The Consciousness Research Laboratory has studied mind-matter interaction effects on living and inanimate systems, precognition, physical and physiological correlates of apparitions, and "field consciousness" effects in groups. We've also examined environmental factors at traditionally haunted sites, fluctuations in the payout ratios of games of chance and geomagnetic modulation of psi performance.
Articles and interviews about our research have appeared in many periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, The New Times, Life, Times Higher Education Supplement, The Times of India, New Scientist, Newsweek, Wired, and Psychology Today. Our Director has been interviewed on numerous television programs, including ABC's Good Morning America, the Discovery Channel's Discovery Magazine, The Learning Channel's Ultrascience, The History Channel's History's Mysteries, and PBS's Closer to Truth..
A comprehensive review of the present scientific status of psi research, as well as more details about our research, can be found in the 1997 multiple award-winning book, The Conscious Universe or the forthcoming Entangled Minds (April 2006). For other recommended books about parapsychology and related topics, click here.
Overview of research projects
Mind-matter interaction phenomena
With living systems as the remote "targets" for mind-matter interaction effects, we have studied whether thinking about someone at a distance affects their nervous system. The context of these studies is usually cast in terms of investigating distant healing. Conventional scientific procedures are employed, such as the use of randomized, counterbalanced, double-blind protocols. Our research has involved both individuals and groups, separated in some experiments by distance and in others by time. The results indicate that distant mental influence of the human body does occur in the laboratory under well-controlled conditions. Several of our recent articles on this topic have been published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
With inanimate systems, we have studied the effects of environmental factors, different forms of physical targets, "group mind" effects, possible practical applications of mind-matter interaction phenomena, and anomalous metal bending. We've found that environmental fluctuations play a role in modulating mind-matter interactions, that there appears to be a "field consciousness" effect when groups of people direct their focus on a common object, and there may be ways of putting mind-matter interaction phenomena to work in useful technologies. A successful physical target we've worked with is an electronic random number generator (RNG). A good RNG is available from a company in The Netherlands called Orion. Some of our recent studies on these topics have been published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
We have studied three categories of perceptual phenomena: Unconscious physiological responses to future emotional events (called "presentiment"), conscious precognition, and altered states of consciousness associated with seeing apparitions. The strongest evidence is that just as people can apparently affect others at a distance by simply thinking about them, people can apparently affect their own physiology through time. This suggests that some aspects of intuitive hunches, especially visceral hunches associated with threats or danger, may involved precognitive information. Some of our recent studies on these topics have been published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
The evidence about apparitions is not as clear. Apparitions may not be solely subjective, but the existing evidence for something independently objective is weak and requires much more research.
We are interested in exploring how environmental factors influence human performance, including psi performance. Towards this end, we analyzed historical records of 911 crisis calls, death rates, admission to psychiatric facilities, US state lottery payouts, Las Vegas casino gaming profits, and sports performance, to see how these variables correlate with various environmental variables. Results indicate that changes in weather, geomagnetic fluctuations, lunar cycle, and possibly tidal effects do significantly correlate with many aspects of human behavior, including lottery and casino payouts. In particular, these analyses suggest that at least some of the folklore associated with the moon may manifest in real-world contexts, including in the casino.
Field studies and claims of exceptional abilities
Much of the "raw material" underlying the topics we study are spontaneous events such as reports of haunted sites, or people claiming special psychic abilities. We occasionally investigate such cases, and in a few instances we've encountered evidence for anomalous physical or perceptual effects, especially in long-running, multiple-witness haunting cases. However, so far our investigations of people who claim unusual abilities have not discovered anything that can be considered exceptional.
This page last updated: Sunday, August 21, 2005