Saturday, August 01, 2009

Combat intuition

Here's an interesting article in the New York Times, entitled "In Battle, Hunches Prove to Be Valuable." The theme is how the neurosciences are beginning to take soldiers' intuitions seriously, and for very pragmatic reasons: "Everyone has hunches — about friends’ motives, about the stock market, about when to fold a hand of poker and when to hold it. But United States troops are now at the center of a large effort to understand how it is that in a life-or-death situation, some people’s brains can sense danger and act on it well before others’ do."

Learning why some soldiers survive in combat better than others is a growing priority in the Department of Defense, and so research funds are beginning to flow.

The cited article reads like an introduction to research I've been engaged in for about 15 years. Except for one difference. Conventional paradigms assume that these intuitions are entirely due to subconscious processing, forgotten knowledge, implicit learning, etc. These are the usual information-processing explanations for intuition, and some of those explanations are undoubtedly valid.

I've been looking at a more radical possibility -- that some of the truly astounding intuitions reflect our mind's ability to transcend everyday temporal boundaries, and to perceive future events directly.
I call this ability "presentiment," an unconscious, physiological reaction to events that are about to unfold. Specifically, in lab studies I am interested in events that cannot be inferred, outguessed, or anticipated, and where there are no sensory cues to provide hints about the future. The physiological measures I and my colleagues have used include skin conductance, peripheral blood flow, heart rate, EEG, and -- as illustrated in the photo above -- eye movement, blinking, and pupillary dilation.

This line of experiments has been successfully replicated by a growing number of independent investigators, and of the 20 or so studies I'm aware of, nearly all have shown effects in the predicted direction. About half of those studies report statistically significant outcomes.

The most common critique of these studies is that a form of the gambler's fallacy might explain the results that we see. This is because these studies involve sequences of repeated trials, some randomly containing calm or control trials, and some containing emotional or stimulus trials. After a few calm trials in a row, most people will start to worry that an emotional trial might appear next, and this rising anxiety might be mimicking, or as the critique suggests, might be what I've called presentiment. My colleagues and I are of course aware of this possibility, so we have looked for evidence of this sort of rising anxiety in the physiological data. So far, none of us have found any indication that such an explanation is viable, so the "presentiment effect" still stands.

My current work is focusing on understanding presentiment in the brain. We're studying how patterns of electrical brain activity are influenced by different types of future events, and how different forms of attention training modulate presentiment effects.


Sandy said...

When I was in the military it was not unusual to see people make spooky connections. I was really good at it, and the military is an environment that rewards that sort of thing. No one ever called it being psychic. You were lucky. I used to work for this Sgt that I had a very spooky connection to. I could guess where he was by closing my eyes and randomly punching four numbers on the telephone (all the extensions on base were four digit numbers). If he didn’t answer the phone himself, he was usually within sight of whoever answered. I still have no idea how I could do that, but I was often rewarded with beer by the Base CWO when he wanted me to demonstrate this skill.

Elias said...

I often experience a kind of "trivial" precognition. With "trivial" I mean that there is nothing dramatic about the events, and the time-scale involves seconds, not hours, days or weeks.
An example:
I'm lying in bed with my sleeping son beside me. I'm somewhere between sleeping and awake and not dreaming. Suddenly I get a feeling of "watch the child, he needs help!". And one or two seconds *after* that feeling, my son starts to cry from a bad dream.
Another example:
I'm lying on a couch relaxing while my wife and a friend of her conversates. They stop talking for a minute. Suddenly my mind is filled with "the answer to the question has to be YES". One or two seconds *after* this feeling, my wife's friend asks my wife some (trivial, non-dramatic) question and my wife answers "Yes".
If this kind of precognition is possible it surely should not be uncommon that soldiers save their lives in this way.

dagezhu said...

I seem to recall that Project Stargate recruited some of these "lucky soldiers" as remote viewing test subjects.

David Bailey said...


Do you ever wonder if the emotional impact of still pictures in a sequence is not enough to elicit a really strong presentiment effect?

Imagine a computer shoot-em-up type game, in which certain events (enemy pops up and shoots) would be determined by pure chance, and imagine if the player were wearing your skin conductance sensor.

The excitement and 'relevance' of the whole process (and the fact that some people will play such games for hours without boredom, fueled only be coffee and piza) might make for some really exciting data.

Dave Smith said...

Hi Dean,

I recently watched your "Gazing at the Mind's Eye" presentation on the SSE website. It was an interesting and excellent talk.

I particularly liked the experiment where you looked at eye movements before viewing the IAPS images. I have a question on the results of this experiment.

You observed that the eyes tended to move to the left just before viewing emotional pictures. Perhaps this could have been caused by a precognitive response to the visual content of the emotional pictures rather than their emotionality per se? I mean, perhaps the left hand portion of the emotional pictures were, on average, more interesting? I guess you could test this by reversing the pictures along their horizontal axis and see if the precognitive eye movements are also reversed?

Aaron said...

Dr. Radin,

I work with ultrasound and pregnancy and about 3-4 times per day on average I inform people of the gender of their child (probably over 90% of them want to know before birth). My colleagues are fond of saying that there is a big correlation between what the mother "feels" she will have and what it is. And of course the mothers very often say, "I knew it, I just had a feeling". After doing thousands of these I am not convinced there is a correlation, but I have never tallied it and I am open minded. So I've decided to keep track for fun and interest.

I will ask them if they had to choose what they *think* they were having what would it be, boy or girl? A tiny percentage of people will just say "I really don't have any idea" and those will not be included.

I am wondering if a formal experiment of this has ever been done. If there is a close "entanglement" somewhere maybe it would be found between a mother and her unborn child. In addition there is this very common belief among those I work with that the mother knows more often than not.

Dean Radin said...

> a computer shoot-em-up type game ...

The problem with dynamic targets, such as video games, is that the ordinary play of the game pushes physiology all over the place. And that makes it difficult to detect the rather small physiological increases associated with presentiment effects.

Dean Radin said...

> a precognitive response to the visual content of the emotional pictures rather than their emotionality per se?

That is possible. I haven't analyzed whether there may be a spatial bias in the emotional targets.

David Bailey said...

My reasoning was that if presentiment is providing actual consciously usable information to troops in combat - as the article might suggest - then maybe the presentiment effect would be equally big in combat games - where people get very emotionally involved.

Maybe you would not even need the skin conductance - maybe some players would be able to anticipate the random number generator by their actions in a statistically significant way.

MrEvidential said...

Dr. Radin, there are fourteen presentiment papers referenced in this public parapsychology blog entry(, what are the others?

Thank you

Dean Radin said...

> what are the others?

That page doesn't list several studies published by Patrizio Tressoldi, student presentiment projects conducted at the U of Edinburgh, a study I have in press, and a study by May et al that hasn't been published yet.

skiba said...

I've done some small experiments of my own with online shoot-em-up games and the Psyleron REG. Got some interesting result while trying it a few months back. Basically every time I got in to the "zone" and forgot that I was even doing an experiment, I got some nice big spikes on the graph.

Ofcourse havent done any formal analysis on it, just the laymans version. After a 10-20min game I did a prediction based on how the game turned out for me and how it felt during and then checked the data. If there was a nice flow to the game a big uptrend was to be expected.

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Enfant Terrible said...

That page doesn't list several studies published by Patrizio Tressoldi, student presentiment projects conducted at the U of Edinburgh, a study I have in press, and a study by May et al that hasn't been published yet.

Why Daryl Bem's articles are not in the list?

a) Bem, D. J. (2003). Precognitive Habituation.

b)Bem, D. J. (2005). Precognitive Aversion

Dean Radin said...

> Why Daryl Bem's articles are not in the list?

I think it's useful to distinguish between presentiment, implicit precognition, and explicit precognition.

The first is an unconscious physiological response to a future target. That's what I've been working on. I like it because the method doesn't ask the subject "be psychic," and because physiological measures are excellent indicators of unconscious processing.

The second involves implicit influence of conscious choices by a future target. That's Daryl's method (which has been independently replicated by several people now).

The third involves conscious choice of a future target. This is similar to the second type, except it is usually cast in terms of explicitly selecting a future target. There are dozens of published studies that could fit into this category.

All three are forms of precognition.

Enfant Terrible said...

Thank you for your answer, Dean. Highly instrutive. Let me ask you one more thing, is there any replication by skeptics in each one of these 3 types of experiments? I know that there are positive replications by skeptics at least in type 2 (implicit precognition), by Kenneth Savitsky ( and Louie Savva & Smith( But are there more?

Best wishes.

Dean Radin said...

> positive replications by skeptics ...

The skeptic-proponent split is a false distinction. E.g., both Dick Bierman and Ed May were very skeptical of presentiment effects before they saw it in their own data. Once they found positive results, are they no longer skeptics?

I was, and remain, skeptical about all psi effects, and very skeptical about most things called paranormal. Yet some regard me as a true believer because I am persuaded by the evidence that some psi effects are real.

Hardcore skeptics (meaning those who hold positions based on ideology) hardly ever put their beliefs to the test. Genuine skeptics do.

Enfant Terrible said...

Thanks again for your (good) answer, Dean. By the way, I just found one article with negative results:

Precognitive Habituation: An attempt to replicate previous results.

Hadlaczky Gergö, Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

This study was an attempt to replicate the positive results of a precognitive habituation (PH) experiment devised by Bem (2003). The procedure is based on the subliminal mere exposure (SME) design. In an SME procedure subjects are exposed to image-pairs in a preference task, after being exposed to one of those images (the target) subliminally. The target is preferred significantly more often due to the mere exposure effect. In the PH procedure the preference task precedes the exposure and images are of negative and erotic valence. It was hypothesized that due to exposure (in the future), subject preference will increase for negative and decrease for the erotic target images, especially for subjects classified erotically or negatively reactive (Bem, 2003). Also, that an overall (negative and erotic) effect would be shown. The results were not significantly above chance expectation for any of the hypotheses (50.0%; 47.2%, p = .149; 50.8%, p = .279).

Unfortunely, nothing is perfect. I will try to contact Bem to know if there is any explanation for this failure (I don't have access to the article).

Best wishes.

Dean Radin said...

> if there is any explanation for this failure ...

This is why replications are conducted. Human performance is highly variable.

Enfant Terrible said...

Hi, Dean

I found that the article with negative results is online here:

I did a list with the all the experiments that I could find, by date and type. I think it will be useful.

Type I: presentiment

01. CNV as an index of precognitive information. (1978)European Journal of Parapsychology 2:83-103, 1978. Hartwell , J. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

02. Anomalous anticipatory response on randomized future conditions. (1997). Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84, 689-690, 1997. Bierman, D. J., & Radin, D. I. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

03. Unconscious perception of future emotions: An experiment in presentiment. (1997). Journal of Scientific Exploration 11(2), Summer. pp. 163 – 180. Radin, D. I. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

04. Conscious and anomalous nonconscious emotional processes: A reversal of the arrow of time? (1999). In S. R. Hameroff, A. W. Kazniak, & D. J. Chalmers (Eds.) Toward a Science of Consciousness III: The Third TUCSON Discussions and Debates (pp. 367 – 385). Bierman, D. J., & Radin, D. I. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

05. Anomalous anticipatory brain activation preceding exposure of emotional and neutral pictures. (2002) Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 45th Annual Convention (pp. 25 – 36). Bierman, D. J., & Scholte, H. S. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

06. A fMRI brain imaging study of presentiment (2002) Journal of International Society of Life Information Science, 20 (2), 380-388. Bierman, D.J., & Scholte, H.S. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

07. Skin conductance prestimulus response: Analyses, artifacts, and a pilot study (2003). Journal of Scientific Exploration 17(4), Winter. pp. 617 – 641. Spottiswoode, S. J. P., & May, E. C. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

08. Electrodermal Presentiments of Future Emotions (2004) Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 253–273, 2004

09. Exploring the Reliability of the “Presentiment” Effect (2004)The Parapsychological Association Convention 2004, Proceedings of Presented Papers, pp. 15-26 Richard S. Broughton (NEGATIVE RESULTS)

10. Physiological Correlates of ESP: Heart Rate Differences Between Targets and Non Targets in Clairvoyance and Precognition Forced Choice Tasks (2004)The Parapsychological Association Convention 2004, Proceedings of Presented Papers, pp. 407-412 Luisa Sartori, Stefano Massaccesi, Massimiliano Martinelli & Patrizio E. Tressoldi (POSITIVE RESULTS)

Enfant Terrible said...

11. Electrophysiological evidence of intuition: Part 1. The surprising role of the heart. (2004a) Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10(1), February. pp. 133 – 143. Rollin McCraty, Mike Atkinson, Raymond Trevor Bradley. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

12. Electrophysiological evidence of intuition: Part 2. A system-wide process? (2004b) Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10(2), April. pp. 325 – 336. McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., & Bradley, R. T. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

13. Anomalous anticipatory skin conductance response to acoustic stimuli: Experimental results and speculation about a mechanism. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 11(4), 2005, pp. 695 – 702. May, E. C., Paulinyi, T., & Vassy, Z. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

14. Anomalous slow cortical components in a slot-machine task. (2006). Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 49th Annual Convention (pp. 5 – 19). Bierman, D. J., & van Ditzhuijzen, J. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

15. The slide-show presentiment effect discovered in brain electrical activity (2006)Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 49th Annual Convention (pp. 57 – 70). Hinterberger, T., Studer, P., Jäger, M., Haverty-Stacke, C., & Walach, H. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

16. Toward understanding the placebo effect: Investigating a possible retrocausal factor (2007) Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 13(7), September. pp. 733 – 739. Radin, D., & Lobach, E. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

17. Intuition Through Time: What Does the Seer See? Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 200-211, July 2009, Dean Radin; Ana Borges. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

Total: 16 positive, 1 negative.

Type II: implicit precognition

1) Precognitive habituation: replicable evidence for a process of anomalous cognition. Proceedings of Presented Papers. From the Forty-sixth Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, 2003 (pp. 6-20), Vancouver, Canada. Daryl Bem. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

2) Idem, by Kenneth Savitsky (skeptic). (POSITIVE RESULTS)

3)The Precognitive Habituation Effect: an Adaptation Using Spider Stimuli (2004) The Parapsychological Association Convention 2004, pp. 223-229 Savva, Child & Smith (skeptics) (POSITIVE RESULTS)

4)Precognitive aversion (2005)Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 47th Annual Convention, 2005 (pp. 31-35). Daryl Bem. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

5) Precognitive Habituation: An attempt to replicate previous results. (2006) University essay from Stockholms universitet/Psykologiska institutionen. Gergö Hadlaczky (NEGATIVE RESULTS)

Total: 4 positive, 1 negative.

Type III: explicit precognition.

1) A precognitive dream study with a single subject. (1971).Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 192-203. KRIPPNER, S., ULLMAN, M., & HONORTON, C. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

2) Automated forced-choice precognition tests with a “sensitive.” (1971) Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 476-481. HONORTON, C. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

3) A second precognitive dream study with Malcolm Bessent.(1972). Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 269-279. KRIPPNER, S., HONORTON, C, & ULLMAN, M. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

4)Precognition and real-time ESP performance in a computer task with an exceptional subject. (1987)Journal of Parapsychology, 51, 291-320. Charles Honorton. (POSITIVE RESULTS)

5) Precognition and real-time ESP performance in a computer task with an exceptional subject: a replication attempt The Journal of Parapsychology, 54, June 1990. Bruce E. McDonough, Charles A. Warren, Norman S. Don (NEGATIVE RESULTS)

Total: 4 positive, 1 negative.

I don't know how much are missing in the list.

Best wishes.

Dean Radin said...

Enfant -- great list. Thanks. A few student projects are missing, but those haven't been published. An argument can be made that early studies by Vassy should be included as well (those were positive too).

I don't know what the filedrawer size is for the Type I and II studies, but I suspect it is very small, if any.

Enfant Terrible said...

Dean, it is in your plans to do some day a second edition of "Entagled Minds" revised and enlarged? I mean, since 2005 many things happened (replications with positive and negative results, critics to fmri, and others things), and I would like to see an "update" of your book, not necessarily by now, but maybe 2015?

Dave Smith said...


Perhaps this isn't the place to discuss theoretical issues in detail, but I was wondering to what extent presentiment and implicit precognition, as described, share a common mechanism?

For example, could the physiological changes observed in presentiment experiments be mediated by psi acting at the loci of cognitive processes, like an implicit influence on the expectation of the upcoming target?

Or do you prefer to think of presentiment effects as more of a direct link between physiology in the present and perception in the future?

violetismycolor said...

I know that I should always listen to my intuition and am always sorry when I do not. Most Important Time that I Did: I was at a stop light and thought "Someone is going to run the light." I waited at my red light, it turned green and I still waited. Suddenly, not one BUT two cars ran the red light. I would have been broadsided by two cars. Thank God that I listened to my intuition.

Last weekend, though, I left on a road trip and thought, "I should bring some coolant, just in case my coolant level gets too low." I had had that happen in the past, but I had had the leak in the lines fixed, so I ignored the thought. Of course, the "add coolant" warning came on when I was 5 hours from home. Should have listened to that little niggling voice!

Dean Radin said...

> I would like to see an "update" of your book, not necessarily by now, but maybe 2015?

I'm working on a book now that will be published in a year or two by an academic press. And I intend to write another popular press book that would be published around 2012 to 2014.

Dean Radin said...

> Or do you prefer to think of presentiment effects as more of a direct link between physiology in the present and perception in the future?

Good questions. I don't think we have enough data yet to make good guesses yet about theories, so for now I'm concentrating on developing more robust ways of detecting presentiment effects, and on providing training techniques to teach people how to become more sensitive to these effects.

Andy said...

Hi Dean.
I have had precognition experiences i can't explain.
Your comments on What the bleep brought me to this blog.

Many times i have had a moment when i've known what had happened or what was about to happen.
The events were not important, pretty trivial really...but one really threw me.

I was sitting at lunch and i zoned out of the conversation at the table. It was around Christmas time and we have a secret Santa company game where names are brought foward in a box and we have to pull one out and get that person a present.

Well as i sat there, all of a sudden i knew who i was going to get for Secret Santa, which bothered me because i hate the idea of fate. The feeling was very strong, a certainty.

So bothered was i about knowing i decided i would change the outcome and essentially spite fate.

So as the box with the names came around, when i put my hand up into it and selected a name i flicked it to one side and choose another. As i pulled the piece of paper out of the box and unrolled it, it was the name that i had intuitively known i was going to did my head in and i've been trying to solve that moment for the last ten or so years.

So i saw the future, tried to change it and my trying to change it....created it!!!??? drives me crazy just thinking about it.

In the past i've never tried to change what i've seen because i never really believed it was going to happen, which they did..but this time i was going to change it.

What do you think happened on a time scale there...because the events were not linear.

Benedict said...

You may know about this lady - Diane Sikorski was featured on a documentary about a battle in Vietnam. Her brother was a US soldier and died during the battle. The night he died she dreamt of him. A similar thing happened to me when my grandma was dying in hospital and similar things have been reported by friends.

A little detective work seems to indicate that her dream is close to the time of the battle.

I'm sure you (and others) are on to something Dean. Like you I err on the quantum explanation and a theory of consciousness will no doubt shed light on these mysteries. Keep researching and communicating with us. Great site, thanks...

Benedict said...

Sorry the correct email address for that link from my first message was

the second video down has the dream in

jesus said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Enfant Terrible said...

Mr. Radin, I think this is another skeptic replication with mix results (positive and negative).


Louie Savva, Chris A. Roe and Matthew D. Smith
This paper outlines two studies conducted to test further the precognitive habituation (PH) effect using spider stimuli, following the success of Savva, Child and Smith (2004). The PH effect was first developed by Bem (2003) out of 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 with (or exposed to) either of them. Bem had originally made use of violent and pornographic images as stimuli, but these were replaced with spider images in a successful conceptual replication by Savva et al. This paper reports on two further replications. In Study I fifty participants each completed 24 trials. Although there was a small but significant above-chance overall hit-rate (53% where MCE is 50%; p = 0.046), no PH effect was found. Study II incorporated a larger sample (N = 92), though testing took part in small groups rather than individually. Again no PH effect was found in the data, although post hoc analysis revealed a possible 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.

And look what Savva wrote about his studies and Parapsychology:

Reading his text, it seems to me that he is trying to hide his positive results. Do you feel the same way?

Enfant Terrible said...

Mr. Radin, I found an explanation of Savva himself about that text:

Savva answered after davidsmith73 wrote this:

One thing strikes me as odd about one of Savva's reasons for leaving parapsychology. He implies that his own experimental attempts at psi phenomena came with no success. But of the two papers of his he cites, the first gave suggestive positive results and the other actually replicated Bems original findings quite well considering that the N number was 50 compared to about 200 for Bems experiments.

Savva answered:

That's easily answered. I was a 'believer' but now I'm a sceptic. As a 'believer' it is quite normal to interpret your statistical results as being 'suggestive', when a sceptic would just say 'well heck, what a surprise, you found absolutely nothing'. It's a kind of positive spin.

What I realised was this was just wishful thinking and bad science. And then I realised that it would be pointless doing it my entire life. So I gave it up. Hope that clears it up!

That's very, very weird. And it's very interisting to read what he wrote after this.

Dean Radin said...

Some people become involved in psi research because they are "believers." Others avoid it because they are "skeptics." Identifying with such a black or white worldview may be comforting, but it is also ideologically constraining and can easily lead to intolerance on both sides of that seesaw.

Personally I strive towards a flexible balance between tolerance and genuine skepticism. Open to novel or strange ideas, and critical at the same time. This tension is not always easy to maintain, but I think for work on the scientific frontiers it is essential.

suzanne said...

Sometimes I can say that will happen later, either next day or in few days. But need more of my attention. Spooky, but funny. It makes you feel warm and cozy. You still can fail though, lets say if it is about your exam question ;) You need to study anyway -> So it is surely about the unconscious because I could never take it that serious.

Bill Beaty said...

> Personally I strive towards a flexible balance
> between tolerance and genuine skepticism.

Very few people seem to aim for that goal. Perhaps wisely they perceive that anyone who remains outside the two polarized herds will be attacked by both sides. Maybe this is yet another example of T. Gold's "delta-function-izing" force? Through repeated encounters, any newcomer to the controversies would be pushed more and more towards one of two polarized positions. To recognize that this is occurring and to fight against it would require constant effort.

Dean Radin said...

> To recognize that this is occurring and to fight against it would require constant effort.

Yes indeed. It is a constant effort, but one I believe is worthwhile. Collapsing into just one position is more comfortable, but it also creates blinders. I'm not interested in doing research with blinders on.

kaonyx said...

Bierman thinks that his results are somehow "extra-physical".

To my mind it is not OK to leak information from the future. That is the stuff of paradox. Or what happens when this information is intercepted by an experimenter before the subject has their experience? The experimenter could decide to swap the picture based on that information. Even worse, the experimenter might be standing on a trapdoor and a second order observer could decide to prevent the experimenter from compromising the result. Indeed we could have a world wide network of online voters who collectively would decide if the experimenter's intervention would be permitted. What would happen to the presponse then?

Worse yet, you cannot make ANYTHING happen to the presponse without that being an effect in itself. You have opened Pandora's box.

It all started with Libet. But his results are easily interpreted as a probability density function that can is set up by the expectations inheremt in the situation, and these can simply generate events that eventually make their way through to consciousness.

The situation is so hopeless, in that you cannot even make a pre-sponse or presentience etc. "disappear" without that of itself being a pre-sponsive effect! Maybe it is OK to get information from the future provided it is impossible to use it to change the future in such a way that the information would be different.

That means you have to give up pretending that there would be some marginal advantage in evolutionary terms for starters.

You tell me how to get information that you can't use and still call it information?

Quantum handwaving won't save the situation either. In fact ironically, it prevents these abuses. Let's suppose our information is encrypted in a way that will take a certain time to decrypt. Or it comes from so far away that the lightcone of relativity protects it. That would be a solution, except that quantum mechanics doesnt respect those kinds of time intervals either, and a quantum computer would crack your code or teleport your information. Nope, you are stuck!

It dosn't matter what quantum superpositions or mixed states or entanglements you want to invoke, eventually you have to end up with a CONSISTENT reality grounded in observation, from the perspective of all the observers.

Lest go down that path for a second - we can suggest that the brain is in both states at once, in a Schodinger cat-state. It is then represented by a sum over futures. The brain of the observer must also be in a similar messed up state, it is also living in a state of different futures.
This is starting to sound worse than Everett's branching futures, now we have to hold them all in our heads! The trouble is you have to select some kind of reality from all that which avoids paradox.

To keep it simple, let's allow the left hemisphere to select a state from the right, but alas due to the richness of all the physical possibilities in the experimental setup, it can only do that statistically, and repeated experiments randomize the result.

Sadly you are back to square one..

That's probably all that is happening here, its not a presponse, or presentience, its a probability density function, the brain is preparing itself, not pre-sponding.

So let's be rational. If that preparation is to be predictive, it must only be because this preparation is sensitive to existing knowledge, and is oonly as accurate as the existing knowledge is accurate. So it is FAR more likely that there is some sort of communication going on in the present than the future.

That makes it essential to SHIELD the brain from possible elctromagnetic influences in the PRESENT. AND also do the scans with two people at once, but only giving privileged data access to one of them.
Please run the experiments to test these rational objections and then let me know what happens.

Dean Radin said...

> That makes it essential to SHIELD the brain from possible elctromagnetic influences in the PRESENT....

The targets in these studies are selected by EM-shielded truly random number generators immediately prior to the stimulus, so the presentiment effect does not depend on any known present influences, including environmental effects.