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BioPK Experiments With Animals
Mario Varvoglis, Ph.D.

So, a basic question is whether people can psychokinetically influence living systems at all. Some investigators, such as William Braud of the Mind Science Foundation, explored subjects’ ability to change the activity or behavior of a ‘target’ animal. For example, Braud conducted a series of experiments in which the spatial orientation of an electric fish was the ‘target’ measure of animal activity. Electric fish naturally emit a current, which can be detected in specially constructed fish tanks. The current emitted is strongest when the fish is oriented perpendicularly to the electrodes in the tank, and weakest when parallel to them.

The tank with the electric fish was placed in an electrically shielded box, and the subject and experimenter were located in a separate room. By amplifying the detected electrical charge, and displaying this signal through an oscilloscope, subjects could receive continuous feedback as to the orientation of the fish. They would then try, during ‘influence’ periods, to increase the displayed electric charge - which meant influencing the orientation of the fish - while in ‘control’ periods, they would do nothing. The question, of course, was whether higher electrical activity would occur during the influence vs. the control periods.

Of the four experiments, three showed significant increases in electrical activity during influence periods; the fourth showed a weaker effect, but in the same direction. The strongest results were obtained with a psychic; but one of the significant experiments involoved subjects with no claim to psychic talents.

A number of other experiments, at Braud’s lab and elsewhere, obtained similar results with other animals. But let’s look at studies with animals which directly addressed the question of healing per se. In North Carolina’s Institute for Parapsychology, researchers anesthetized a large number of mice which were from the same litter, comparable in size and of the same sex. They randomly divided the mice into ‘control’ vs. ‘influence’ groups and asked subjects to focus on the latter: to try to ‘energize’ them and wake them up as quickly as possible. The results were statistically significant, with ‘influence’ mice waking up much more quickly than controls. Subjects in this experiment were quite close to the mice, though they couldn’t touch them. But in a subsequent series, subjects were situated in a separate room, focusing on the mice through a one-way mirror; the results were again statistically significant and positive, despite the increased distance.

Bernard Grad at McGill university also conducted a number of experiments with mice. He surgically introduced small wounds in about 300 mice, and randomly divided them in three groups. One group of mice was treated by the Hungarian healer Oskar Estebany; he was asked to try to accelerate healing of the wounds by holding the cage in which they were situated between his hands. A second group of mice was similarly ‘treated’ by skeptical medical students, while a third group remained untreated. After a predefined time-period, the wounds of the mice of all three groups were measured and compared. The wounded mice treated by Estebany had healed significantly more quickly than the other two groups. By contrast, the group ‘treated’ by medical students fared worse than the untreated group -- not a very reassuring finding!

[This article used with permission of the Psi Explorer CD-ROM]


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