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Thursday, 26 June 2014 08:53

Presentiment in Mainstream Science?

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Two recent publications in mainstream journals may have found and reported on something that those in the parapsychology field - Presentiment - an intuitive feeling about the future, especially one of foreboding. Parapsychological researchers have been doing studies on this phenomenon for many years. The studies showed the presentiment effect in skin conductance, heart rate, EEG measures and fMRI.

Here are the references to the two most recent studies:


Spontaneous Neural Fluctuations Predict Decisions to Attend

Jesse J. Bengson, Todd A. Kelley, Xiaoke Zhang, Jane-Ling Wang, and George R. Mangun

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, , Vol. 0, No. 0 , Pages 1-7
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00650)

Ongoing variability in neural signaling is an intrinsic property of the brain. Often this variability is considered to be noise and ignored. However, an alternative view is that this variability is fundamental to perception and cognition and may be particularly important in decision-making. Here, we show that a momentary measure of occipital alpha-band power (8–13 Hz) predicts choices about where human participants will focus spatial attention on a trial-by-trial basis. This finding provides evidence for a mechanistic account of decision-making by demonstrating that ongoing neural activity biases voluntary decisions about where to attend within a given moment.


Spontaneous fluctuations in neural responses to heartbeats predict visual detection

Hyeong-Dong Park,1, Stéphanie Correia,1, Antoine Ducorps2, & Catherine Tallon-Baudry1,

Nature NeuroscienceVolume: 17,Pages:612–618Year published: (2014)DOI:doi:10.1038/nn.3671 Received 18 November 2013 Accepted 05 February 2014 Published online 09 March 2014

Spontaneous fluctuations of ongoing neural activity substantially affect sensory and cognitive performance. Because bodily signals are constantly relayed up to the neocortex, neural responses to bodily signals are likely to shape ongoing activity. Here, using magnetoencephalography, we show that in humans, neural events locked to heartbeats before stimulus onset predict the detection of a faint visual grating in the posterior right inferior parietal lobule and the ventral anterior cingulate cortex, two regions that have multiple functional correlates and that belong to the same resting-state network. Neither fluctuations in measured bodily parameters nor overall cortical excitability could account for this finding. Neural events locked to heartbeats therefore shape visual conscious experience, potentially by contributing to the neural maps of the organism that might underlie subjectivity. Beyond conscious vision, our results show that neural events locked to a basic physiological input such as heartbeats underlie behaviorally relevant differential activation in multifunctional cortical areas.

Here is a list of publications for the parapsychological studies from Dean Radin's website (

Spottiswoode & May (2003). Skin Conductance Prestimulus Response: Analyses, Artifacts and a Pilot Study

Radin (2004).  Electrodermal presentiments of future emotions. 

McCraty et al (2004). Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 1. The Surprising Role of the Heart

McCraty et al (2004). Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 2. A System-Wide Process?

Radin & Borges (2009). Intuition through time: What does the seer see?

Radin et al (2011). Electrocortical activity prior to unpredictable stimuli in meditators and non-meditators.

Radin (2011). Predicting the Unpredictable: 75 Years of Experimental Evidence

Tressoldi et al (2011). Let Your Eyes Predict : Prediction Accuracy of Pupillary Responses to Random Alerting and Neutral Sounds

Mossbridge et al (2012). Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: a meta-analysis

You can also find a nice summary of the presentiment experiments in:

Radin, D. (2006). Entangled Minds - Extra Sesnory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. Paraview and Pocket Books, New York, NY.

Radin, D. (1997). The Conscious Universe - The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. HarperCollins, New York, NY.

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David Schumacher

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