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There is a problem with assuming that magnetism will one day explain PSI. Electromagnetism, as one of the four fundamental physical interaction, decreases with the inverse square law --see Ampere law of magnetostatic, or Coulomb law of electrostatic, or Maxwell’s laws of electromagnetism. However, PSI does not seem to decrease with distance. This the main objection Einstein posted to the Mental Radio model of telepathy –even though he wrote the prologue of the hominine book written by his friend Upton Sinclair.

There is a typo in my previous post. I meant ‘homonym’ book. Anyway, I was referring the book Mental Radio by Upton Sinclair.

To supplement the comments by Ulysses, please note that Faraday chamber experiments (under conditions that block EMF) *still* show a transfer or at least a sharing of information between minds/brains, which means that psi isn't totally reducible to EMF.

I don't see the psychic applications of this, but it will lead to other things as I'll note below.

The first application of this research will be medical. For studying diseases of the mind.

The next application will be judicial. Memories may become recordable and potentially used as evidence in trials or even helping to find victims or suspects.

That will eventually lead to memories being recorded and used as evidence for paranormal subjects. NDE/ADC/OBE reports. Past life memories. UFO sighting reports. Ghost sightings. Bigfoot sightings even. It could really shake up our world.

Ulysses is correct.

In addition to not being distance dependent, telepathy experiments have been undertaken using electromagnetic shielding, the positive results of which disprove electromagnetic theories of telepathy. I think most physicists who have pondered the question think telepathy is due in some way to quantum entanglement, though the details have not been worked out yet.

There are scientists looking at new ways to measure previously unknown energy coming from the skull. So there is more than standard EMF going on.

http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/1903/9421/1/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20Ms%20submitted%20to%20DRUM_w_Bookmarks.pdf

I agree that psi phenomena appear are not based on electromagnetism, but I have some ideas to discuss.

First, a Faraday cage does not shield from the extremely low frequencies (ELF) radio waves, so the possibility that psi is based on ELF still open.

Second, I do not know if anyone has experimented with sufficiently large distances to prove that psi does not decrease with distance.

And third, even if some psi phenomena are not electromagnetics, it is possible that other psi phenomena are electromagnetics, because in fact there are examples that suggest a relationship between some psi phenomena and eletromagnetism: Matthew Manning, psychic with healing abilities, he used to disturb electronic devices only to be near, his mother suffered an electric shock during pregnancy, Persinger experiments suggest a correlation between psi and geomagnetism, and experiments with Keith Harary insinuate that the astral body can be detected by an electromagnetic sensor.

Very interesting. We know that the physical brain is involved in the mind's ability to remember things. But this doesn't necessarily mean that the brain "produces" memories or rememberings, as the materialist supposes. In a computer you have a file (memory) that stores the information and a "file path" that tells your processor where to find the information so that it can be accessed or "remembered". The files and file paths could both be stored in the brain, which is why Alzheimer's affects our ability to remember. But it could also be that our files are stored in our souls or in some non-physical medium outside the brain, whereas our file paths are stored in the brain. Then we could say that Alzheimer's causes us to lose access to our non-physical memories but only by damaging our physical file paths. The memories themselves could be perfectly preserved, just inaccessible. I always assumed that our neuroscience wasn't advanced enough to be able to tell us whether the physical traces caused by our experiences were the file paths or the files or both. But does this suggest that the files are stored in the brain?

But does this suggest that the files are stored in the brain?

My opinion is that these studies do not suggest more than previous studies that the files are stored in the brain, because we already know that the mental activity is reflected in the brain activity; the question is whether the mental activity is just brain activity or anything else that can continue after brain death. The psychic research points to the latter.

"But it could also be that our files are stored in our souls or in some non-physical medium outside the brain, whereas our file paths are stored in the brain."

But David, how do we remember what file path to follow to access a specific memory? Wouldn't that entail another memory and another file path? And so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

I doubt that memories can be separated from file paths. I think the theory you present is the sort of fallacy that crops up when we begin to think that consciousness resembles the workings of the computer in any way, shape, or form.

Juan and Bruce, you both make good points. I proposed a kind of dualistic or "transmission" model of memory, which attempted to keep the conscious non-physical memories distinct from whatever it is about our brains that gives us access to them. Presumably, our souls contain all of our memories from all of our incarnations. But, by and large, our brains limit our ability to access only those formed in this life time. How? Does it only need to store a physical address--a file path--or does it story some physical representation of the whole memory as well?

Juan suggests something closer to Spinoza's dual-aspect theory, according to which all mental activity has a physical correlate and vice versa. They are two sides of the same coin, or physical and mental descriptions of something more fundamental. Benardo Kastrup sometimes talks this way when he talks about the brain as the physical "image" of the corresponding mental activity. I like this model too, but I was wondering whether there was some way to distinguish them and whether this study might help.

I guess what I am really looking for are independent lines of evidence for dualism. Yes, NDEs suggest that mental activity is possible without a functioning brain. But I want to know if a proper understanding the brain will enable us to say, there is not enough going on there to explain the things our mind can do. For instance, some people can remember all of their experiences. If we knew enough about the brain to say that it doesn't have that storage capacity, then we would have more evidence for dualism. If we know enough about to say that the mechanism of storing and remembering is too complex to be explained by what is going on in the brain--if there were evidence that the brain activity corresponding to remembering was no more complicated that the stimulation of a file path--then we would have another line. This study seems to count against that.

I look forward to reading the actual study whenever it is published in a neurology journal. (As of March 31st it had not yet been published in any journal.)

Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that MRIs and fMRIs measure blood flow through the brain, more specifically oxygen concentration in that blood flow. That is, an fMRI shows which parts of the brain are more oxygenated than other parts thereby implying that there is mental activity in varying degrees in those oxygenated parts. A SPECT scan uses a radioactive isotope to do this. An fMRI does not read minds by any stretch of the imagination. Another article about this study states that both objective and subjective evaluations are used to construct the images. The graphic done by Cowen associated with the article makes it look like colored pixels were recorded which to the uninformed might seem like a computer image but pixels were not what was recorded, levels of oxygen evidenced by blood flow were. Color and other detail were subjectively added later to a reconstructed image.

As a true skeptic I am not so quick to believe that this study has any validity that will hold up to peer-reviewed scrutiny.- AOD

Bruce, David,

Interesting discussion! Bruce said,

||But David, how do we remember what file path to follow to access a specific memory? Wouldn't that entail another memory and another file path? And so on, and so on, ad infinitum.||

The trouble with this line of reasoning is that it would apply equally to the case of memories being stored in the physical brain. One could ask, "How do we remember where to find the memory?"

Further, let's imagine that the brain is remembering. Is it really a different type of action if the brain goes to its own "flash storage" as opposed to an "external hard drive" or "the Cloud"? I don't see how it's in any way different.

My opinion, based on study and introspection, is that the organic brain works by accessing the Akashic records (i.e., the information substrate that is the foundation of all contingent reality) to retrieve information. I.e., memory is *mostly* external.

||I doubt that memories can be separated from file paths.||

But we do not experience our memory as plenum with constant access to ever part. Don't experience and introspection show us that often we do have to "find" particular memories, or that certain stimuli can "take" us to them?

||I think the theory you present is the sort of fallacy that crops up when we begin to think that consciousness resembles the workings of the computer in any way, shape, or form.||

This is a curious statement, inasmuch as computers came into existence *after* human memory. Therefore, there is nothing really precluding us from *modeling* computer memory and other functions on our own mental functioning, is there? And I think that that is what we have done.

The MRI reconstructions are not particularly convincing ! Both reconstructions bear more of a resemblance to me or many other folk than to the original subjects.

In keeping with my role as resident troglodyte, I have to say that I am less than impressed with this so called techno "mind reading".

Typical shoddy media hype and misinformation.

All the thing is doing is showing the subject a bunch of "training" pictures and recording neural activity mostly related to the optic system. Is it any big revelation that the optic system is involved in processing visual images? Neural patterns associated with detailed features of each training picture are then loaded into a database. Then the subject is shown a new photo of a face. The neural pattern resulting is then uploaded to the database and correlated with points already known from the training photos. A composite image based on the training photos' features is produced. That is the final result.

No mind reading at all.

The tool only works when the subject has the photo in front of him. It's not like you could grab someone off the street and scan his brain and know who he is thinking about.

No One;
I must say I was hesitant about commenting about this study, but it was late at night and I said "What the hell." and pushed the submit button. I agree with you and Snorkler. I don't think that anyone could be picked out of a line-up based on the reconstructed pictures. There seemed to be some questionable things about the study that didn't ring true to me. First, the study has not been published yet; second is it The Journal of Neuroimaging or Neuroimage (Journal)? Third, yesterday was April Fools'Day and fourth the study was done by an undergraduate and fifth it was prematurely released by Yale; artistically applied color and detail seemed to be added (scruffy beard, full lips) and sixth, the professor overseeing this undergraduate used this as an example why funding should be allowed for this kind of research or some other statement about why more funding should be available; and, seventh, the graphic done by Cowen was almost laughable--- a quintessential non-scientific illustration for the lay public. All in all I could hardly contain myself from commenting but I didn't want to stir up anything. - AOD

"The trouble with this line of reasoning is that it would apply equally to the case of memories being stored in the physical brain."

Yes Matt, it would apply equally, but this isn't troublesome for my point of view, which is simply that memory is a complete mystery.

"Don't experience and introspection show us that often we do have to "find" particular memories, or that certain stimuli can "take" us to them?"

In terms of the computer analogy that David was presenting, a stimulus is not a path. Depending on how you define it, it's something quite different -- an emotional trigger, perhaps, or an associated memory.

"Therefore, there is nothing really precluding us from *modeling* computer memory and other functions on our own mental functioning, is there?"

There's nothing to stop us from trying. But the fact is, we don't know how our own minds work, so what exactly is there to model? Think about it: without resorting to unproven assumptions, in what ways does computer memory resemble human memory?

There must be some kind of retrieval system for memories. We've probably all had the experience where something is "on the tip of our tongue," but we can't quite recall it. Usually if we stop thinking about it for a while, it will pop into our heads. This suggests that the retrieval effort is continuing in the background, and that the right path is eventually found. It also suggests that the subconscious mind is the agent that keeps track of these pathways and accesses them.

I noted the objection that memory would be required just to remember the pathways, so the pathways are redundant. But you could say the same thing about the Dewey decimal system - why bother with it when you still have to remember the codes? Answer: the codes are shortcuts. It is easier to remember that the 200s are reserved for religious books, or even that 270 through 289 are used for Christian studies, than to remember the shelf locations of hundreds (or thousands) of titles.

As for the fMRI study, I don't know enough about it to judge whether or not it's a big deal. It's certainly being hyped as something close to a breakthrough - maybe over-hyped, I can't say. I'm (perhaps naively) impressed that anything even resembling a face can be reconstructed on the basis of brain scans. The faces may be blurry, but to me, this is like objecting that a talking dog has a limited vocabulary, when the remarkable thing is that he can talk at all.

My understanding of the reconstructions in this type of study is this: They are not looking at these images directly in the brain. They are manipulating the images *they already have produced* based on how statistically similar they are to what the subject is presumably thinking based on the EEG output. So yeah, there is no real mind-reading going on.

"The faces may be blurry, but to me, this is like objecting that a talking dog has a limited vocabulary, when the remarkable thing is that he can talk at all. "

This, IMO, is more like a dog that barks a certain way when he wants to go out and, recognizing that distinctive bark, the owner uses studio sound mixing technology to overdub a human voice saying "I want to go out" when he hears it. Then the owner plays the mixed recording, claiming his dog can talk.

"There must be some kind of retrieval system for memories."

Michael, I think the truth may be quite different from what that statement suggests. Retrieval is a concept that is tied to time and space.

But we know that memories exist apart from location, and without regard to time. For example, the Life Review, which is described as the ultimate form of recall, happens seemingly in a timeless and spaceless context.

And a precognitive dream is a memory of an event that (in earth terms) hasn't yet occurred. So what does that say about the need to retrieve a stored memory?

I think that remembering is not a form of retrieval, but rather a matter of focus. As parts of the hologram that Art loves to talk about, we each have access to all that is. And to remember is simply to choose to focus on one little piece of the grand puzzle.

There's no system and no retrieval -- just a choice to focus on a particular aspect of our own being, because our own being is commensurate with all that is. (As can be unmistakably seen when our blinders are removed at death and in altered states .)

We think in terms of paths because we see neural pathways in the body and electrical circuits in our machines, and our earthy minds are wedded to mechanistic interpretations. But when we try to account for memory using metaphors like files, paths, storage, and systems of retrieval, we're stuck in a way of seeing things that takes us far from the truth.

Anyway, that's *my* guess!

"The faces may be blurry, but to me, this is like objecting that a talking dog has a limited vocabulary, when the remarkable thing is that he can talk at all."

I agree! If I understand this research correctly, I think it's pretty astounding.

"As parts of the hologram that Art loves to talk about, we each have access to all that is." Bruce
-----------------------------

Concerning memory and the holographic brain theory,

Excerpt from The Universe as a Hologram

"Working independently in the field of brain research, Standford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram has also become persuaded of the holographic nature of reality.

Pribram was drawn to the holographic model by the puzzle of how and where memories are stored in the brain. For decades numerous studies have shown that rather than being confined to a specific location, memories are dispersed throughout the brain.

In a series of landmark experiments in the 1920s, brain scientist Karl Lashley found that no matter what portion of a rat's brain he removed he was unable to eradicate its memory of how to perform complex tasks it had learned prior to surgery. The only problem was that no one was able to come up with a mechanism that might explain this curious "whole in every part" nature of memory storage.

Then in the 1960s Pribram encountered the concept of holography and realized he had found the explanation brain scientists had been looking for. Pribram believes memories are encoded not in neurons, or small groupings of neurons, but in patterns of nerve impulses that crisscross the entire brain in the same way that patterns of laser light interference crisscross the entire area of a piece of film containing a holographic image.

In other words, Pribram believes the brain is itself a hologram. Pribram's theory also explains how the human brain can store so many memories in so little space. It has been estimated that the human brain has the capacity to memorize something on the order of 10 billion bits of information during the average human lifetime (or roughly the same amount of information contained in five sets of the Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Similarly, it has been discovered that in addition to their other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity for information storage--simply by changing the angle at which the two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information. Our uncanny ability to quickly retrieve whatever information we need from the enormous store of our memories becomes more understandable if the brain functions according to holographic principles.

If a friend asks you to tell him what comes to mind when he says the word "zebra", you do not have to clumsily sort back through some gigantic and cerebral alphabetic file to arrive at an answer. Instead, associations like "striped", "horselike", and "animal native to Africa" all pop into your head instantly. Indeed, one of the most amazing things about the human thinking process is that every piece of information seems instantly cross- correlated with every other piece of information--another feature intrinsic to the hologram.

Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely interconnected with every other portion, it is perhaps nature's supreme example of a cross-correlated system."

http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

"I think that remembering is not a form of retrieval, but rather a matter of focus. As parts of the hologram that Art loves to talk about, we each have access to all that is. And to remember is simply to choose to focus on one little piece of the grand puzzle."

This, of course, is in keeping with the brain-as-filter concept. It's funny: even though we often talk approvingly of that theory, we're somehow still attached to the idea that the brain is a means of acquiring or retrieving information, rather than a means of blocking it.

And what if the brain is damaged? Then the results can go in one of two directions. In one scenario, we gain improved access to Mind at Large as the filter lets in more than usual, as we see in people who are made suddenly psychic by lightning strikes or other kinds of physical trauma.

Or, the reverse can happen. Perhaps with Alzheimer's, the brain is damaged in such a way that it blocks more information than it is designed to.

Bruce,

||I think that remembering is not a form of retrieval, but rather a matter of focus. As parts of the hologram that Art loves to talk about, we each have access to all that is. And to remember is simply to choose to focus on one little piece of the grand puzzle.||

I think this ignores our human limitations and our flawed, physical nature.

We can't just choose to remember anything we want. If we did, we'd be able to play back anything we've ever experienced with perfect clarity.

||There's no system and no retrieval -- just a choice to focus on a particular aspect of our own being, because our own being is commensurate with all that is. (As can be unmistakably seen when our blinders are removed at death and in altered states .)||

I don't think NDEs typically show us in an omniscient state, and we certainly are not so here as animals on earth. (Some drug and spiritual experiences certainly can take us "there," but we don't get to keep it...)

Out of interest (and with nowhere else for it to go), I wanted to pass on the news that The Felix Circle (http://felixcircle.blogspot.co.uk/ has updated its blog to inform us that the two to three year investigation of Kai's mediumship abilities, overseen by Prof. Stephen Braude, is now complete. The SSE has pre-published two of its three papers based on Braude and the team's extensive study of Kai's group.

General publication will come later, but for now, it's important to note that Stephen Braude personally witnessed much of the phenomena, a lot of which has apparently been caught on film, including levitation of objects, lights etc.

All in all, it should be something to look forward to. Now of course, we can get into an in-depth debate here about whether Kai's abilities (and the abilities of others, such as David Thompson for example), are evidence of genuine after death communication, or if this is instead 'only' impressive PK and psi.

At this stage I'm not overly concerned. Even if ultimately most séance room phenomena turn out to be 'only' subconscious projections of the medium, the phenomenon itself is still enough to blow the materialist paradigm out of the water!

Of course, while I'm not naïve enough to think that even video in good light is going convince anybody who does not want to be convinced, I do think such results should be important enough for reasonable individuals to ponder.

Interestingly, the minds of dying Alzheimer's patients have been known to become lucid. Presumably, as the brain begins to die it loses it's hold and the filtering mechanism breaks down?

"We can't just choose to remember anything we want. If we did, we'd be able to play back anything we've ever experienced with perfect clarity."

And that's precisely what happens during the Life Review. As I see it, the way consciousness functions when the brain is offline provides insight into how memory really operates -- its limitlessness, immediacy, and perfection. In that state, "remembering" looks less to me like retrieval, and more like focusing.

This is further suggested by the fact that NDER's can focus on future life events. (I find NDE predictions about future *world* events less than compelling, but foreknowledge of one's personal future persuasive.)

If we can remember the future (which even happens in dreams), as well as remembering what is happening in locations far from our body, doesn't that make memory look more like focusing than retrieving?

But please don't ask me how "focusing" works. Perhaps this is simply one aspect of consciousness, like being able to love or to create, that is native to reality, and must be left at that. I certainly wouldn't expect the limited *human* mind to be able to grasp it. All we can do is use the physical metaphors we're accustomed to: paths, storage, retrieval, etc., which may have no relevance whatsoever to the truth.

"I don't think NDEs typically show us in an omniscient state"

Time and again, they do. Not always -- but often enough to suggest that such a state is real. We've had this discussion before!

"Interestingly, the minds of dying Alzheimer's patients have been known to become lucid. Presumably, as the brain begins to die it loses it's hold and the filtering mechanism breaks down?"

Exactly!

A filter is a really interesting metaphor. A properly functioning filter, of any kind, has to serve two functions: remove what we want to remove, and let pass what we want to let pass. Consequently, a filter can be damaged by punching a hole in it, or by clogging it up.

It would seem that "lightning shamans" have had a hole punched in their mental filters, while Alzheimer's patients suffer from a clogging up.

Hi Julie, yes this has been reported many times. Actually it's more significant than it sounds. According to current brain science, a brain degraded by such a condition should be incapable of such spontaneous recovery, as the necessary neural structure is no longer there, and yet it happens.

|| (Beichler): If scientists can do this, and obviously they have, then the brain and magnetic patterns can just as well influence (by the same magnetic field connection) another brain, i.e. change the flow of electrons and ions in another brain to arouse similar thoughts and memories at a distant external location. ||

Not likely. Fmri scans map the gross pattern of blood flow over millions of neurons. The actual thought and impressions in consciousness that comprise having a mental image of a perceived face presumably correspond to a vastly more complex pattern at the neuron/synapse and neurochemical levels and would not be recreatable just by imposing a pattern of external magnetic fields corresponding to the oxygenation levels measured by the fmri scan. Beichler seems to be promoting the possibility of some sort of technological electromagnetically transmitted mind-to-mind telepathy. Is it possible: would somehow impressing the requisite complex pattern on the physical states of the relevant neurons of the brain actually force a person to perceive the image of a particular face? Going beyond this, could somehow impressing the appropriate physical pattern on the neurons create a desired state of conscious awareness and emotion?

I think maybe so, because we know for certain through countless different interactions that physically affecting brain neurons affects consciousness.

As long as the soul is resident in the body/brain, consciousness including memory seems to behave 99.9% of the time as if it is mostly a function of the physical brain. But, contra materialist mind=brain theory, there is a lot of psychical research evidence that the opposite can occur, that sometimes a change in consciousness can originate in a "something" that is independent of the physical brain and then can affect the neurons, other minds, and external matter - i.e. the transmission or filter theory of mind/body interaction.

Julie the label that has been given to that phenomena is "terminal lucidity." It is being studied by Dr. Bruce Greyson. Although it doesn't occur universally among all dying humans it happens often enough to be noticed and recorded in a few journals. The interesting thing is that Scientists and Doctors have no explanation for it. I like that! {grin!}

I couldn't agree more, Douglas. But the problem lies with the likes of Derren Brown who so cleverly demonstrate such phenomena as table rapping and turning via sleight of hand. The assumption thereafter is that what can be produced by conjuring is always produced by conjuring. It's akin to saying that because love can be faked it, therefore, doesn't exist.

I like that too, Art. ;)

David Wilcock brushed on this in his "Sourse Field Investigations.
One such noted experiment was by an early polygraph pioneer, hooking up his plant's leaf to the machine and then the man went about his day recording times of interesting events and personal psychological reactions which, at the end of the day, after checking the readings, he found almost flawless signals from the plant coinciding to his stronger physical and psychological experiences of the day.
What scientists truly need to uncover is the role that the Pineal plays in our mental mechanisms.
If anyone hears of any breaking discoveries in that, please let us know.

Hi everyone! This is a bit of a derail from what you're currently talking about now, but I thought it might be interesting.

http://www.cracked.com/article_21063_5-ways-life-changes-after-near-death-experience.html

Yes, it's a Cracked article, not exactly known for their thorough journalism. But I believe it's someone's account of a near-death experience, and it's interesting because there was something there, but not a full blown NDE. We like to talk about the full-blown experiences (and I find them intriguing for sure), but to my knowledge I don't know if there's a lot of talk about the non-experiences (for lack of a better word) that some people have. I suppose there isn't much to talk about there, is there?

Sorry for the derail guys, just thought this might be something you'd be interested in.

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