Sunday, July 06, 2014

Frontiers of Consciousness meeting at the National Academy of Sciences

In March 2014, I helped to design and participated in a two day workshop called the Frontiers of Consciousness, held at the Beckman Center at the University of California, Irvine, the West Coast center for the US National Academy of Sciences. The meeting is described in a pdf in this linkFrom that report (lightly edited):

Innumerable anecdotal reports found in all cultures since the dawn of history suggest that the mind occasionally has access to information that transcends the ordinary senses. Examples of these "extended mind" (EM) phenomena include perceiving future events or spontaneously knowing a distant person’s emotions or intentions. Investigations of such experiences began with the very origins of scientific inquiry, and the experiences themselves continue to be reported today by individuals at all levels of educational achievement.
 Notable scientific pioneers including Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and William James, to contemporary Nobel Laureates and prominent scientists across a variety of disciplines, have openly expressed interest in EM effects. Government programs have periodically supported applied research programs in EM, including in the United States the Department of Defense (DoD), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Government programs in Russia, Japan, India and China have also funded research into EM-related phenomena.
 Despite persistent reports of such experiences, as well as a growing body of experimental evidence, the notion that the mind might have extended properties is considered by some to be scientifically implausible. EM seems to violate core assumptions of the neurosciences as well as physical laws about the structure of space and time. The apparent violation of existing theories has led many to assume that EM experiences are best explained as coincidence, illusion or delusion.
 However, as previous concepts about the nature of space, time and causality shifted with the development of general relativity and quantum mechanics, ideas about the properties and capacities of consciousness have also begun to shift. These shifts are now accelerating because of rising evidence that basic characteristics of living systems (e.g., magnetoreception and photosynthesis) are mediated by quantum effects. This radically challenges previous assumptions about the plausibility of EM.
While theoretical models remain at earliest stages of development, systematic empirical study of EM phenomena has been underway for over 130 years. Given the largely pre-theoretical nature of this work and the challenges they pose, the rate of progress has been slow. Nevertheless, a steady stream of research supporting the reality of various EM effects continues to accumulate, and research methods today have advanced far beyond the techniques commonly employed a few decades ago.
 Experiments now use contemporary neuroimaging and psychophysiological protocols, optical physics, automated blinding and randomization of controls, and quantitative methods for assessing effect sizes and replication rates. Experimental results using the latest tools and techniques continue to show intriguing effects.


MickyD said...

Setting up an office for Mind-Oriented Research and Experience (MORE - clever play on words there) has to be a crucial step forward, in terms of helping to legitemize and promote the field, especially in the US, which has lagged so much behind Europe in resourcing psi related studies / institutions. How optimistic are you Dean that this will become reality in the near to medium term future? Michael.

Dean Radin said...

All it would take is a few people in positions of influence to make it happen. But politics in the US have ground to a halt and people in influential positions seem to be increasingly reluctant to do anything that might be perceived as progressive or out of the ordinary. So I suspect that this sort of initiative will not happen within the US, at least not publicly.

Marcus T Anthony said...

That's interesting, Dean. I would have thought the US would be amongst the most likely places to se genuine openness - especially given the west coast culture. What countries do you think might lead the way?

My main interest at present is research into how to shift things in regard to the broader acknowledgement of the extended mind. I am a policy analyst and futurist, so I come at it from a bit of a different angle from most. As you have often noted, Dean, mere evidence is not enough. You'd think that the experimental evidence, shifts in physics, combined with historical, religious/spiritual and popular anecdotal evidence would make this a perfectly credible field of enquiry. And when you think about the massive possibilities - scientific, educational and social implications/benefits - the blind spot is remarkable indeed. I think there's massive potential here that some individuals and organisations with a bit of foresight could really prosper from.

One of my tasks is to identify countries, organisations (and people) where this kind of research is most likely to flourish - then find the right ways to raise awareness.


Dean Radin said...

I agree that there is real potential, but we are still far enough away from viable theoretical explanations that in the short term only a few applications are viable.

Thus, those with funds and foresight might be looking at a 20 to 30 year investment before seeing a return. Very few are willing to wait that long. So I'd say look to China and/or India in the short term, as they don't have the cultural resistance to these concepts that we have in the West.

Marcus T Anthony said...

Yes, you are undoubtedly right, Dean, about the problem with time frames. And the advice about China and India is good. I have spent quite a bit of time in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. People there have been held back culturally by an overly materialistic social and political structure, and are really hungry for change. Science has also been politically and socially constricted, but I don't think it will take much to reconnect it to its roots. India sounds interesting, but I've never been there. You may well be right that these places could be the countries that bring psi research into the mainstream. I'll definitely be looking further into China.

George R. Williams said...

Dean, will the presentations at the Frontiers of Consciousness meeting be made public in some way?

Dean Radin said...

George, I don't know of plans to specifically publish those presentations, but virtually all of it is already in the public domain.

E. Harris said...

Nice to see you posting heavy philosophy again, Dr. Radin.

Recently I have been posting some ideas on the possible mechanism of extended minds on my blog Mindspace and Minds' Basis.

The basic idea is that information cannot be destroyed, that it generally persists in thermal motions and thermal photons which become more and more entangled with other patterns of thermal motions and photons.

A second idea is that the universe does something analogous to file compression.

Putting these together, here is a quote from a recent post,Compression, Entanglement and a Possible Basis for Morphic Fields:

"So the universe is analogous to a class of computational processes, some more efficient than others, with the most efficient being heavily favored as representations, which compress natural patterns of evolution of matter and fields so that required resources are minimized to model or instantiate the universe. These compressed representations of patterns have a supra-physical, informational component which is encoded in the thermal radiations of all matter and fields, which cause a cascade of entanglements which in turn have the history of the universe's changing patterns encoded within them. The entanglement of the particles in new patterns with those of past patterns requires the new pattern to be consistent with all the quantum informational constraints of the past patterns. The only consistent universes are those where all the past information from all past patterns is still implicit in each and every new pattern, sub-pattern and interaction. So the past patterns can serve as templates for later patterns, with a size-dependent degree of clarity, as with parts of a hologram, and allow effective compression of all similar situations in the past to each local region of the universe. "

Billy Mavreas said...

I'm primarily interested in the terms used and how these terms change over time. Extended Mind (EM) sounds less intimidating or 'science-fictiony' than PSI, which isn't an acronym for anything is it ? ESP tends to be a throwback term and evocative of 1970s exploitation paperbacks.

I suppose once a term surfaces that adequately describes the array of phenomena covered and is adopted without hesitation by folks all over the map, that sea-change of acceptance will finally occur.

EM is nice, I like it but sadly I can't provide any funding aside from some low cost cartooning.

Nishant Berry said...


Divine particles - SSRF web-conference on 14 May 2013


(COMMENTS - This unique phenomenon was the materialization of higher frequency energy in the form of unique "divine" particles on the bodies/articles/air of the seekers with highly developed sixth sense at SSRF hermitages all over the world)

NOTE: The unique properties of these materialized "divine particles" were analyzed/ corroborated by scientific testing conducted by scientists at BARC, Mumbai, and IIT, Mumbai.

David Menaheim said...


A few questions for you.

* "well-known, venal and unconscientious crass materialistic/atheistic scientists drawn notably from the fields of physics, biology and neuroscience who are told by their globalist masters to suppress and shout down any new finding that places consciousness at the core of matter." -

Which scientists are you referring to, who, as you have stated, are "puppets" of the NWO global elites?

* "Healing of incurable or curable diseases with a glance, touch or word within minutes."

How is this possible?

* "to suppress and shout down any new finding that places consciousness at the core of matter?"

What would be the effect on the public of making known the corroborative results of the findings which indicate that matter is charged with consciousness?



Sil Rayman said...

Has anyone read this? What is your opinion?

Dean Radin said...

The article in Mother Jones is nonsense. The author shows no familiarity with the relevant psi literature.

Simon Fraser said...

"The author shows no familiarity with the relevant psi literature"

It's pretty outrageous how somehow in this field people can get away with that sort of thing. In any other discipline, be it in science, social science, or the humanities ignorance would be eviscerated. For instance, I know little about evolutionary biology. But I would never say to an expert in the field that they were wrong, or were deluded.

Ben Steigmann said...

Stanley Krippner noted, in "Advances in Parapsychological Research, Volume 1: Psychokinesis" (1977 Plenum Press, New York), on p. 6 of his "Introduction", "By 1940, the active methodological controversy was over, with the exception of occasional critiques of specific experiments. The issues raised since 1940 center upon possible anomalies in probability theory and the hypothesis of fraud. Spencer Brown (1953) has suggested that card-guessing experiments provide evidence not of ESP but of fundamental defects in probability theory. For example, Brown stated that tables of random numbers, used frequently by parapsychologists, have been revised before publication to remove certain nonrandom features. This practice, according to Brown, makes such sequences memorandum and invalidates the use of standard statistical significance tests. Christopher Scott (1958) published an examination of Brown's allegations; he stated that the maximum error due to edited sequences of random numbers would not effect interpretations of results unless they were marginally significant and, in that case, would usually lessen the possibility of confirming the ESP hypothesis."

He also noted on that page, contrary to current Orwellian fabrications, "If the Rhines had been the only ones able to produce above-chance results with card-guessing and dice-throwing experiments, there would have been little need to take their results seriously. Between 1934 and 1939, however, 31 ESP studies were reported from other laboratories. Of this number, 21 produced statistically significant results supporting the ESP hypothesis."

John Flynne said...

@ Simon - Very good point. It is extraordinarily outrageous and - not to mention - an entirely unscientific attitude. Individuals like that really need to be called out on their parochial, dogmatic attitudes.

Dean - I recently picked up a copy of your recent book Supernormal (while I mostly read primary sources - that is, scientific articles published in peer reviewed journal, both authored by yourself and others - I always enjoy and appreciate your novels which are accessible to a popular audience). After reading the section on meditation and psi, I was wondering if there are any ongoing attempts to investigate the relationships between different Eastern contemplative disciplines (e.g., meditation, forms of yoga) and psi functioning that you're aware of? For example, any research like that of your 2011 paper on nondual meditation and presentiment. This might include any research you or your colleagues are currently engaged - like IONS study of Shaktipat, of which you presented the prelimary findings at Toward a Science of Consciousness.

I would really appreciate it if you could let me know the status of some of this research, or point me in the right direction. Do you plan on publishing the findings for that Shaktipat reasearch anytime soon?

Thanks, and best wishes

CarmentaJD293 said...

"Extended Mind" EM phenomena is a very valid concept to all those out there who consistently experience what some people may call hallucinations or delusion.

I am going to venture and say that often an EM is the result of manipulation by an "Intelligent Mind" be it celestial, alien, angelic, divine or extraterrestrial.

At the beginning of a "mystical" journey, for lack of a better word, one is not yet aware of being poked into a certain direction until much later when telepathy, clairaudience, clairvoyance, prophecy, spontaneous visions, out-of-body experiences and so on, fully develop. It is at that point that one no longer feels the need to validate one's experiences. The mystical journey which could be called EM is often considered private and personal at that point in time.

I wish for the day when one no longer fears the government, the church and people in general for, eyes and ears should never be closed to past history.

Ryan Norrish said...

Hey Dean. Why can't your pre-stimulus skin conductance response experiments win Randi's $1m prize?

Dean Radin said...

Ryan's question is a common one. The Randi prize might be a legitimate way to test the claims of popular psychics, many of whom vastly overestimate their abilities. So it isn't surprising that no one has won the prize. I recommend reading "The Randi Prize" by Robert McLuhan to learn more about this.

Scientific experiments show under controlled conditions that psi is real, but the effect sizes these studies reveal are much smaller than what most psychics claim. A small effect size means the underlying phenomenon would be exceedingly difficult to demonstrate in a short, one-off demonstration, which is what the Randi prize is all about.

Psi experiments generally require hundreds or thousands of repeated trials, by lots of participants, to gain confidence that the effect is genuine and not some sort of subtle artifact. As a result, to create an experiment that would produce reliable odds against chance sufficient to win the Randi prize (say, a million to one), and also be sufficiently secure and transparent so that anyone could examine the entire experiment in detail to gain confidence that the results were genuine, would be a very expensive effort. E.g., I once calculated what it would cost to create and run such an experiment using the ganzfeld telepathy design. It would end up costing more than the prize. And even if such an experiment were successful, all it would do is inflame skeptics who insist that the results could not be real, and thus somehow the Randi people were bamboozled.

Bottom line: A prize for an individual to demonstrate a claimed psychic ability is a great idea. But I'm not a psychic. What would interest me is a prize to demonstrate what has been learned from scientific experiments.

Stephen Baumgart said...

I recall that Dick Bierman attempted to apply for the Randi Challenge using a presentiment system but JREF suddenly stopped responding to his emails.

Even if I had the resources to take the Randi Challenge, I do not trust them enough to believe they'd keep their side of an arrangement. Would JREF suddenly cancel my challenge? Or change the rules midway? Or find an excuse to invalidate results post-hoc? A challenger has no real protection against any such shenanigans.

David Menaheim said...

DEAN RADIN: The Randi prize might be a legitimate way to test the claims of popular psychics, many of whom vastly overestimate their abilities. So it isn't surprising that no one has won the prize.

DAVID - Genuine mystics are a rarity and besides they are busy perfecting themselves to bother about James Randi's challenge.

Now, assuming a mystic with higher order mystical powers decides to take up Randi's challenge and demonstrates in full public view a healing of an incurable diseases with a glance or if he resurrects a corpse with a word or a touch the moot question is whether this demonstration will serve any constructive purpose apart from the cheap sensationalism that it will generate in the world media.

With respect to the paranormal feat executed by the mystic - would the onlookers, including the scientists, understand the causal mechanism at work, or would they be able to investigate it using the usual physicochemcial methods, or would they be capable of replicating it?

The answer to all these questions is a big NO.

However, I would be mighty excited if a mystic decides to teach Randi a serious lesson by maiming him or killing him from a far off distance with just one directed thought accompanied by the Force.

David Menaheim said...

DEAN RADIN - What would interest me is a prize to demonstrate what has been learned from scientific experiments.

DAVID - Till now scientific experiments in mind-matter have not corroborated the existence of psychic phenomena as a valid discipline that employs levels of energy and consciousness other than those in ordinary use.

Scientific experiments in this subject have other valid explanations that are not necessarily of occult or of mystical origin but are related to simple causes like excess or directed electromagnetic field effects at work or chance happenings once in a while and besides these effects which appear to be paranormal are too feeble and fleeting and their explanations depend on statistical manipulations to a great extent.

Dean Radin said...

> I would be mighty excited if a mystic decides to teach Randi a serious lesson by maiming him or killing him from a far off distance with just one directed thought accompanied by the Force.

A genuine mystic, one who realized the essential unity of reality, would never do this.

> Till now scientific experiments in mind-matter have not corroborated the existence of psychic phenomena... electromagnetic field effects ...

Common but incorrect belief. Read

David Menaheim said...

DEAN - A genuine mystic, one who realized the essential unity of reality, would never do this.

DAVID: Not necessarily.

That kind of absolute pacifism is the Christian or the Buddhist idea which will not act against evil even when the truth is threatened by the adverse forces representing evil. Mahatma Gandhi borrowed his ideas of absolute non-violence from this extreme form of pacifism. Such a pacifist kind of mysticism is basically a great obstruction to the advancement of the truth and to the further evolution of the human consciousness.

A genuine mystic who has realized the essential unity of things may decide to weed out evil from the world and act like Krishna or Moses.

Why, even a great pacifist-yogi like Sri Aurobindo is supposed to have put his Force behind Winston Churchill against the Nazis thereby causing much destruction among the rank and file of the advancing German army.

A genuine mystic is aware of his responsibility towards advancing the truth and would employ his Force to wipe out the molesting elements from society.

I have heard of certain practitioners of tantra who claim to be capable of teaching a severe lesson to anti-existence guys like Randi by simply staring at their photographs. The effects of this willed-assault executed by the tantric by simply staring at the photo of a person are said to be disastrous as the results are actually manifested in the force fields of the person who may live miles away and who will be unaware that his force field is being damaged in this manner.

The essential unity of things can be experienced only in the so-called absolute field of consciousness and energy that is said by the mystics to exceed every feature of organization which then places this absolute field even beyond the quantum vacuum level where well organized EM fields and virtual particle pairs swamp the vacuum and keep popping in and out of it.

The absolute is said to be even more primal than the so-called vacuum state.

The highest mystics treat consciousness as a thing and not as an activity of energy. They say that since energy can be known only through its phenomena or through its workings and never through its basis thus consciousness stuff is at the root of energy.

This idea of consciousness being a thing and not merely an activity of energy in various states of organization tallies well with modern findings by which we know what energy can do and not what energy actually is in its essence.

The essence of this energy is the consciousness stuff or the celebrated brahman (absolute field of consciousness-energy) of the Vedas.

The absolute is said to be so subtle and so remote that it is out of reach of a vast majority of the most advanced mystics.

Most mystics experience the first stage of the essential unity of things in the psychic grade of consciousness or in the soul which is supposed to be the grade of consciousness in the body that organizes the mind, emotions and physical frequencies of energy.

The consequences of the psychic realization are of a nonlocal nature.

The psychic (soul) is essentially seen as the same in every living being.

David Menaheim said...

DEAN - Till now scientific experiments in mind-matter have not corroborated the existence of psychic phenomena... electromagnetic field effects ...

Common but incorrect belief. Read

DAVID - I have perused the link but the results are not convincing and can be attributed to other non-psi sources of influence and statistical jugglery and besides the so-called lab tested psi effects are too feeble and too highly evanescent to be counted as something of a genuine nature. Sorry for saying so.

Anthony Mugan said...

Could I ask a question? I hope it isn't a totally silly question but I'm struggling to work this one out from the literature.

Has anyone conducted a version of the double slit experiment where which way information was collected and stored in a potentially observable form ( e.g. on a computer hard drive). The interference pattern or lack of it is observed and then a decision is made to delete or observe the which path information. What would happen to the interference pattern?

In some ways this sounds a bit like a quantum eraser experiment in which the interference pattern would be there if the which path information is erased. In a decoherence approach however the interactions of the wavefunction with the apparatus would limit the degrees if freedom, tending the system towards a classical outcome, i.e. no interference.

Would you be able to point me in the right direction? The original interest is in pondering the interconnection of the results of your own double slit experiments and how they relate to various interpretations of QM. I am not a trained physicist so my apologies for any silly errors and no doubt lack of basic knowledge revealed by the above!


Dean Radin said...

Anthony - see Expt 4 in my 2012 Physics Essays paper, available on this page:

Dean Radin said...

David: > Mahatma Gandhi borrowed his ideas of absolute non-violence from this extreme form of pacifism...

Yes, and he was extremely successful without causing bloodshed. In any case, Gandhi was not a pacifist.

> I have perused the link but the results are not convincing ...

I'm afraid that this is the same type of cavalier dismissal of evidence as climate change deniers who fail to notice that they are up to their hips in water.

SocraticArmenian said...

The following is beginning of the wikipedia article on parapsychology:

Parapsychology is a pseudoscience concerned with the investigation of paranormal and psychic phenomena which includes telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences, reincarnation, apparitional experiences, and other paranormal claims.[1]
Parapsychology research is largely conducted by private institutions in several different countries and funded through private donations,[2][3][4][5] and the subject rarely appears in mainstream science journals. Most papers about parapsychology are published in a small number of niche journals.[6] Parapsychology has been criticised for continuing investigation despite being unable to provide convincing evidence for the existence of any psychic phenomena after more than a century of research.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

It should be challenged by as many informed scientists as possible so that this sort of cheap closure isn't tolerated in wikipedian.

Ben Steigmann said...

Stop complaining about Wikipedia and start responding to critics. If Dean Radin is uninterested in doing this, then his friends and admirers can publish counter-arguments in alternative publications.

Enfant Terrible said...

Is this blog dead? No new posts in years!