the proposed idea does is test whether a "sender" is necessary to perceive information from a distance. Such tests have been done, both within the ganzfeld paradigm and in remote viewing designs. The answer is no -- which raises an epistemological question about how one would test for "pure" telepathy. So far, no one has a good answer to that question, although the closest we've come to date are studies using physiological methods, including EEG, to look for correlations in bodily responses between isolated people. Those studies suggest some form of connectivity between people, which is in alignment with the general idea of telepathy.

I've found that confusion about experimental methods often reflects a lack of familiarity with the relevant literature. This is true in any scientific discipline. In the present case, these issues have been discussed in detail for many decades by those working in the field. In addition, a statement like "In one fell swoop, it would eliminate any of the bickering and nitpicking between believers and skeptics as to what the results mean" is admirably enthusiastic, but it's also naive. The existing evidence is already persuasive to stupendously high degrees of statistical certainty. Another new experimental design is not going to change the nature of the debate, which is focused on theoretical and ideological complaints, and not on a dispassionate evaluation of the empirical data."


I would just add to this that should an easily repeatable experiment appear, without the requirement of special subjects, then that might well overwhelm prevailing skepticism. Use of special subjects is appealing and makes much sense, but the skeptic can always reply that those people are cheating, or that they cannot be easily found so independent replications cannot be performed.

That said, participants selected on the basis of some talent will almost always do better in experiments, so if you're interested in learning something rather than in convincing skeptics, it's better to go with selection, provided you have the resources to actually do that (it's a non-trivial problem).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alex Tanous Scholarship Award

The Alex Tanous Scholarship Award of $500.00 is designed to offer assistance to a student attending an accredited college, university or who is participating in a Certificate in Parapsychological Studies program and or a Researcher who wishes to pursue the academic study and or research of the science related in the areas of physical and spiritual development including, but not limited to the development of creativity, creativity and healing and the teaching of creativity as well as research of anomalies, power of the mind/will, the elderly and developmentally challenged children and or sponsorship or co-sponsorship of a Conference/Study Group related to the areas stated above.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Here's information about a conference I'm speaking at in San Diego, in June:






12THÂ International Energy Psychology Conference



June 3-6, 2010

San Diego California

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Click Here to Learn More, Download a Brochure or Register.


Click to watch a youtube video about the conference

Register before March 31st to save up to $120.


Keynotes

Dean Radin, PhD Author of the Conscious Universe


William Bengston, PhD Researcher in Energy Healing of Cancer


Norman Doige, MD Author of The Brain that Changes Itself


Donna Eden Author of Energy Medicine

David Feinstein, PhD Author of Energy Psychology Interactive


Debbie Ford Author of The Secret of the Shadow


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


At the University of Allahabad, where I presented two talks at the Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences. I also gave an interview for the Times of India newspaper. This Centre is engaged in world class cognitive science research. Impressive facilities, faculty, and research programs.
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Here I am after receiving a bouquet of flowers prior to giving the annual National Visiting Professor talk at the Indian Council of Philosophical Research in Lucknow, India. I gave a second talk the following day. Both presentations were followed by many good questions and comments.
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Monday, March 08, 2010


Here's a common site on the Delhi highways: Cars and buses whipping along at breakneck speed sharing the same lanes as a family pushing a bicycle cart loaded with something.
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Here I am discussing a fine point to some of the SVYASA students and faculty after a talk. We are looking at a slide from my powerpoint lecture.
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Posing with students after giving a talk to the philosophy department at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India.
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This was a pleasant coincidence. About 30 km outside of Bangalore I gave a talk on testing the siddhis, as described in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, in Patanjali Hall at SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga College). This is one of the world's leading yoga research institutions, supported by the Indian government.
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Here I am giving a lecture at the Asian Philosophy Conference held at JNU (Nehru University) in Delhi. This was the first time I've given a talk at a philosophy conference. I had many fine conversations with audience members afterwards.
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