Parapsychological Association,parapsychology,psi phenomena,psychic,psi,psychokinesis,telepathy,psychic phenomena,ESP,PK,psychic healing,extrasensory perception

Abstracts of Papers Presented
at the 2005 Parapsychological Association Convention

[if you are an author and your paper is missing from this collection, please send a copy of its abstract to]


Christopher M. Aanstoos

Department of Psychology
State University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA, USA

Building on Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of the lived body and the author’s own previous research on the phenomenology of embodiment, this paper depicts the body as a “long body,” that is, as an existential “inhabiting” of the world. This presentation includes two facets: a philosophical reflection on this ontology of the body, followed by an examination pf its implications for parapsychology.

Donald Bedford, Herman Kruijsse, Will van der Leij, Anita Nel & Mark Shuttleworth
Tangent Projects
Cape Town, South Africa

Psychokinesis in humans is the direct, non-local influence of intentionality on a physical system. In animals, particularly primitive animals, the notion of intentionality is problematic, and hence we will define animal PK to be the direct, non-local influence of desire. An attempt, using a modification of Peoc’h’s apparatus, to quasi-replicate his purported demonstration (Peoc’h, 1995) of PK on a randomly controlled robot by 7-day old chicks failed to find any evidence of the phenomenon. An extension of this idea using an ultra-primitive living organism, green algae, and a quantum random event generator also found no evidence of the phenomenon.

Daryl J. Bem
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York USA

At an earlier PA Convention, I reported on a phenomenon called “Precognitive Habituation” (PH) (Bem, 2003). The PH effect is a psi variation of a well-known psychological phenomenon, the habituation of arousal to an affectively arousing stimulus that occurs after repeated exposures to that stimulus. For example, in one habituation experiment, participants subliminally exposed to extremely positive and extremely negative words subsequently rated those words as less extreme than words to which they had not been exposed: Negative words were rated less negatively and positive words were rated less positively (Dijksterhuis & Smith, 2002).

The PH procedure tests for precognition by, in effect, running a standard habituation procedure in reverse. Instead of exposing a participant to repeated exposures of a stimulus and then assessing his or her liking for it, the PH procedure reverses the sequence: On each trial the participant is first shown a pair of negatively arousing or positively arousing (erotic) photographs on a computer screen and asked to indicate which picture of the pair he or she prefers. The computer then randomly selects one of the two pictures to serve as the “habituation target” and displays it subliminally several times. If the participant prefers the picture subsequently designated as the target, the trial is defined as a “hit.” Accordingly, the hit rate expected by chance is 50%. The PH hypothesis is that the repeated exposures of the target can reach back in time to diminish the arousal it would otherwise produce, rendering negatively arousing targets less negative and erotic targets less positive. (This latter effect on erotic targets can be conceptualized as precognitive boredom.) Operationally, participants are predicted to prefer the target-to-be on negative trials and the non-target-to-be on erotic trials. Across several studies, these predictions were confirmed: The hit rate was significantly above 50% on negative trials (52.6%, t(259) = 3.17, p = .0008) and significantly below 50% on erotic trials (48.0%, t(149) = -1.88, p = .031). Unexpectedly, when the number of target exposures exceeded 8, a precognitive boredom effect also occurred on low-arousal, “control” pictures. The current experiment was designed to explore this effect further across a range of low-arousal pictures, both positive and negative (where it is probably more accurate to conceptualize it as precognitive aversion). Two hundred participants, 140 women and 60 men, participated in a 24-trial session that presented 10 supraliminal exposures (750 ms) of the target picture after each preference judgment. Overall, the hit rate did not differ from chance, but participants low in arousability or boredom tolerance achieved an overall hit rate of 47.3% (p = .006). Consistent with the reasoning behind the protocol, participants who were low in Arousability displayed significant precognitive aversion on trials with negative targets (46.9%, p = .036) and participants low in Boredom Tolerance displayed precognitive boredom on trials with positive targets (44.4%, p = .005).


James C. Carpenter
Rhine Research Center
Durham, NC, USA

This study is a follow-up to an earlier report (Carpenter, 2001) in which transcripts of 364 ganzfeld sessions that had been collected previously in several laboratories were analyzed using a set of 36 rating scales developed to implicitly assess the approach and quality of experience of the percipient in the situation. A number of significant, apparently meaningful, and somewhat internally consistent relationships were observed in that sample. Multiple regression analysis was applied to the data in order to generate a cluster of items, which if pooled, might be expected to be a useful predictor of ESP success in a new sample. An additional, independent sample of 251 ganzfeld sessions drawn from 3 previously conducted studies is analyzed here in terms of this predictive cluster, and a significant discrimination of hitting and missing sessions is found. All data were then pooled and subjected to correlation and regression analyses. A significant portion (N = 241) of the sample was contributed by persons active in the arts who scored more highly than the non-artists. The 2 groups are analyzed separately, as well as pooled. Hitting was predicted primarily by neutral or positive physical/emotional experiences in the session and by imagery suggestive of a capacity for self-transcendence, emotional closeness and deep trust. Missing was predicted mainly by excessive verbosity, an overly cognitive, intellectualized approach to the task, anxiety and attendant defenses against anxiety, and (for persons in the arts) by more indirect indications of an unhappy adjustment to the situation. Ways in which such findings may guide future research are mentioned.


Igor Dolgov
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

Ecological Psychology takes the position that perception is direct and immediate rather being cognitively constructed from impoverished sensory stimuli. These basic assumptions, as well as other principles of the ecologically-motivated perceptual paradigm make it appealing to research classically done in the fields of Parapsychology and Engineering Anomalies. Yet, typically followers of the Ecological Psychology position only consider perception of information that is utilized in a narrow range of basic activities, such as navigation and locomotion. The ecological assumption is that the typical non-shifted state of the perceptual mechanism as optimized for action is the state in which the perception-action remains. I proposed that for instances of behaviors that are more complex, the ecological assumption of an optimal non-shifted perceptual state may be somewhat shortsighted. In this paper, I review the basic principles of Ecological Psychology and point out the fact that these principles are also prevalent in some animist, pagan, and eastern cultures. I then discuss how these cultures offer a different perspective on perception in complex behaviors, in which practitioners take advantage of intentional, functional alterations of their consciousness in order to gain access to typically unavailable sources of veridical information. This implies that in some instances, perception in altered states of consciousness should be viewed as shifted or even improved, rather than distorted or impaired, as proposed by the current ecological model. I note that awareness of the utility of functional altered states for enhanced perception in other cultures can illuminate and refine the ecological model of perception to encompass more, complex, real-world phenomena. I conclude by elaborating on the observation that the ecologically motivated paradigm provides an exciting opportunity to extend Psi research into an emergent, prudent branch of psychology and obtain additional popular and academic exposure that such work deserves.



Nicola J. Holt & Chris A. Roe

Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes
University College Northampton, Northampton, UK

Recent work has been concerned to evaluate whether the sender plays any active role in successful ganzfeld GESP experiments (e.g., Roe, Holt & Simmonds, 2003; Roe & Holt, in press). Roe, Holt & Simmonds (2003) used a random number generator (RNG) as a ‘virtual receiver’ in a ganzfeld, in an attempt to detect any sender effect. During the sending period descriptive statements were ‘selected’ from among a pool of 768 to give a 20-item ‘RNG mentation’ that may represent a more direct measure of any sender influence than the mentation of the ‘human receiver’. A suggestive effect was obtained, with a 32.5% hit rate, when an independent judge (JW) used the ‘virtual mentations’ to select the target clip from three decoys (Z = 1.48, p = .069, 1-t). Roe and Holt (in press) sought to replicate this effect and further, compared ganzfeld trials with no sender and standard ganzfeld trials. Support for the hypothesis that senders exerted some influence on the virtual receiver was obtained, psi success across two independent judges being higher in ganzfeld trials with a sender. JW obtained 42.1% hits in trials with a sender (SOR = 43, Z = .821, p = .412, 2-t) and 17.6% hits in trials with no sender (SOR = 47, Z = -.868, p = .384, 2-t), while RD (a newly recruited judge) obtained 26.3% hits in trials with a sender (SOR = 44, Z = .616, p = .535, 2-t) and 5.9% hits in trials with no sender (SOR = 46, Z = -.651, p = .516, 2-t). A third experiment in this series is presented here. The protocol was adapted in order to obviate the need for a human receiver. The focus for senders hence became the ‘virtual receiver’. This displayed the statements to the sender as they were selected, as an analogue to hearing feedback from a human receiver in the ganzfeld. Senders could rate how well each statement corresponded with their sending experience. The lability of the target was manipulated (following Braud, 1981, 1994). Twenty-four statements were selected for each trial, from a pool of 416, eight by each of the following processes, which increased in lability: a random number table; a pseudo random process; and a live RNG. It was hypothesised that the greatest psi effect would be found with the most labile target. Further, drawing upon Stanford’s conformance behaviour model (1978) it was hypothesised that senders with the most ‘stable’ trait characteristics would achieve higher psi hitting. Forty trials were conducted, the virtual mentations of which were rated by two independent judges. Significant psi hitting was not obtained in any of the randomness conditions, although there was a trend towards psi missing in the live condition for JW (Z = -1.485, p = .069, 1-t, r = .235) and a trend towards psi hitting in the pseudo condition for a newly recruited independent judge LS (Z = 1.485, p = .069, 1-t, r = .235). However, there was a significant interaction effect between target and sender lability, across both independent judges (F4,74 = 4.959, p = .001). The hypothesis that ‘stable’ senders would demonstrate higher psi hitting with the most labile target system was confirmed. Further, senders with high trait lability performed best with the most stable target system. This was interpreted as indicative of a reciprocal influence between labile and stable aspects of systems. Explanations for the overall lower psi outcome of this study were addressed in terms of the feedback potentially hindering motivation and the implications of direct rather than indirect intention, which was introduced in this study.


Michael Jawer
Vienna, VA, USA


Psi researchers often use the term ‘sensitivity’ when theorizing that certain persons may be more apt to register anomalous influences than others. Through a review of the literature, it is argued that some individuals are predisposed toward a range of innate sensitivities that, in novelty as well as intensity, distinguish them from the general population. It is hypothesized that such persons will exhibit greater susceptibility to a range of environmental factors including allergies, migraine headache, chronic pain and fatigue. Furthermore, it is suggested that sensitive individuals will report a higher than average degree of psi perception as well as electromagnetic influence. Through a 54-item survey designed by the author, the following issues are evaluated: the extent to which persons who describe themselves as ‘sensitive’ appear to be affected by such factors; whether their immediate family members may be similarly affected; to what extent environmental sensitivity parallels apparitional experience; and how such findings compare or contrast with questions asked of a control group. Based on both the literature and the survey results, the author argues that sensitivity is a bona fide neurobiological phenomenon. While no single factor in a person's background is likely to distinguish him/her as ‘sensitive,’ eight demographic or personality factors are found to be statistically significant. If further studies were to document similar results, a more tangible basis would be provided for the study of apparitional experience than has been possible to date.



Leila Kozak1, Leanna J. Standish1, Clark Johnson1, 2,Todd Richards1, 2, & Brent K. Stewart1,3

1 Bastyr University/University of Washington Consciousness Science Lab, Kenmore, WA
2NeuroResearch Associates, Seattle, WA
3University of Washington, Radiology Department, Seattle, WA

The purpose of this study was to determine whether brain activation triggered by a visual stimulus in a member of a bonded pair could be detected in the other member who was physically distant and sensory isolated. Sixteen subjects (n=16) who had undergone primordial sound meditation (PSM) training participated in the study. Subjects were asked to meditate together, twice a day, for 30 days before beginning the study. Simultaneous digitized EEG was recorded in pairs of human subjects while members of the pair were placed in sound attenuated rooms separated by 10 meters. The stimulus condition consisted of a flickering black and white checkerboard pattern (2.11 cycles/degree) presented on a video monitor at a flickering rate of 1 Hz. Senders were presented with a series of six alternating stimulus-on/stimulus-off conditions (on/off/on/off/on/off) of random time duration ranging from 20 to 50 seconds. EEG data were analyzed looking for changes (“hits”) in the non-stimulated subject’s EEG activity (receiver) that were time-locked to their partner’s stimulus-on condition.  Test results at p < 0.01 were considered evidence of brain correlations.  Of the sixteen receiver sessions recorded during each visit, four sessions showed brain activity that was significantly correlated with their partner’s stimulus-on condition (p < 0.01). None of the pairs replicated the results. In one case, a statistically significant result was observed during the stimulus-off condition. Results indicate that in some pairs of human subjects a signal may be detected in the brain of a distant member of the pair when the other member is visually stimulated. Data support the findings of similar studies published by other laboratories throughout the world. 


Herman W. Kruijsse, Donald Bedford, Will van der Leij, Anita Nel & Mark Shuttleworth
Tangent Projects
Cape Town, South Africa

Although Psychokinesis is perhaps the most experimentally accessible of anomalous phenomena, interest in laboratory studies seems to have waned because of a failure to produce significant effects under experimental manipulation. This presentation reports two PK experiments where the RNG was varied and experimental manipulation was introduced. The output of the RNG’s was visualized on-line and experimentally manipulated by randomly balanced positive false feedback. In Study 1, a traditional electronic RNG (Orion REG) was used. In Study 2, a radioactive source (Thorium) and a GM tube particle detector (sqREG) were used to generate a few single-quantum events per second. It was assumed that reducing the rate of quantum events would enhance the effects of intentionality. The results of both studies suggest that false feedback is associated with an increase in the differences between means under intentional conditions. The use of an RNG with a reduced number of quantum events per unit time proved promising.

John Palmer1, Stephen Baumann 2, & Christine A. Simmonds2

1University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
2Rhine Research Center Durham, NC, USA


20 psychic healers and 40 non-healers participated in a conceptual replication of an experiment by William Braud, which appeared to demonstrate that a significantly large number of participants (Ps) were able to influence the process of hemolysis of red blood cells in vitro. This finding, however, could have been artifactual. Following Braud's procedure, hemolysis was induced for each trial by mixing 50 μl of blood with 3 ml of .425% physiological saline in a cuvette. The cuvette was then placed inside a spectrophotometer that measured the rate of hemolysis over a 1 min period. Healers completed 2 sessions and non-healers 1. Each session consisted of 2 runs of 8 trials. During the test run, Ps attempted to psychically retard the rate of the hemolysis from a distant room on Trials 4 and 5, preceded by a progressive relaxation tape. They were unaware of any of the other trials in either run. During the non-intention periods healers were interviewed about their healing practices and beliefs, whereas non-healers completed a rating scale on these themes. Both samples completed a shortened version of the Hartmann Boundary Questionnaire (BQ) and the Spiritual Transcendence Scale (STS). For half the runs, the DC component of the earth's geomagnetic field (GMF) was essentially eliminated around the cuvette inside the spectrophotometer; for the other half, the GMF was set at 0.5 Gauss, its normal magnitude in nature. Hemolysis scores consisted of the ratio between t-scores for the test and baseline runs, each of which reflected the difference between the results of Trials 4 and 5 and the other trials within the run, and they were corrected for the influence of the hemolysis at the time the measurement process began. Overall hemolysis scores were non-significant, the scores of healers and non-healers did not differ significantly, and there was no direct effect of the GMF manipulation. Relative hemolysis retardation was suggestively associated with high values of ambient GMF on the day before testing, confirming a finding of Braud. Post-hoc, it was found that older non-healers appeared to accelerate hemolysis and younger non-healers to retard it. Combined hemolysis scores for both runs in 1st sessions revealed hemolysis acceleration with GMF on and retardation with GMF off, indicating the possible influence of non-intentional psi. Retardation with GMF off was greater among thin-boundary Ps on the BQ. Healers scored much higher than non-healers on the STS, and among non-healers the STS was positively correlated with estimated success on the hemolysis task.


Peter Pütz, Matthias Gäßler & Jiří Wackermann
Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health
Dept. for Empirical and Analytical Psychophysics
Freiburg i.Br. Germany

‘Psi-communication’ in the ganzfeld (‘ganzfeld telepathy’) is an established paradigm in experimental parapsychology of last decades (Honorton et al., 1990). Results have been considered as providing  evidence for an ‘anomalous information transfer’ (Bem & Honorton, 1994), although later meta-analyses questioned validity of this conclusion. In a typical ‘ganzfeld telepathy’ experiment both participants are aware of the ‘psi’ character of the task, i.e., the communication anomaly involved. For subjects not familiar with parapsychology research and/or not sharing the ‘belief’ in telepathy, this may mean facing a ‘mission impossible’. This leads to the question if the overt ‘psi’ character of the experimental situation is necessary for successful communication. Furthermore, in such a typical experiment the ‘receiver’ is allowed, or encouraged, to verbalise continuously her/his mentation. This may divert the ‘receivers’ attention from the instruction and contaminate the ‘true’ ganzfeld-induced imagery with free associations, thought fragments, and other cognitive processes; also verbal activity is known to cause muscular artefacts in simultaneous EEG recordings. Therefore we prefer participants in our experiments giving reports on their mentation in discrete ‘chunks’, at times of maximally developed imagery, as in our earlier studies (Pütz et al, 2005). Some authors advocate dynamic targets of rich content and featuring ‘dramatic changes’ as facilitating the ‘psi’ communication (Parker, Grams, & Pettersson, 1998). On the other hand, May et al. (1994) argued for content homogeneity (‘noise reduction’) in Remote Viewing research. There is no evidence that rich content is really a necessary condition for efficient communication in ganzfeld. The aim of this study was elaboration of an experimental procedure acceptable for all participants (no subject indoctrination), focusing on ganzfeld-specific imagery, and compatible with EEG recordings planned for later stages of the study. Specifically, in this pilot study we tested the experimental procedure in terms of time management, interactions with participants, acceptance of instructions by them, reporting and rating. The EEG recording system was used to record synchronisation markers triggered by subjects’ reports and/or issued by the target presentation software, but no real EEG was recorded.


Dean I. Radin
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Petaluma, CA, USA

A mind-matter interaction (MMI) experiment with random number generators (RNG) was used to test two types of causal models, those assuming forwards-time influences and those assuming backwards-time influences. Forwards-time influences are often referred to as psychokinesis or PK, and backwards-time influences as precognition or retrocausation. The test employed a Markov-chain, sequential dependency design to provide a way of tracing the history, and thus the possible causal sequences, within each trial. A pilot test and a replication provided significant evidence for an MMI effect, allowing the models to be tested. The forwards and backwards causal models were applied to the data, and in both cases the outcomes suggest that MMI is better accounted for by a retrocausal effect rather than a forwards causal effect. This outcome is consistent with goal-oriented models of MMI in RNGs, and it raises the possibility that teleological “pulls” from the future may be able to influence present-time decisions and events.


William G. Roll
Department of Psychology
State University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA, USA

Mind is embodied and the body is emplaced, which means that mind is also emplaced. Mind has conative, cognitive and executive functions performed respectively by the limbic system, the cerebral cortex, and the cerebellum. The first gives objects conative meaning, the second provides a cognitive map to reach or avoid objects, and the third provides the means to do so. Cognition makes it possible to locate an object in space and time, to determine its distance from the body and from other objects in space-time, and to establish its size, weight, and other quantifiable aspects. A material object is local. The conative meaning of an object, on the other hand, may be apprehended in another place and at another time than its material form. Knowing the conative meaning of distant objects is important to humans and other higher animals. Meaning is often nonlocal.

ESP is to perceive the conative meaning of another person or object whose material form is absent. While the material aspect of an object usually remains the same in different places and at different times, its conative meaning is liable to change. The same object can have different meanings to different people or to the same person at different times. The meaning with which an object has been endowed does not disappear when the object is out of sight but may persist in the object and may affect others who come in contact with the object. The body’s sensory and motor functions are mostly about objects that are conatively meaningful to the person. The objects can be reached by sight, hearing and the other senses, and they may be manipulated by the muscular system. Something that is out-of-reach of the familiar senses may be apprehended by perceiving its conative, nonlocal meaning (by ESP) and it may be affected by influencing its conative meaning (by PK).

The sensory and muscular systems are properties of the familiar or “small” body. A person also has “long body” that can perceive and affect conatively significant objects that are out of reach of the small body. The long body is an Iroquois term that refers to the tribal body, and embraces living members of the tribe, as well as ancestors, tribal lands and objects. Families, tribes, corporations, churches and other groups, are long bodies that are composed of the long bodies of their members.

Place and time are relative to the state of the observer. Events that are in the future or past to the small body may be in the present for the long body. What to the small body is precognition or postcognition is perception of the present to the long body.


Louie Savva1, Chris A. Roe1 & Matthew D. Smith2

1University College Northampton, UK
2Liverpool Hope University College, UK

This paper outlines two studies conducted to further test the precognitive habituation (PH) effect using spider stimuli, following the success of Savva, Child and Smith (2004). The PH effect was first developed by Daryl Bem (2003) and was based heavily on the conventional mere-exposure effect, in which the presence of a stimulus leads to participants showing a preference for it, over other stimuli. The PH effect is a time-reversed mere-exposure effect, since participants are asked to make a preference choice between two stimuli before they are presented (or exposed) with one of them. In his original study, Bem had made use of violent and pornographic stimuli, which were replaced with spider stimuli in a successful conceptual replication by Savva et al. This paper reports on two further replications; Study I incorporated a number of developments, most crucially using supraliminal rather subliminal exposure of targets. Fifty participants took part in study I and although there was a small yet significant above chance hit-rate (53% where MCE is 50%; p = .046), no PH effect was found. Study II incorporated a larger sample (N = 92), though testing took part in small groups (although again it was hoped that this minor adaptation would not have an effect on the results). No PH effect was found in the data, although Bem has suggested that study II may provide evidence of what he has termed a precognitive aversion effect. The authors tentatively present that interpretation, although the inability to replicate the original Savva et al. (2004) findings, does raise doubts about the reliability and strength of the PH effect.



Marilyn Schlitz1, Richard Wiseman2, Dean Radin1, & Caroline Watt3

1Institute of Noetic Sciences, USA
2University of Hertfordshire, UK
3Edinburgh University, UK

A large body of research has examined the possible existence of psychic ability. Proponents claim that some of this work supports the existence of such abilities; skeptics argue that such studies suffer from potential flaws and artifacts. As with other controversial areas of psychology, researchers on both sides of the debate have tended to collaborate only with colleagues who hold the same beliefs about the phenomena in question. This is unfortunate, as skeptic-proponent collaborations offer the potential for resolving key areas of disagreement. The first author, a proponent, and the second, a skeptic, have been conducting a systematic program of collaborative skeptic-proponent research in parapsychology. This involved carrying out joint experiments in which each investigator individually attempted to mentally influence the electrodermal activity of participants at a distant location. In the first two collaborations, experiments conducted by the proponent obtained significant results but those conducted by the skeptic did not. This paper describes a new collaborative study that attempted to replicate our previous findings and explore potential explanations for past results. The new study failed to replicate our previous findings. The implications of this work are discussed, along with the benefits of conducting collaborative work for resolving disagreements in other controversial areas of psychology.


Stephan A. Schwartz

Institute Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

This paper describes the development of the blind protocol, and its place in this history of consciousness research. It was first devised by Croesus, King of the Lydians (BCE 560-547) and reported by Herodotus (≈ BCE 484 - ≈ 424), and was created to protect against fraud in assessing an Anomalous Perception (AP) event; a Remote Viewing (RV) experiment little different than those conducted today. Its next use in the 17th century was to study a peasant farmer, Jacques Aymar who solved crimes with Anomalous Perception, using dowsing. Not only was a blind protocol employed, but the rudiments of controls were introduced to assess Aymar. The next documented use of a blind protocol occurred in 1784, when it was explicitly employed in the interest of science, and its history as a research technique can be said to formally begin. King Louis the XVIth created a commission to evaluate Friedrich Anton Mesmer’s claims concerning healing through “animal magnetism”, administered while people were in a trance, and asked Benjamin Franklin to be the commission’s head. The paper proposes that Franklin be considered the first parapsychologist. He created the blind protocol to answer the king’s question as to whether or not “animal magnetism” was real, and not only introduced demographic variables and controls, but literally blind folded people, which is why today we call it the Blind Protocol. Franklin’s observations also present the first recorded Western description of psycho-somatic illness. An unintended consequence of Franklin’s Mesmer study was the loss of the idea of psycho-physical self-regulation (PPSR) as a research vector, although the English surgeon John Eliotson (1791-1868) apparently saw through the failure of Mesmer's explanatory model to the deeper insight in the form of hypnosis that was Mesmer's real discovery. He seems to have avoided all attempts at explaining how it worked, but conducted a considerable number of surgeries using hypnosis as the anesthetic, anticipating its usage in this capacity a century later. So great was the disapproval of Mesmer, however, that no one seems to have gotten Eliotson’s point. Franklin’s protocol though, rapidly became the gold standard of science. Rupert Sheldrake, however, carried out a survey of the leading scientific journals, and discovered that the main use of the blind protocol is not in medicine per se, but parapsychology, and consciousness research where it is used for the same purposes it was originally conceived: to winnow out fraud in anomalous consciousness events, and to avoid introducing experimenter effects. Ultimately, though the protocol may be based on a false assumption, since increasingly research in areas such as Therapeutic Intent/healing and Remote Viewing suggest that all consciousness from single celled organisms to human beings may be interlinked through a non-local aspect of awareness they all share.


Christine Simmonds
Rhine Research Center
2741 Campus Walk Avenue
Durham, NC 27705 USA

This paper explores the relationships between personality, sleep length and quality and subjective paranormal experiences (SPEs). Previous research indicates a relationship between both a greater tendency to hallucinate and shorter sleep length, and among near death experiencers. It also indicates that sleep patterns should be considered in relation to personality. Individuals scoring high on personality variables related to boundary thinness (in particular schizotypy) may be more prone to experiencing SPEs as a result of their unique sleep-wake cycle, in particular, they may exhibit shorter nocturnal sleep patterns. The current study addressed the relationship between sleep length and SPEs. It was expected that both shorter sleepers and high scorers on schizotypy may be more prone to subjective paranormal experiences. A questionnaire-based survey was undertaken among 281 participants who included students, visitors to the Rhine Research Center (RRC) and its web site, and visitors to a local hotel. There was no difference between long and short sleepers in terms of number of anomalous experiences. There was, however a significant difference between short and average, and average and long sleepers on schizotypy. None of the other personality variables demonstrated a significant relationship with sleep related variables. Sleep quality was however, better for longer sleepers. A regression based path analysis was undertaken with anomalous experiences as the criterion variable. This indicated that sleep related variables along with gender and handedness may be indirect predictors of subjective anomalies via personality. Future work is planned to explore different types of SPEs among pre-selected extreme short and long sleepers, and to address sleep variables and psi performance in the laboratory.


Bryan J. Williams
Department of Psychology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM, USA

The longbody is a concept that has its origin within the spiritual tradition of the Native American culture (particularly that of the Iroquois Indian tribe) to describe the broad interconnection between family and tribal members (both living and departed), the objects they possess, and the physical location in which they dwell as one large living body. It was first introduced to parapsychology by Christopher Aanstoos (1986), and adopted and extended by William Roll (1988, 1989, 1993, 1997) as a metaphorical way to understand the links between individual embodied minds, objects, and places that are suggested in one form or another by all the known types of psi phenomena.

The longbody concept does not seem to be unique only to Eastern United States tribes like the Iroquois; several Indian tribes of the Southwest United States also have aspects of their oral-based spiritual tradition that reflect something very similar to the longbody. In this paper, the similar aspects from the traditions of four Southwest Indian tribes (the Hopi, the Navajo, and Laguna & Zuni Pueblos) are reviewed, and their implications for psi experiences within these cultures and Roll’s longbody hypothesis are discussed. It is suggested that the oralbased traditions of these cultures, which are based in memory, opens the way for psi as a means to ensure the survival of the tribes and their respective longbodies across space-time. Other aspects, such as beliefs and rituals that suggest close human interconnection with nature, place, and the spirits of the departed, also invite the experience of psychometry, place memories, and survival-related phenomena, particularly apparitions. It is further suggested that the geophysical characteristics of the location of certain Pueblos and sacred tribal sites may display anomalous activity similar to that observed in investigations of reported haunted sites, which may help to give rise to the experiences through their possible effects on the human brain. Possible directions for future research are also offered.


Stephen B. Baumann, William T. Joines, Jeremy Kim, & Jonathan M. Zile
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Duke University, Durham, NC USA

Findings are reported from an ongoing study of electromagnetic phenomena associated with alternative medicine practitioners. Data are summarized from 31 recording sessions involving 6 control subjects and 19 alternative practitioners engaged in bioenergy transmission or focused meditation. Data collected from the experimental subjects generally could be mimiced by the control subjects and explained on the basis of thermal effects, with one striking exception. One subject was able to produce large bursts of photons on two occasions that were accompanied by voltage surges from an arm electrode. A narrative of these events and the effects on the subject are similar to descriptions of kundalini phenomena, especially in inexperienced practitioners.


Matthias Braeunig, Tilmann Faul, & Harald Walach
Department of Evaluation Research in Complementary Medicine
Institute for Environmental Medicine and Hospital Hygiene
University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55
D-79106 Freiburg, Germany

We are reporting on a recently begun exploratory study that involves a new REG device with methodological improvements in the timing of events. In this respect the device differs significantly from any commercially available generator. It was built from the bottom up using latest PLD electronics and is currently going through an intense testing phase. When the proof of concept has been firmly established a series of experiments is planned, involving human subjects whose psi performance will be measured under a given task. A newly developed methodology called the 'horse race paradigm' is tested. In particular we hope to be able to distinguish the predictive power of various theoretical models that have been proposed in the past to explain anomalous deviations from the expected normal statistics. If the device proves useful in the context of micro- PK research, it may point into an entirely new direction for psi and its possible applications. Furthermore the paradigm of coincidence may shed some light on the nature of information when meaningful action is observed.


Edwin C. May
Laboratories for Fundamental Research
Palo Alto, California, USA

We are extending earlier work that demonstrated anomalous anticipatory skin conductance responses prior to acoustic startle stimuli by hypothesizing that the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system in governing heart rate inter-beat interval will prove to be a more sensitive measure of prestimulus response. A second hypothesis is that any observed effects are participant-centered as opposed to experimenter-centered—in direct contrast to our earlier skin conductance results. In this experiment we are monitoring electrocardiogram (ECG) continuously for about 35 minutes and compare inter-beat interval data prior to 24 randomly timed startle acoustic stimuli to the same data prior to silent controls to determine if there are statistically significant differential effects in the prestimulus region.


Craig D. Murray, Jezz Fox & David Wilde
The University of Manchester
Manchester, UK


Craig D. Murray*, Christine Simmonds** and Jezz Fox*
* The University of Manchester
Manchester, UK
** Rhine Research Center, Durham


Chris A. Roe1, Simon, J. Sherwood1, Louie Savva1 & Ian Baker2

1Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes, University College
2Koestler Parapsychology Unit, University of Edinburgh


Christina Schäfer
Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene e.V., Freiburg, Germany
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany


Fabio Eduardo da Silva, Sibele Pilato, Reginaldo Hiraoka, Faculdades Integradas “Espírita”, Curso de Parapsicologia Centro Integrado de Parapsicologia Experimental (CIPE), Laboratório de Pesquisa Ganzfeld, Curitiba, Brasil

This study is based on our manual Ganzfeld research in which qualitative data were evaluated showing two points to be improved: a) the quality analysis of mentation related to the targets and/or situations linked to the senders should be more objective. The Real Time Digital Ganzfeld System developed by Dr. Adrian Parker and Dr. Joakim Westerlund, University of Gothenburg, from Sweden provides tools for this; b) the conventional methodology used to evaluate psi, or, the choice of the correct targets among the false ones should be more objective since the qualitative data seem to show mistakes more suggestive of psi than of several hits. Based on these points, we will verify if the integration of the Digital Ganzfeld Technique (real time system to evaluate the cognitive aspects of psi) with DMILS - Direct Mental Interactions with Living Systems - Technique (measuring the electrodermal activities [EDA] as the psi physiological measurement) produces a more objective measure of psi. We will also evaluate other variables related to the targets, researchers, experimental environment, sender and receiver. The entire experiment will be controlled by computers, from the target randomization and showing to the experimental data record. The sender will watch a video and try to send it to the receiver, who will be located 63 meters away. Researchers and subjects will hear a 20-minute relaxation induction. The receiver's eyes will be covered with halved Ping-Pong balls, upon which two red lights will be projected, and they will listen to "white noise" during the experimental session. At the end of the sending/receiving period (23 min.) the receiver will watch four videos and try to identify which one was sent. The digital videos (targets) of 1’30’’ will be projected to the sender and the receiver on two 120 inch screens by two multimedia projectors. Two 5.1 surround sound systems will also be used to create a great involvement with the targets. During the experimental sessions the rooms of the researcher, sender and receiver will be filmed. During the sending/receiving period the reports of the receiver will be recorded. During the target evaluation (judging process) the receiver will be able to listen to his/her mentation while watching each target in a synchronized way. This will facilitate the receiver's perception of the moments during which he/she described the target in real time. We hope to obtain more synchronism between the mentation and the correct targets than between the mentation and the false ones. In addition, the sender and the receiver's EDA - Electrodermal Activity - will be measured hoping that a major correlation will be obtained during the quality hits sessions.



Caroline Watti, Marilyn Schlitzii, Richard Wisemaniii, & Dean Radinii

iUniversity of Edinburgh, UK
iiInstitute of Noetic Sciences, USA
iiiUniversity of Hertfordshire, UK



Jim Carpenter, Deborah Delanoy, Hoyt Edge, Edwin May, Caroline Watt

Jim Carpenter
Rhine Research Center

I recount memories and impressions of Bob Morris over a period ranging from our meeting in 1964 at the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory to our work together on the board of directors of the Rhine Research Center which ended with Bob’s death. Bob was so personally unassuming that it was sometimes a little hard in the moment to understand the enormity of his contributions, or the deeply intelligent planfulness with which he pursued them. In fact, his contributions were such that, if parapsychology has a future, it is primarily because of him.

Additionally an overview is offered of the main emphases of Morris’ published work up to the time he accepted the Koestler Chair at Edinburgh in 1985. Major areas include psi in animals, testing of psi in special subjects, study of methods to heighten PK and ESP effects, a construction of psi in terms of human abilities, a growing appreciation for an honestly skeptical approach, and a conception of how to place the study of parapsychological questions in a useful social and intellectual context.

The panel will close with a slide-show montage that I put together of photographs of Bob over the years.

Deborah L. Delanoy
University College Northampton

This presentation will summarise the contributions that Professor Robert L. Morris made to advancinghe well-being of parapsychology, focusing on how his endeavors had a significant impact far beyond the ‘boundaries’ of the Koestler Chair of Parapsychology and the University of Edinburgh. The presentation will start with an overview of how he directly contributed to advancing the position of parapsychology in British universities over the last two decades. It will then briefly consider his role in furthering the presence of parapsychology in other European countries and beyond. His role in bringing research funding to the field will be discussed as will some of his most notable research contributions. Finally, some observations about his thoughts on the future of parapsychology will be presented.

Hoyt Edge
Rollins College, Florida

My comments will begin with my recollection of first meeting Bob. I will then transition to our collaboration on the text, Foundations of Parapsychology, giving some background and a discussion of his contrition. Finally, Bob had a growing interest in cross-cultural aspects of parapsychology. Psychology had recently begun to focus in this area (calling it Cultural Psychology, or Psychological Anthropology, or Indigenous Psychologies), and Bob thought that parapsychology could contribute to this literature. His work in Bali with me on a project on Volition, as well as two projects on cognitive DMILS, was a focus of his work in this area. As always, Bob showed insight and creativity in the theoretical aspects of this work, but his personality made him an ideal contributor in Bali.

Edwin C. May

Laboratories for Fundamental Research
Palo Alto, California

Beginning in 1985, the US Government’s formerly SECRET program not only included research and applications of ESP to US National problems, but also involved a number of specialized oversight committees; among these was the Scientific Oversight Committee. It had a four-fold mission: (1) review proposed protocols prior to any experiment, (2) drop in privilege, unannounced, to witness on-going activity, (3) critically review, in writing, the reports that were generated as the major output of the project; and (4) attend a two-day conference of the Committee to argue the critical points. Bob was the only parapsychologist in the group of 12 which included Nobel laureates, senior scientists from various government agencies, and academic department chairs. Bob was one of the most rigorous reviewers, but also among the kindest. We will report further on the function of the Scientific Oversight Committee and outline two examples where Bob argued against the research team (e.g., Decision Augmentation Theory) and for it (e.g., rank-order analysis of remote viewing).

Caroline Watt
University of Edinburgh

This presentation will survey the aims and achievements of Professor Robert Morris during the nearly two decades that he spent as the Koestler Professor of Parapsychology at Edinburgh University. Three “Landmarks” will be used to allow Bob’s own words to express his opinions about parapsychology at the Koestler Chair. First, the press statement that he gave on appointment in September 1985 will be examined. In this statement he outlines his aims for his Professorship, and the approach he would take to studying parapsychology. Secondly, in an article he wrote a decade later for a University of Edinburgh magazine, he highlights some of the research findings emerging from the first ten years at the Chair. Thirdly, in 2001, he gave an interview to New Scientist magazine in which he made some of his strongest and frankest public statements yet about his beliefs and his involvement in parapsychology. In addition to Bob’s own comments about the Koestler Chair, I will go on to present what in my view are some of his main achievements at Edinburgh, most notably: integrating parapsychological research into the ongoing academic activities of the University; and “seeding” new parapsychology research units elsewhere in the UK, which will be further discussed in another panel presentation.



Charles Tart, Stanley Krippner, Arthur Hastings, Marilyn Schlitz, Rhea White

Arthur Hastings
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

Transpersonal psychology takes an expanded view of personality, human development, and identity, and focuses on the nature and integration of experiences such as mystical and unitive awareness, personal transformation, higher values, alternative and expanded consciousness, non-ordinary perception, and transcendence.

Transpersonal psychology assumes that these aspects of human experience are natural and healthy (they need not be pathological nor fantasy), and they can be conceptualized and researched scientifically with both conventional methods and innovative approaches. Transpersonal psychology studies these topics with open minded inquiry and with critical thinking. The field uses both quantitative and qualitative methods of research. Five peer reviewed journals are oriented toward transpersonal articles and research, and publications also appear in mainstream journals.

Transpersonal psychology accepts subjective awareness as an integral part of human reality, and subjective ways of knowing as including valid epistemologies. Transpersonal psychology is teleological, and less reductionistic compared to most psychologies. In its world view, transpersonal psychology is more organic and context oriented than most schools of psychology. It provides a bridge between psychology and spiritual traditions.

Several advantages can emerge from a conceptual conversation between parapsychologists and transpersonal psychologists. The transpersonal side can provide insights from theories and data about states of consciousness (e.g. James, Wilber, LeShan, Tart, Baruss), and qualitative methods for researching subjective states, which can inform correlations and dynamics of psi. It can inform about processes developed in spiritual psychologies for altering and deploying attention.

Transpersonal psychology suggests a wider context for psi phenomena in spiritual traditions and in some indigenous cultures.

The parapsychological side contributes objective research methods which investigate transpersonal phenomena such as direct knowing, consciousness alterations, kriyas, subtle energy, OBEs, experiential transcendence of time, and trans-sensory modes of knowing. These methods can establish the empirical reality of phenomena found in transpersonal psychology. Clinically, the two fields together offer ways to address emotional and disturbed reactions from apparent psychic phenomena, and conditions in which there are mixtures of psychotic and psychic experience. Both can bring critical thinking to these areas of human experience which are reported in science and in the popular media.

Some concerns about transpersonal psychology that may come from parapsychologists are dangers of religious true belief about spiritual claims, the ambiguities of subjective data, and the open value orientation of transpersonal perspectives. The paradigm of transpersonal psychology may appear ungrounded. From the transpersonal side, the objective methods of parapsychologists may appear to open doors of ability without values to guide them. Parapsychologists may be seen as avoiding paradigms that accept apparent spiritual experiences (however they may be interpreted) with some claim to reality. There are also differences of temperament; inevitably some individuals prefer to engage in the study of parapsychological phenomena per se, and others are drawn equally to transpersonal interests. Some professionals have found both fields to be of value in their work, and perhaps we can learn from their approaches. The goal is to enable conversation between the two fields where there can be mutual benefit.

Stanley Krippner
Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center

Laszlo’s recent Akashic field model focuses our attention on the least likely aspect of the physical cosmos, the vacuum that surrounds, embraces, and permeates all that is. Rather than the empty void of Democritus, this is an incredibly dense super-fluid medium with properties much like those of liquid helium at absolute zero. Wavelets in this medium travel virtually instantaneously throughout space and time, creating cross-hatched holographic interference patters that record the memory of the cosmos as information at both the micro and macro scales. Like Bohm’s earlier model of a holographic universe, it posits information-rich fields that permeate the cosmos. Both models have profound implications, not only for understanding the nature of physical reality, but for conceptualizing human reality as well. The most obvious of the latter is the possibility that the feelings of nearness we share with others, as well as with non-human animals and transcendent agencies, may actually be more than productions of imagination. There is sufficient evidence from parapsychological studies on the validity of intimate human connections beyond the ordinary channels of communication. Transpersonal psychology is usually defined as the study of experiences in which one’s sense of identity extends beyond the individual to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, and cosmos. This framework is congruent with parapsychological data. Laszlo’s Akashic field model could serve several purposes, among them serving as a bridge between transpersonal psychology and parapsychology, widening a dialog that is too often muted by suspicion and misunderstanding on both sides.

Marilyn Schlitz
Institute of Noetic Sciences

One of the important ways in which psi research has made a practical contribution is in the realm of healing research. Our methods and our approaches have been useful as evidence-based medicine has been directed toward studies of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). The work involving direct mental intention between living systems (DMILS), for example, represents a significant body of data that lends support for some of the claims made by CAM practitioners (ie., consciousness is causal; intention may create changes in the physical world; intuition and direct knowing are useful in the diagnosis of others). But as we think of our application to healing, we may also consider the implications of our studies for broader transpersonal issues. How do the data from psi research inform our understanding of the ontologies and epistemologies of different belief systems and world views? How do our findings help inform an expanded view of consciousness and the nature of human capacities? To what extent are we bridge-builders between science and the world’s wisdom and spiritual traditions? How do our explorations address deep existential issues of identity, death, and the possible survival of consciousness? These are the questions I will consider in my contribution to the panel, drawing on my own research on healing from both the laboratory and clinical perspective as well as in the context of my studies of cross-cultural healing practices.

Charles T. Tart
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology&  University of California at Davis

Parapsychology, literally “alongside psychology,” has adopted the methods of psychology and the physical sciences generally in almost all of its studies. These include assumptions, usually implicit and therefore hard to question, that experimental outcomes are determined by the will of the rational experimenter interacting with the nature of the psychological and physical world, and so if these factors are understood well enough, experimental outcomes will be predictable and controllable. While early psychical research was interested in “spirits,” as part of the survival problem, and partly accepted the idea that the intentions of such spirits might be an important determinant of experimental outcome, this idea is largely denied, indeed perhaps repressed, in modern parapsychological research, for perhaps largely political reasons about gaining acceptance in the general scientific community rather than for logical reasons. This paper will begin some exploration of questions about who the experimenter really is in our experiments and how openness to the idea of “spirit co-experimenters” could be put on a more objective footing, rather than a subjective one. Issues of experimenter bias and the centrality of the experimenter in psi experiments will be raised. Transpersonal psychology is relevant for it studies experiences of people who have “contact” with areas of life that ostensibly go beyond the material and personal, and so may provide a broader perspective for parapsychological work.


[if you are an author and your paper is missing from this collection, please send a copy of its abstract to]



Back one page         Back to top of page


Educational Opportunities in Parapsychology (new)     |     PA Breaking News (new)

Become a PA Member

International Liaisons

Sitemap Contact the PA

| HOME |       | ABOUT |       | RESOURCES |       | ONLINE |       | ARCHIVE |       | SEARCH |

Copyright © 1997-2009 The Parapsychological Association
All rights reserved
Website design and hosting by
Innovative Software Design