Great new review article on ghosts, hauntings and theories. I would consider it a must read if you are serious about this field. You can download the article here.

The oldest known medical report of a near-death experience has been discovered. You never know what you will find at those antique shops. You can read the article here http://www.livescience.com/46993-oldest-medical-report-of-near-death-experience.html . The Resuscitation article (there is a link in the Livescience.com article) not only describes the report but also evaluates the NDE using the Greyson criteria. The reported NDE obtains a score of 12/32. A score of more than 7 is considered a positive NDE.

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 (http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm):

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.

Thursday, 26 June 2014 08:53

Presentiment in Mainstream Science?

Written by

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 (http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm):

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.

Does psi exist? Is there evidence to support the notion of precognition? Can we see into the future? These are some the questions that parapsychologists have been asking and researching for over 130 years.

The last four years have seen a renewed interest in the field and a renewed debate due to the publication of a precognition experiment in a major widely respected research journal.

The following is a recap of the studies and meta-analyses that have been conducted and published since 2011.

In 2011 Daryl Bem published the following article, “Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect.” This article described nine studies with over 1,000 participants in the area of anomalous retroactive influence (i.e.: precognition). The experiments were simple, participants were from the general population, there was no specialized instrumentation, each session took less than 30 minutes and the statistical analysis was nothing more than a t-test.

All but one of the studies obtained statistically significant results. The overall results were Stouffer’s Z=6.66; p=1.34x10-11; mean effect size d=0.22. p values less than 0.01 or 0.05 are typical for rejecting the null hypothesis of an experiment. Therefore, this result would indicate a very strong presumption against the null hypothesis or another way to say it - strong evidence for precognition [1].

This study was immediately presented by parapsychologists and believers of evidence of psi. Other researchers and skeptics criticized the study methodology, analysis and interpretation [2, 3]. Bem later replied and defended his study and data [4]. Other scientists attempted to replicate some of Bem’s work, but failed [5-7]. The debate continued and a registry was created to track the attempts to replicate Bem’s experiments [8].

Then in 2012, a meta-analysis was done covering 26 experiments from 1978 to 2010. The overall results were Z= 6.9 ;p < 2.7 × 10-12; and mean Effect Size of 0.21 [9]. This data would again lean in favor of psi.

Now, in 2014, Bem et. al. [10] have submitted a meta-analysis of 90 experiments dealing with precognition (or as the title of the paper prefers to say, “Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events”). The overall results of this analysis were: a Hedges’ g of 0.09 (another way to express effect size), Z= 6.33; p = 1.2 × 10-10.

So, where does this leave us? Some studies showed positive results, while others gave negative results. The meta-analyses make a strong case for something anomalous occurring in these studies and give credence to precognition. No matter what the final decision is on precognition and psi phenomena, it is encouraging to see a data based debate is occurring and the scientific method is being applied to find the answers!

References

1. Bem, D. (2011). Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences of Cognition and Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 100 (3), 407-425.

2. Alcock, J. (2011). Back From the Future: Parapsychology and the Bem Affair. http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/back_from_the_future

3. Wagenmakers, E., Wetzels, R., Borsboom, D., & van der Maas, H. (2011). Why psychologists must change the way they analyze their data: the case of psi: comment on Bem (2011). Journal of personality and social psychology 100 (3): 426–32.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)

4. Bem, D., Utts J, & Johnson, W. (2011). Must psychologists change the way they analyze their data? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101 (4): 716–719.

5. Ritchie, S., Wiseman, R., French, C.., & Gilbert, S. (2012). Failing the Future: Three Unsuccessful Attempts to Replicate Bem's 'Retroactive Facilitation of Recall' Effect. In Gilbert, Sam. PLoS ONE 7 (3): e33423.

6. Frazier, K. (2013). Failure to Replicate Results of Bem Parapsychology Experiments Published by Same Journal. Failure to Replicate Results of Bem Parapsychology Experiments Published by Same Journal. csicop.org. Vol. 37(2). Retrieved 13 May 2014. Available at http://www.csicop.org/si/show/failure_to_replicate_results_of_bem_parapsychology_experiments_published_by

7. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2001721

8. http://www.richardwiseman.com/BemReplications.shtml

9. Mossbridge, J., Tressoldi, P. & Utts, J. (2012). Predictive Physiological Anticipation Preceding Seemingly Unpredictable Stimuli: A Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Psychology. 3 (390), 1-18.

10. Bem, D., Tressoldi, P., Rabeyron, T., & Duggan, M. (2014). Feeling the Future: A Meta-Analysis of 90 Experiments on the Anomalous Anticipation of Random Future Events (April 11, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2423692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2423692

Monday, 24 March 2014 19:54

New Parapsychology Articles of Interest

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If you are a serious paranormal investigator then it is a good idea to keep up on the parapsychological literature. Here are a few recent articles of interest.

 

Smith, A.M. (2014). Voluntary out-of-body experience: an fMRI study. Front. Hum. Neurosci. Vol. 8 Article 70.

Abstract

The present single-case study examined functional brain imaging patterns in a participant that reported being able, at will, to produce somatosensory sensations that are experienced as her body moving outside the boundaries of her physical body all the while remaining aware of her unmoving physical body. We found that the brain functional changes associated with the reported extra-corporeal experience (ECE) were different than those observed in motor imagery. Activations were mainly left-sided and involved the left supplementary motor area and supramarginal and posterior superior temporal gyri, the last two overlapping with the temporal parietal junction that has been associated with out-of-body experiences. The cerebellum also showed activation that is consistent with the participant’s report of the impression of movement during the ECE. There was also left middle and superior orbital frontal gyri activity, regions often associated with action monitoring. The results suggest that the ECE reported here represents an unusual type of kinesthetic imagery.

Article can be downloaded here.

 

Cardena, E. (2014). A call for open informed study of all aspects of consciousness. Front. Hum. Neurosci. Vol. 8, Article 17.

Article can be downloaded here.

 

Roll et. al. (2012). Case report: A prototypical experience of ‘poltergeist’ activity, conspicuous quantitative electroencephalographic patterns, and sLORETA profiles – Suggestions for interventions

Abstract

People who report objects moving in their presence, unusual sounds, glows around other people, and multiple sensed presences but do not meet the criteria for psychiatric disorders have been shown to exhibit electrical anomalies over the right temporal lobes. This article reports the striking quantitative electroencephalography, sLORETA results, and experimental elicitation of similar subjective experiences in a middle-aged woman who has been distressed by these classic phenomena that began after a head injury. She exhibited a chronic electrical anomaly over the right temporoinsular region. The rotation of a small pinwheel near her while she ‘concentrated’ upon it was associated with increased coherence between the left and right temporal lobes and concurrent activation of the left prefrontal region. The occurrence of the unusual phenomena and marked ‘sadness’ was associated with increased geomagnetic activity; she reported a similar mood when these variations were simulated experimentally. Our quantitative measurements suggest people displaying these experiences and possible anomalous energies can be viewed clinically and potentially treated.

Article can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

If you are interested in real parapsychological research and information then this is the conference for you!

Conference Information and Registration

56th Annual Convention
of the Parapsychological Association

Viterbo, Italy

August 8-11, 2013

The Parapsychological Association (PA), will be holding its 56th annual convention on August 8-11, 2013 at the Ora Domus La Quercia in Viterbo, Italy. Leading scientists and other academics from around the world will gather to present the latest research into psi and related phenomena, such as extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, psychic healing, altered states of consciousness, mediumship and possible survival of bodily death. 

The site of the PA convention, the Ora Domus La Quercia hotel, is the former convent of the Sanctuary of Saint Maria della Quercia on the Via Francigena, a major route leading to Rome from Canterbury which in the past was used by thousands of pilgrims on their way to Rome.  Constructed between 1470 and 1525, the hotel still maintains its Renaissance elegance and is steeped in local history.

The PA Board has invited Dr. Simon Thorpe to deliver the J.B. Rhine address on Saturday evening of the convention. Dr. Thorpe is the research director of the Brain and Cognitive Research Center (CerCo) at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Toulouse, France. He will be speaking on the possible implications of psi for cognitive neuroscience and thinking about the nature of mind and consciousness. 

The PA convention will offer an opportunity for attendees interested in that wide range of human functioning popularly known as the ‘psychic’ or ‘paranormal’ to hear the latest and most advanced scientific thinking about parapsychological topics.  This page will be updated with more details as they become available.

 

Here is a new journal related to parapsychology and exceptional human experiences. It covers ghosts, hauntings, survival, ESP, mediums and various other Psi topics. It is available online for free!

http://www.exceptionalpsychology.com/

The John Templeton Foundation grant to UC Riverside philosopher John Fischer will fund research on aspects of immortality, including near-death experiences and the impact of belief in an afterlife on human behavior

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — For millennia, humans have pondered their mortality and whether death is the end of existence or a gateway to an afterlife. Millions of Americans have reported near-death or out-of-body experiences. And adherents of the world’s major religions believe in an afterlife, from reincarnation to resurrection and immortality.

Anecdotal reports of glimpses of an afterlife abound, but there has been no comprehensive and rigorous, scientific study of global reports about near-death and other experiences, or of how belief in immortality influences human behavior. That will change with the award of a three-year, $5 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation to John Martin Fischer, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, to undertake a rigorous examination of a wide range of issues related to immortality. It is the largest grant ever awarded to a humanities professor at UC Riverside, and one of the largest given to an individual at the university.

“People have been thinking about immortality throughout history. We have a deep human need to figure out what happens to us after death,” said Fischer, the principal investigator of The Immortality Project. “Much of the discussion has been in literature, especially in fantasy and science fiction, and in theology in the context of an afterlife, heaven, hell, purgatory and karma. No one has taken a comprehensive and sustained look at immortality that brings together the science, theology and philosophy.”

The John Templeton Foundation, located near Philadelphia, supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will.

Half of the $5 million grant will be awarded for research projects. The grant will also fund two conferences, the first of which will be held at the end of the project’s second year and the second at the end of the grant period. A website will include a variety of resources, from glossaries and bibliographies to announcements of research conferences and links to published research. Some recent work in Anglo-American philosophy will be translated for German philosophers who, in the last 30 years, have been increasingly studying the work of American philosophers.

UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White said Fischer’s research “takes a universal concern and subjects it to rigorous examination to sift fact from fiction. His work will provide guidance for discussion of immortality and the human experience for generations to come.  We are extremely proud that he is leading the investigation of this critical area of knowledge.”

Noting Fischer’s renown as a scholar of free will and moral responsibility, Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, said, “There is perhaps no one better suited to lead a multidisciplinary research project on the question of immortality and its social implications. The Templeton Foundation’s generous support will enable scholars from across the world to come to UCR to investigate how the question of immortality affects all cultures, albeit in different ways.”

Anecdotal reports of near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences and past lives are plentiful, but it is important to subject these reports to careful analysis, Fischer said. The Immortality Project will solicit research proposals from eminent scientists, philosophers and theologians whose work will be reviewed by respected leaders in their fields and published in academic and popular journals.

“We will be very careful in documenting near-death experiences and other phenomena, trying to figure out if these offer plausible glimpses of an afterlife or are biologically induced illusions,” Fischer said. “Our approach will be uncompromisingly scientifically rigorous. We’re not going to spend money to study alien-abduction reports. We will look at near-death experiences and try to find out what’s going on there — what is promising, what is nonsense, and what is scientifically debunked. We may find something important about our lives and our values, even if not glimpses into an afterlife.”

Fischer noted that while philosophers and theologians have pondered questions of immortality and life after death for millennia, scientific research into immortality and longevity are very recent. The Immortality Project will promote collaborative research between scientists, philosophers and theologians. A major goal will be to encourage interdisciplinary inquiry into the family of issues relating to immortality — and how these bear on the way we conceptualize our own (finite) lives.

One of the questions he hopes researchers will address is cultural variations in reports of near-death experiences. For example, the millions of Americans who have experienced the phenomenon consistently report a tunnel with a bright light at the end. In Japan, reports often find the individual tending a garden.

“Is there something in our culture that leads people to see tunnels while the Japanese see gardens?” he asked. “Are there variations in other cultures?” What can we learn about our own values and the meanings of our finite lives by studying near-death experiences cross-culturally (as well as within our own culture)?

Other questions philosophers may consider are: Is immortality potentially worthwhile or not? Would existence in an afterlife be repetitive or boring? Does death give meaning to life? Could we still have virtues like courage if we knew we couldn’t die? What can we learn about the meaning of our lives by thinking about immortality?

Theologians and philosophers who examine various concepts of an afterlife may delve into the relationship between belief in life after death and individual behavior, and how individuals could survive death as the same person.

“Many people and religions hold there is an afterlife, and that often gives people consolation when faced with death,” Fischer said. “Philosophy and theology are slightly different ways to bring reason to beliefs about religion to evaluate their rationality. If you believe we exist as immortal beings, you could ask how we could survive death as the very same person in an afterlife. If you believe in reincarnation, how can the very same person exist if you start over with no memories?

“We hope to bring to the general public a greater awareness of some of the complexities involved in simple beliefs about heaven, hell and reincarnation, and encourage people to better understand and evaluate their own beliefs about an afterlife and the role of those beliefs in their lives.”

For example, “We think that free will is very important to us theologically and philosophically. And heaven in the Judeo-Christian tradition is supposed to be the best place. Yet we arguably wouldn’t have free will in heaven. How do you fit these ideas together?”

At the end of the project Fischer will analyze findings from the Immortality Project and write a book with the working title “Immortality and the Meaning of Death,” slated for publication by Oxford University Press.

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers and theologians, and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights. The foundation’s vision is derived from the late Sir John Templeton’s optimism about the possibility of acquiring “new spiritual information” and from his commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The foundation’s motto, “How little we know, how eager to learn,” exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and its hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.

55th Annual Convention
of the Parapsychological Association

Millennium Hotel
Durham, North Carolina
USA

August 9-12, 2012

http://www.parapsych.org/articles/37/119/announcing_the_2012_pa_convention.aspx

This meeting is a must for serious paranormal investigators or ghost hunters. Especially those who claim to be science based.

Why?

Let’s start out with what parapsychology is and what it involves.

Parapsychology is the study of “apparent anomalies of behavior and experience that exist apart from currently known explanatory mechanisms that account for organism-environment and organism-organism information and influence flow.”

-Parapsychological Association, 1989, pp.394-395

Parapsychologists attempt to explain the phenomena within mainstream science. If the phenomena can’t be explained within the context of mainstream science, then new hypotheses and theories are proposed that are an extension of known science. Some of those ideas may seem well outside of mainstream science but new data, experiments, and information will continue to support or not support those hypotheses. For example, new information gained in the study of quantum physics gives new possibilities for explaining paranormal phenomena with the context of science.

The variety of different areas and experiences within the field are collectively termed ‘psi’.  Psi is synonymous with psychic and psychical. The three aspects of psi are:

  • Extrasensory Perception (ESP) or what some term Extended Sensory Perception. This area of psi is considered informational or receptive psi.
  • Psychokinesis (PK). This is psi as an interaction. It is when the mind has a direct affect on an animate or inanimate object. Telekinesis is the older term used to describe these phenomena of moving distant objects with one’s mind but most parapsychologists just refer to it as PK. To make it simple, let’s just say it is mind over matter.
  • Survival. This is the life after death area that all ghost hunters and paranormal investigators have come to know and love. However, it includes much more than just ghosts and hauntings as you will see in the following paragraphs.

Why is it important for paranormal investigators or ghost hunters to know about parapsychology?

Knowledge of parapsychology is essential for the paranormal investigator. The major reasons it plays such an important role are:

  • Parapsychology used to be known in the early days as psychical research of which started out investigating mediums, psychics, and spiritualists. There was also considerable time spent collecting, investigating and analyzing cases of ghosts and hauntings (or what most parapsychologists would term ‘spontaneous cases’).
  • The majority of research in parapsychology is now done in the formal psychology lab setting. Unfortunately, ghosts have yet to make themselves available for a controlled laboratory study. Therefore, most of the investigations into ghosts and hauntings cases into the arms of amateur paranormal investigators and ghost hunters.
  • The information gained during research by parapsychologists can be used when investigating ghosts and hauntings. This also works the opposite way in that good quality information collected during field investigations can be a starting point for parapsychologists to set up and do certain laboratory experiments.
  • Amateur paranormal investigators and ghost hunters are NOT parapsychologists. Parapsychologists have advanced college degrees and usually hold faculty positions at universities and/or at other formal research laboratories. Also, the majority of parapsychologists would not be considered to be ghost hunters or paranormal investigators. Some do investigate spontaneous cases but usually do it as a somewhat controlled field experiment in an attempt to collect data that can be used to support a hypothesis they are testing.

Finally, if you do believe in the possibility of ghosts then the field of parapsychology can provide some possible mechanisms by which these entities are able to manifest, communicate with, and influence things in our physical world.

Sunday, 15 January 2012 14:04

Parapsychologist, Dr. William G. Roll, Dies at 85 Featured

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DrRoll-2William G. Roll (July 3, 1926 – January 9, 2012) was a noted psychologist and parapsychologist on the faculty of the Psychology Department of the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, in the United States. He held various positions there, including Professor of Psychology and Psychical Research, assistant professor, and instructor. Sometimes credited as William Roll, or informally, Bill Roll, he was a parapsychologist since the 1950s and authored or coauthored many investigation research papers, articles, and four books: The Poltergeist (1972), Theory and Experiment in Psychical Research (1975), Psychic Connections (1995, with co-author Lois Duncan), and Unleashed: Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch (2004, with co-author Valerie Storey). He is also notable for making several appearances in the television show Unsolved Mysteries, among them an episode discussing disturbances on the RMS Queen Mary.

READ HIS OBITUARY FROM THE PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION