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Potholer

Telepathy and neuroscience?

4 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Here's the abstract to a paper written in a neuroscience journal. Basically, the idea is that they split all participants into two groups - familiar (spouses, friends etc) and non-familiar (someone you've spent 20minutes with non-verbally getting used to). Each group was split into pairs. One of each pair was put in separate rooms and one was flashed a stimulus. Their EEGs synchronised at the point in time where the stimulated one saw the stimulus.

EEGs must be taken with a grain of salt though because as this one says, they made a brain out of jelly and got EEG readings just like a real brain.

Neuroscience Letters 336 (2003) 60-64

Correlations between brain electrical activities of two spatially separated human subjects

Jiri Wackermann, Christian Seiter, Holger Keibel, Harald Walach

Six channels EEG were recorded simultaneously from pairs of separated human subjects in two acoustically and electromagnetically shielded rooms. While brain electric responses to visual pattern-reversal stimuli were elicited in one subject, the other subject relaxed without stimulation. EEGs of both subjects were averaged at times of stimulus onset, effective voltage of the averaged signals was computed within a running window, and expressed as ratio (Q) to the effective voltage of averaged EEG signal from non-stimulation periods. These ratios in non-stimulated subjects at the latency of the maximum response in stimulated subjects were analysed. Significant departures of Q ratios from reference distributions, based on baseline EEG in non-stimulation periods, were found in most non-stimulated subjects. The results indicate that correlations between brain activities of two separated subjects may occur, although no biophysical mechanism is known.

Thought I'd share :)

ETA: Also, I just realised, does this count as "anti-skeptic"?? Terribly sorry, it should probably be moved...

Edited by Potholer

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Posted (edited)

I haven't read the short Neuroscience Letters article, but here is a longer, later article by Wackermann which discusses the same research. It is usual practice for research reported in a "letters" journal to be reported more fully elsewhere.

http://www.mindmatter.de/mmpdf/wackermann.pdf

Wackermann makes no paranormal claims for this work, and there are substantial methodological questions about the research.

How is your post "anti-skeptical?" It shows that serious, competent research on questions like this can find a home in a reputable scientific journal. Neuroscience Letters is published by Elsevier, a leading scientific brand name, and has an impact factor of about 2, which means that working scientists cite papers which appear in this journal with some frequency.

That being so, it is difficult to argue that there is some conspiracy by "Science" to cover up or ignore anomalous observations. I would think skeptics would crow about that, as well they should.

Edited by eight bits

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Mmm he doesn't make any claims because he wouldn't get published if he did, I reckon. Lame that there's a lack of opinions on this, I thought it was pretty interesting heh.

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Mmm he doesn't make any claims because he wouldn't get published if he did, I reckon.

You can judge for yourself whether the journal where he published the longer paper would have shut him down for expressing an opinion:

http://www.mindmatter.de/

It sure doesn't look to me as if they'd be shocked, based on other things which they have published.

I think Wackermann is simply being honest. This is interesting, and unexplained. And that's all it is at this point.

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