Is it possible to communicate with the dead ? Image Credit: H. Mairet - 1898
Scientists have been attempting to find out what makes a person more likely to hear voices from beyond the grave.
The idea of communicating with the dead has been around for as long as human society has existed, yet despite all of our advances in understanding the inner workings of the brain, scientists have yet to explain the mechanism through which mediums claim to hear the voices of those who have passed.
Now a new study being conducted by scientists at Northumbria University seeks to tackle this long-standing mystery, albeit from a less spiritual perspective, in the hope of better understanding the auditory hallucinations experienced by sufferers of schizophrenia and other similar disorders.
"Spiritualists tend to report unusual auditory experiences which are positive, start early in life and which they are often then able to control," said psychologist Peter Moseley.
"Understanding how these develop is important because it could help us understand more about distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices too."
Along with psychologist Adam Powell of Durham University, Moseley recruited 65 clairaudient mediums as well as 143 members of the public to determine what differentiated them.
The results indicated a correlation between high absorption (a tendency to become totally immersed in tasks and to be able to easily tune out the world) and belief in the paranormal, but found no link between paranormal beliefs and the likelihood of experiencing hallucinations.
The mediums, the researchers found, often had no prior connection with Spiritualism but later adopted it because of their experiences and because it was personally meaningful to them.
"Our findings say a lot about 'learning and yearning'," said Powell. "For our participants, the tenets of Spiritualism seem to make sense of both extraordinary childhood experiences as well as the frequent auditory phenomena they experience as practising mediums."
"But all of those experiences may result more from having certain tendencies or early abilities than from simply believing in the possibility of contacting the dead if one tries hard enough."
Source: Science Alert | Comments (6)
Medium, Ghosts, Spirits