Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Over the years there have been some experiments in which ESP is presumed to be detected via a change in electroencephalographic activity. Here is a recently published study on the topic authored by William Giroldini, Luciano Pederzoli, Marco Bilucaglia, Patrizio Caini, Alessandro Ferrini, Simone Melloni, Elena Prati, and Patrizio Tressoldi, EEG correlates of social interaction at distance (version 5, F1000Research, 2016, 4:457, doi: 10.12688/f1000research.6755.5) (click here).

Abstract

“This study investigated EEG correlates of social interaction at distance between twenty-five pairs of participants who were not connected by any traditional channels of communication. Each session involved the application of 128 stimulations separated by intervals of random duration ranging from 4 to 6 seconds. One of the pair received a one-second stimulation from a light signal produced by an arrangement of red LEDs, and a simultaneous 500 Hz sinusoidal audio signal of the same length. The other member of the pair sat in an isolated sound-proof room, such that any sensory interaction between the pair was impossible. An analysis of the Event-Related Potentials associated with sensory stimulation using traditional averaging methods showed a distinct peak at approximately 300 ms, but only in the EEG activity of subjects who were directly stimulated. However, when a new algorithm was applied to the EEG activity based on the correlation between signals from all active electrodes, a weak but robust response was also detected in the EEG activity of the passive member of the pair, particularly within 9 – 10 Hz in the Alpha range. Using the Bootstrap method and the Monte Carlo emulation, this signal was found to be statistically significant.”

In the discussion the authors state that their results “lead us to believe that Receivers exhibit a weak response to the remote stimulus in the form of a small change in cerebral synchronization coinciding with the stimulus . . . This study is clearly explorative but it is in agreement with the results observed in three different experiments by Hinterberger (2008) who observed an increase in the ERPs in the Alpha (8–12 Hz) band only in the related pairs of participants. If further confirmed, these findings would be of huge scientific importance because they provide neurophysiological evidence of a connection – or social interaction – at distance.”

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