Abstract Details

Accuracy and Neural Correlates of Blinded Mediumship Compared to Controls on Image Classification Task  Arnaud Delorme , Cedric Cannard; Dean Radin; Helaneh Wahbeh (Toulouse, France)   C23

Anomalous psychological phenomena, in which individuals claim to have access to information not available through conventional means, have been reported since antiquity. Despite tremendous popular interest, few studies have tested these claims rigorously. The current study aimed to fill this gap. In a classification task, participants were asked to look at facial photographs of deceased people and guess the cause of death from three possible choices: "heart attack", "death by firearm", or "car accident." Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were simultaneously collected during the task. The participants were professional ?psychic mediums? and controls who claimed no special ability. The facial photographs were a balanced pool of 201 black and white photographs, where the cause of death was known in each case. The participants were naive to the photographs before the experiment. Pooled data from all participants showed accurate guesses for the cause of death (partial 2=0.13;p=0.003). Control subjects were primarily responsible for this effect (partial 2=0.15; p=0.001). EEG activity differences were found between talented participants and controls in event related potentials (ERP) following photograph presentation. . The controls had larger amplitude ERP components than the talented participants between 80 and 110 ms and between 200 and 350 ms, which could be interpreted as reflecting greater attention and less response inhibition by controls as compared to the talents.