Investigation of Non-inferential Perception and Associated Cognitive Aspects Maria Stewart , Julie H. Weingartner; Rodrigo Basilio; Gabriel Guerrer; Cristiano Junqueira; Sonali B. Marwaha; Edwin C. May; Jorge Moll (Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuroinformatics Lab, D'Or Institute For Research And Education, RIO DE JANEIRO, RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil) C23
Remote viewing (RV) consists of an ability to acquire non-inferential information from a distant point in space-time by perceptual mechanisms other than the known sensory channels. Previous studies indicate that RV may be an ability of a small fraction of unselected populations. However the topic remains controversial (Mumford, Rose, and Goshin, 1995). The ongoing study here reported has the purpose to further investigate the RV phenomenon by replicating and improving previous methods. Based on a previously developed software implementation and method (May et al. 2011), we've developed an online version of the protocol in which the monitor and participant meet remotely. The protocol consists of asking the participant to draw and describe an image that will be presented to her/him at the end of each session. Participant and monitor are both blind to the target image. The monitor enters the response into a response fuzzy set using previously established elements (i.e. vegetation, buildings, etc.). A "Figure of Merit" (FoM) is calculated, which is an outcome measure of participant's performance that combines computation about the accuracy and reliability of the description of the target image. The platform also selects four additional non-target images and displays all 5 images to be ranked from 1 to 5 by the monitor, with 1 being the image that most likely corresponds to the participant's response and 5 to the least similar one ("Visual Rank" score). At last, the feedback of the target image is presented to the participant. All images are collected and randomly selected from our 300-image target pool. The experiments were performed in blocks of 3 sessions per participants, always in different days. Using a bottleneck approach, experiments were extended up to 21 total sessions depending on the participant's performance. We've collected 322 sessions from 80 volunteers so far, with 20 actively participating in additional data collection. Three monitors were involved in data collection, the so-called "first monitor" being the one who conducted the session with the participant (with no chance of leakage whatsoever). Our preliminary results showed an effect size for first monitor rank of 0.06 for the Visual Rank (which we had established a priori to be our primary outcome measure) and 0.00 for the FoM Rank for all 322 sessions (visual ES = 0.06, ES 95% IC = 0.11, N=322). Using the participant selection approach, we ended up with 2 participants with high performances (SUBJ002 and SUBJ018). SUBJ002 has an effect size for first monitor rank of 0.52 for the Visual Rank (visual ES= 0.52, ES 95% CI = 0.43, N=21). SUBJ018 has an effect size of 0.68 for first monitor rank (visual ES= 0.68, ES 95% CI = 0.52, N=14). Our findings do not show group-level statistical evidence for RV, but raises the possibility that two participants who showed statistical effects may show RV ability. However, further testing of these selected participants will be necessary to replicate their results. This reproducibility effort is ongoing and updated results will be presented at the time of the conference.