I conducted my first presentiment experiment in 1996. As of today this type of experiment has been repeated something like 40 times by a dozen labs. In this article, Julia Mossbridge, Patrizio Tressoldi, Jessica Utts, John Ives, Wayne Jonas and I discuss implications and potential applications of this phenomenon. The meta-analysis mentioned in this article considers only a clearly defined subset of the published studies.
Predicting the unpredictable: Critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity
A recent meta-analysis of experiments from seven independent laboratories
(n=26) published since 1978 indicates that the human body can
apparently detect randomly delivered stimuli occurring 1-10 seconds in
the future. The key
observation in these studies is that human physiology appears to be able
to distinguish between unpredictable dichotomous future stimuli, such
as emotional vs. neutral images or sound vs. silence. This phenomenon
has been called presentiment (as in "feeling the future"). In this paper
we call it predictive anticipatory activity or PAA. The phenomenon is
"predictive" because it can distinguish between upcoming stimuli; it is
"anticipatory" because the physiological changes occur before a future
event; and it is an "activity" because it involves changes in the
cardiopulmonary, skin, and/or nervous systems.
PAA is an
unconscious phenomenon that seems to be a time-reversed reflection of
the usual physiological response to a stimulus. It appears to resemble
precognition (consciously knowing something is going to happen before it
does), but PAA specifically refers to unconscious physiological
reactions as opposed to conscious premonitions. Though it is possible
that PAA underlies the conscious experience of precognition, experiments
testing this idea have not produced clear results.
The first part
of this paper reviews the evidence for PAA and examines the two most
difficult challenges for obtaining valid evidence for it: expectation
bias and multiple analyses. The second part speculates on possible
mechanisms and the theoretical implications of PAA for understanding
physiology and consciousness. The third part examines potential
See the full paper here.