Mediumship study published

Electrocortical activity associated with subjective communication with the deceased

Arnaud Delorme (1,2), Julie Beischel (3), Leena Michel (1), Mark Boccuzzi (3), Dean Radin (1) and Paul J. Mills (4)

  • 1 Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CA, USA
  • Institute of Neural Computation, SCCN, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • Windbridge Institute, Tucson, AZ, USA
  • Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

  • During advanced meditative practices, unusual perceptions can arise including the sense of receiving information about unknown people who are deceased. As with meditation, this mental state of communication with the deceased involves calming mental chatter and becoming receptive to subtle feelings and sensations. Psychometric and brain electrophysiology data were collected from six individuals who had previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions. Each experimental participant performed two tasks with eyes closed. 

    In the first task, the participant was given only the first name of a deceased person and asked 25 questions. After each question, the participant was asked to silently perceive information relevant to the question for 20 s and then respond verbally. Responses were transcribed and then scored for accuracy by individuals who knew the deceased persons. Of the four mediums whose accuracy could be evaluated, three scored significantly above chance (p < 0.03). The correlation between accuracy and brain activity during the 20 s of silent mediumship communication was significant in frontal theta for one participant (p < 0.01). 

    In the second task, participants were asked to experience four mental states for 1 min each: (1) thinking about a known living person, (2) listening to a biography, (3) thinking about an imaginary person, and (4) interacting mentally with a known deceased person. Each mental state was repeated three times. Statistically significant differences at p < 0.01 after correction for multiple comparisons in electrocortical activity among the four conditions were obtained in all six participants, primarily in the gamma band (which might be due to muscular activity). 

    These differences suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination.


    Unknown said…
    Dr Radin Typed: "During advanced meditative practices, unusual perceptions can arise including the sense of receiving information about unknown people who are deceased."

    COMMENTS: Communicating with the dead is possible only in the first 40 days after death since after this period the disembodied energies of the deceased person begin separating into individual aspects which then vibrate at frequencies other than those of the gross physical plane and so get scattered and remain out of reach.

    Within the first 40 days, when the disembodied energies of the person are intact and within the terrestrial dimensions, contact can be established using certain invocations, oijua board or planchette but the results are dubious in most cases since subconscious memories of the medium play a major role in the process - the subconscient becomes active and sends into the surface consciousness images, words, sensations and impulses which the untutored mind of the medium mistakes as messages from the dead and besides there exist several mischievous entities in the disembodied state in the surrounding environment, who, on seeing an unprotected novice dabbling in the occult, impersonate the deceased who is sought to be contacted and deceive the medium and at times take possession of his energy-fields where more damage is executed in the medium's life. Most mediums, perhaps 99.99 % mediums, are of this inferior type.

    Use of LSD, alcohol, ganja and other mind altering substances also open up the user's consciousness invariably in the lower dimensions where the subconscious meets the lower vital consciousness-force and here the spaced out person begins seeing weird forms and hears strange voices and is often manipulated in this state and comes back into the waking consciousness an unbalanced person on account of this unsettling experience and the continuing influence that it exercises on his consciousness. Medication simply desensitizes the neurons and nerve endings so that the affected person loses touch with these adverse influences that then sink into his subconscious and often trouble him from there by shaking up his surface faculties.

    Mediums, substance abusers and the mentally ill are in most cases influenced by these disordered energy formations that they encounter in altered mind states.

    Brain scans and EEG analyses reveal nothing about the actual play of the energies and their effects going on in the subject's conscious-energy fields.

    Psychiatrists and psi researchers who're clueless about the supra-physical phenomena and the concomitant dangers usually get "possessed" or mentally ill themselves in varying degrees by dealing with affected persons who could be patients or mediums or participants in mind-matter experiments.

    After death, the discarnate conscious-energy field of the deceased unfolds and scatters each of its planes - emotional, mental, psychic - into the various universal dimensions. At times, some portion of these discarnate energies get attracted to human beings, animals or trees in keeping with the law of affinity. The cumulative impressions of a person's earthly karma are recorded in the individual's core conscious-energy field and remain there in involved form until the causal mechanism of that state compels it to seek re-incarnation - most things in nature get recycled in lesser or greater degree.

    The conscious-energy field that has attained to a state of stato-dynamic equilibrium does not get recycled and remains poised in its state of equanimity.

    The advanced meditative state stands high above cheap sensational phenomena like contacting the dead and in deep meditative states the experiences include the one-in-all and the all-in-one state, the cosmic vastness, the cosmic peace, glimpses of the higher transcendental states, the feeling of immortality, perception of the root mechanism of the causal plane above mind, vital and matter and insights into the planes that exceed the mind plane and so on.

    MickyD said…
    Superb study Dean, and well done to you and your colleagues in getting it published in Frontiers. I have three questions: for the accuracy data set, did you correct for multiple analyses and what was the overall effect across the four mediums? Also, at the recent Sages and Scientists symposium with Arno Delorme, you allude to another mediumship study in which they had to intuit if a photographed person was dead or alive. Can you give any more info on this and if it will be published? Best, Michael.
    Dean Radin said…
    Joel, I appreciate your interest, but your comments are exceedingly close to disparaging and that is not welcome.
    Dean Radin said…
    The other mediumship-style study can be found at This is a beta version. A formal test is still in preparation.

    Arno was the primary mover on the Frontiers article, with significant help from our friends at the Windbridge Institute.

    The accuracy ratings were performed for each medium separately. Adjusting p values across mediums to look at a group effect reduces the significance accordingly. But for accuracy we were interested in assessing each individual, and not the group.
    Unknown said…
    Respected Dr Radin,

    PART 1

    I'm sorry if certain statements in my post have upset you. I thought you were open to being questioned. A seeker of truth welcomes all kinds of comments. Why didn't you protest when I pointed out the major error that most people make in considering consciousness an agency of dynamism when it cannot be so since consciousness or awareness lacks matter/energy and so it can neither exist by itself nor can it function independently since to function it would need energy to do work? This implies that consciousness is simply the intelligent/perceptive principle in energy/matter thus making energy/matter conscious.

    When you use terms like "advanced meditative states" and link that up with contacting the dead with all its dangers and the manner in which most mediums get fooled as stated in my original post and then try to highlight brain scanning/EEG techniques that superficially indicate which part of the brain is activated or which waves are set up during the meditative state then obviously the inferences are either dubious or questionable.

    If the subtle experience takes place within the brain energy field then a brain scan/EEG can superficially pinpoint which part of the brain gets activated or which form of brain wave is generated. However, when the conscious- energy field lifts outside the brain and stations itself above the head from where it establishes causal contact with the higher frequencies with minimal connection with the brain-body system then what can these brain scans and EEG recordings tell us? Nothing, except perhaps a small perturbation would be recorded which corresponds more to the energy trapped in the brain so that neurons don't die while the center of perceptive action has shifted above the head. BTW, meditation is not about feeling relaxed or losing one's self in an expanding mental fog as most "advanced meditators" claim - that is not meditation but a kind of self-hypnosis. One can feel relaxed even when one is content in a relationship or after having great sex or when one eats one's favorite food.

    Meditation ceases once trance commences....(there exist 200 odd trance states) leading to samadhi or stasis of varying intensities.

    Unknown said…
    PART 2:

    If the Higher Consciousness-Force is activated by deep aspiration or by meditation on the root meaning of the mantra with the concentration fixed at a certain point of the nervous system that corresponds to a specific state of vibration of the energy field then the field reverses and begins ascending until it attains to the frequency of vibration generated by the mantra and besides at a later stage once the higher plane of the field of energy attained to dynamically descends into the lower planes then the actual process of transformation occurs with all its concomitant objective manifestations of intense heat radiated from the body, light emanating from the body, opening up of the optic and olfactory nerves, genetic corrections, forging superior synaptic connections, cleaning out the subconscious of perversions and fears, atrophy of certain body parts that're cumbersome and stand in the way of the new changes sought to be introduced in the brain-body, anti-ageing, dilation of pupils, unbearable pain in the body as the higher frequencies of the energy field begin vibrating in the cells and nerves that're not accustomed to such great intensities, horripilation and so on. However, there take place many "attacks" from the hostile agencies prior to or in the aftermath of the experience especially in the descending form of the yoga and so great dangers exist that can maim, mentally unbalance or kill the yogi.....

    Those yogis (like say Moshe, Jesus, Buddha) who experience the ascent of the consciousness into any of the higher frequencies depending on the capacity of the activated mantra at their disposal do not manifest these typical symptoms associated with the dynamic descent into the body of the higher frequencies of the energy field and so with them everything is seen or experienced in a trance or from a height and besides there takes place no radical transformation of their lower faculties including the body that remain largely unregenerate as before but at the same time I must add that the ascending form of yoga confers certain feeble experiences like visions, opens up powers of a range of conscious-energy known in yogic parlance as the prana (the vital) and induces a certain degree of prescience that after a time usually goes wrong with the intervention of other forces into the causation which is why the vast majority of prophecies fail.

    The complete yoga includes both ascent and descent.
    Unknown said…

    I have to agree with Dean about the disparaging nature of your comments. Your posts on this blog contain several bold, elitist assertions that are entirely baseless and unjustified. For example, in one instance you state:

    "Your face, talk, movements and if I may add your energy field shows such 'contamination' coming from these 'possessed' subjects." This is quite a deprecating thing to say.

    What justification do you have for asserting that these subjects - with whom you've never had any contact, and know absolutely nothing about at neither a personal nor general level - are "contaminated" and/or "possessed"? What's discernible from these behaviors that enables you to peg someone as "contaminated", and how would you distinguish an individual who is from one who isn't on that basis? What do these terms even mean the sense you are using them? Please present any shred of evidence or line of reasoning to support these statements (or for that matter any one of the other myriad ontological claims you've made), lest they remain as they are: pseudoscientific dogma.
    Dean Radin said…
    Joel, this is not about being open to questions. It's about your implication that the work that I do, or that of my colleagues, is naive or dangerous in some way. I've just published a book about yoga and psi, and based on the homework I did for that book, and my own meditative practice, I believe I have an informed idea about what I'm doing.

    My focus is what is scientifically verifiable. I'm interested in hearing about personal experiences, but ultimately I only trust assertions that can be rigorously tested.
    MickyD said…
    Thanks. I should have asked about the electrocortical data. You found a strong relationship for one medium with accuracy, what was the overall finding between these two measures across the four mediums and would the individual or collective effects survive multiple corrections? Ps, I find Joel's comments beyond bizarre and unwarranted.
    Dean Radin said…
    The EEG accuracy findings in that one medium were not confirmed in the others, so this one case does not imply a generalized result. However, the significant results within that one medium were, of course, adjusted for multiple comparisons.
    Unknown said…
    JOHN FLYNNE: "I have to agree with Dean about the disparaging nature of your comments."

    JOEL: Are you Dr Radin Radin's pet spokesman that you're rushing to his defense? Had I been in Dr Radin's place and had my work been in mind-matter studies and had I been into meditation (as he claims), I would have welcomed any kind of statement - polite or impolite.

    A certain level of maturity and equanimity is called for.

    Every experience - good, bad, mixed or neutral - should serve as a learning experience without egoism or megalomania coming into the picture.

    And, as for you, John, based on a superficial understanding of any issue, don't rush to take sides.

    It's callow and biased.

    JOHN FLYNNE: "Your posts on this blog contain several bold, elitist assertions that are entirely baseless and unjustified."

    JOEL: Yes, the very nature of the supraphysical ranges/subtle phenomena put the subject beyond the scope of crass materialistic methods of scientific investigation though of course at times there occur physical manifestations of the same....

    JOHN FLYNNE: For instance, "Your face, talk, movements and if I may add your energy field shows such 'contamination' coming from these 'possessed' subjects. This is quite a deprecating thing to say."

    JOEL: I have spoken the truth based on my yogic perceptions of Dr Radin's persona and force fields.

    Is Dr Radin a yogi?

    Obviously, not.

    Reading books on spirituality, knowing mathematical equations, learning to operate lab equipment, measuring electrical outputs of brainwaves and getting patted on the back by peers does not make one a yogi.

    How many supersenuous experiences has Dr Radin had till date?

    Obviously, none.

    As for the culture of "pop meditation" that billions resort to, well, all I can say is that it is not yoga and cannot open one's force fields to the supraphysical ranges of consciousness.

    Yoga in its experiential form is very different when compared to its popular understanding.

    The fact that Dr Radin's working in such a sensitive field of research like mind-matter (albeit employing superficial material methods of evaluation that reveal almost nothing expect vague results that're open to interpretation) brings him on a regular basis into direct contact with very many "psychic" persons, who, in a vast majority of cases, have disordered energies vibrating in them.

    Most psychiatrists and most psi researchers who deal with such "possessed" persons get "affected" themselves by transfer of the disordered energies and as such nearly all of the professionals affected in this interactive manner, being non-yogis and highly desensitized to the finer sensations, are not even aware of the "adverse influence" until the symptoms begin overtly manifesting and then too they tend to equate the depression, failed relationships, blocks in work, ill-health, mental or emotional uneasiness, obsessions, excess exhaustion, premature deaths, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, excess sensuality (sexual promiscuity), tremors of nerves, exaggeration of personality flaws and other such negative symptoms as being due to germs, lack of emotional control, weather changes, natural ups and downs as part of life or the like, while the yogi simply sits back and "sees" the disordered energies at work in the person's force fields and knows the root cause...

    I like Dr Radin and so I gave out the warning with the best of intentions but well it's been badly received and this is the reason why I usually never warn a person in these matters even when I perceive what is going on in his/her circumconscient (aura), subliminal, surface consciousness and subconscient. I just keep silent knowing my warnings or hints will be badly received and expectedly sooner or later misfortune strikes the affected person.


    Dean Radin said…
    Seriously? The above note is the last I will allow from Joel given the negativity and bizarre content of his comments.
    Gatekeeper said…
    Just to say if communication with the decease was possible, how can you actual confirm who you are talking to?
    Dean Radin said…
    > Gatekeeper ...

    You cannot be sure.
    A fascinating study, Dean.

    On a related but slightly-off topic-note, did you see this article on the Scientific American site about the NDE of Eben Alexander? It's written by Michael Shermer, so you can guess the line of argument before reading. What fascinates me is the circularity of the reasoning, and the examined presuppositions which underpin the arguments. e.g. Shermer asked Alexander the following question: "I asked him how, if his brain was really nonfunctional, he could have any memory of these experiences, given that memories are a product of neural activity?"
    Dean Radin said…
    > given that memories are a product of neural activity ...

    That should have been "unexamined presuppositions", of course. :-(
    Klaus said…
    Leaving Joel's style of discussion aside, he has a point: You must consider the ethical aspects of communicating with discarnate beings.
    Anonymous said…
    >You must consider the ethical aspects of communicating with discarnate beings.

    I submit that the ethics have been considered at length by the ancients.


    The very mechanics are desirous of fame after
    death. Why did Phidias include a likeness of himself in the shield of
    Minerva, when he was not allowed to inscribe his name on it? What do
    our philosophers think on the subject? Do not they put their names to
    those very books which they write on the contempt of glory? If, then,
    universal consent is the voice of nature, and if it is the general
    opinion everywhere that those who have quitted this life are still
    interested in something, we also must subscribe to that opinion. And if
    we think that men of the greatest abilities and virtues see most
    clearly into the power of nature, because they themselves are her most
    perfect work, it is very probable that, as every great man is
    especially anxious to benefit posterity, there is something of which he
    himself will be sensible after death.
    MickyD said…
    Dean, on a different tack, I wondered if you would be so kind as to share the results of the latest Burning Man RNG expt? The previous one revealed interesting data. Also, is there a recording of your recent ICLIF talk?
    Dean Radin said…
    > the ethical aspects of communicating with discarnate beings.

    Mediums invite communications. They don't (and as far as I can tell they can't) force it.
    Dean Radin said…
    I've finished the analysis of Burning Man 2013, but I haven't written it up formally yet. After I do that I can provide more details. In brief, this year we had 6 RNGs on the playa, based on 3 different sources of randomness. For the analysis we examined cross-correlations among the 6 data streams. We saw a very significant rise in the average cross-correlation that peaked within seconds of the beginning of the Burning Man ceremony.

    BTW the study this year was sponsored by NHK, the Japanese Public Broadcasting network. They will include the experiment in a special TV program focusing on psi research around the world. I'm told it will be shown in the form of two 90-minute program segments. I'm hoping that the programs will be picked up by other distributors, so an English version may become available.

    I haven't seen any of the iclif presentations posted yet. In fact I'm not sure they will be posted. But if they are I'll repost on this blog.
    Anonymous said…

    Mediums invite communications. They don't (and as far as I can tell they can't) force it.

    I believe there is some documented evidence that mediums can compel spirits who have chosen to enter them.

    I believe there was at least one spiritualist group - a husband-and-wife-team - who were capable of compelling spirits to experience unpleasant sensations, after the spirits had made the decision to enter the medium.

    They made the habit of "rescuing" deceased persons of low moral character. First the deceased miscreant - e.g. a heroin-addicted murderer - would enter the medium. Then the husband would read it some kind of Riot Act, giving the medium electric shocks if necessary, which the spirits perceived as pain. In most cases, the spirit agreed to mend its ways in the future.

    I'm sorry I don't have their names to hand - I can research this - they are well-documented.

    But I suppose very few mediums have reproduced those effects.

    As for other ethical concerns - seances have been going on in the modern world since the Fox sisters. If there were ethical problems, I think Crookes and Kardec and Myers would have written something about the grave ethical challenges.

    There are some trivial ethical concerns that barely warrant mention - for example, the experimenter must observe some code of ethics to avoid improper relationships with assistants. But that's standard operating procedure - and that's a concern with living-to-living relationships, not living-to-discarnate relationships. Now, I believe that one Trevor H. Hall has unjustly slandered Crookes by claiming that Crookes had some kind of improper relationship with his medium, but I think Crookes is reliable and those who slander Crookes are not reliable.

    Maybe I'm not well-acquainted with the literature, but I really can't think of any serious ethical objections.
    Mike said…
    Dean, I just watched a documentary that had you in it and had to find a way to get in touch with you. When discussing the intertwining of each others realities, has it been considered that human consciousness itself is one entity. With each human having the ability to manipulate and create the world we live in. Thats why each individual action alters the big picture for everyone. Furthermore if the principle of every action has an equal and opposite reaction holds true, with each action we are constantly redefining reality across all facets of life. From how we shape the environment, to how our diets and ways of life shape out genetics. Everything is intertwined because the human conscious( un conditioned decision making) is what builds the reality.
    Dean Radin said…
    > has it been considered that human consciousness itself is one entity ...

    I believe that consciousness survives death and it is non-material, therefore it has no individual aspects vibrating at different frequencies and which separate and disappear. I think the ideas about "individual energies" are likely to be inadequate attempts to express things about the non-material in terms that can be communicated to other people, which are almost inevitably linked to our experience of the physical universe. I doubt that consciousness is susceptible to the same rules and laws which were put together into science, it being not like the physical objects and their movements that those rules and laws were formulated to address. I do, though, think that it is possible to use science and mathematics to rule out aspects of consciousness and experience being due to physical causality, I doubt that those can adequately define any aspect of consciousness that exceeds the limits of our address of the physical universe.

    If you ask me to prove that, I can't, it is a belief just as any talk about "disembodied energies" "vibrating at frequencies".

    I've had exactly two experiences in six decades in which I sensed what I could only call "ghosts" which I had a feeling were human and conscious, in places where I am absolutely no people may have died in the past century (on my family farm). I don't know what that was but they weren't like anything I've ever experienced before or after. Other than one time when one of my sisters and I had the same dream during the same night, distant from each other, on a theme that neither of us could account for during the previous month, they are the sum total of my experience with of these kinds of things.
    Obiwan said…
    I think dataquerent may be referring to the research of Carl Wickland. If so, my reading is that they didn't force the 'attached entity' (if such it was) to enter the medium (Mrs Wickland) but rather to detach itself from the person it was affecting.

    It sometimes subsequently communicated through Mrs Wickland.

    Unknown said…
    Warm wishes for a Happy New Year 2014 to Dr Dean Radin and family and co-workers at IONS.
    Anonymous said…
    Many thanks to Obiwan. It was indeed Carl Wickland, and a large PDF of the relevant research is available online at:

    For example, Page 16 reads :

    The transference of the mental aberration or psychosis from a patient to the psychic
    intermediary, Mrs. Wickland, is facilitated by the use of static electricity, which is
    applied to the patient, frequently in the presence of the psychic. Although this electricity
    is harmless to the patient it is exceedingly effective, for the obsessing spirit cannot long
    resist such electrical treatment and is dislodged.
    Induced by our invisible helpers the spirit may then entrance the psychic, when it
    becomes possible to come into direct contact with the entity, and an endeavor is made to
    bring him to a realization of his true condition and of his higher possibilities. He is then
    removed and cared for by the advanced spirits and Mrs. Wickland again returns to her
    normal self.
    In many cases remarkable evidence that discarnate entities were the offending cause of
    aberration has been obtained by a system of experimental concentration in a psychic
    circle. Obsessing spirits have been dislodged from victims frequently residing at a
    distance, conveyed to the circle by the co-operating intelligences and allowed to control
    the psychic. Such spirits often complain of having been driven away, yet are ignorant of
    being spirits, or of having controlled or influenced anyone.
    Unknown said…
    Hello,Dr Dean , I heard that a Chinese publisher is translating your book:Entangled minds , is this true ? when will it finish? Which publisher? Which translator?

    Thank you in advance!
    Dean Radin said…
    Yes, I've heard this too. But I don't know any of these details. It seems that authors are usually the last to know. A few years ago I discovered that one of my books had been translated into Turkish, and no one had bothered to tell me!
    Unknown said…
    dear radin, do you think psi can be explained for electromagnetic fields? and why you think that?
    Dean Radin said…
    Psi does not appear to be mediated by electromagnetism. Besides experimental tests that have specifically looked for such an effect (and not finding it), transtemporal phenomena like precognition cannot be explained by EM.

    That said, I think it's likely that today's theoretical understanding of EM is incomplete, so perhaps in the future a more comprehensive understanding will be relevant. But given today's models, it is insufficient to explain psi.

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