scientific Studies

Anomalistic Psychology, Quantum Theory, Environmental, Biological and the like.
How science and the paranormal interact.

Ganzfeld Experiments

Posted by RiPA Rep on Thursday, July 9, 2009 Under: Scientific Projects
Sensory deprivation can be, and has been, an instrument of torture, but in parapsychology it has provided the means for some remarkably sucessful experiments in telepathy.

As of 09/07/09, RiPA has been commissioned to undertake a series of sessions using the Ganzfeld for modern research.

So what exactly does the Ganzfeld consist of?
In these experiments, subjects are placed in conditions of mild sensory deprivation, sitting in a comfortable reclining chair, or laying on a floor, listening to white noise played through headphones, and wearing translucent hemispheres over the eyes or the less scientifc version, halved ping-pong balls - while red light shines illuminates the test area. Meanwhile, a "sender" in another room looks at photos or video clips, and the subject speaks about any feelings or images that come to mind. At the end of the session the subject is shown four different stimuli, only one of which was selected by the "sender", There is a 1 in 4 or 25% chance of scoring a hit by chance, by ranking the actual image first.

The original idea for Ganzfeld research came from an american parapsychologist Charles Honorton, while he was at the Maimonides Medical Centre in New York carrying out experiments in dream telepathy. He kept noticing that most reports of spontaneous telepathy over the previous century had came from people who were in a highly relaxed state at the time, whether asleep, convalescing just doing nothing at all or attending a RiPA meet while Atticus is speaking!

Therefore, he reasoned, instead of making people sit and guess ESP Zener cards, why not try to recreate the conditions under which telepathy seemed to happen in real life?

Attempts to transmit images to dreamers were highly successful, he found, but they took far too long. All night in fact!
He considered that the Ganzfeld environment was an analogue of the dream stat, and that by placing somebody in it he would be creating an environment in which psychic experience could be expected to flourish, as indeed it did.

By 1977, Honorton was able to report that it not only had his own eight experiments, involving a total of 267 sessions, given significant positive results, but that to other researchers had been able to repeat them just as successfully or more so, to a degree he described as 'highly significant by the most conservative estimate'.

In 1978, a fellow by the name of Dr Carl Sargent, then of Cambridge University, visited Honorton's Laboratory in 1978. 'It had a very powerful effect on me psychologically,' he says. 'I found it really did produce an altered state of consciousness, and I even had an incipent out-of-body experience.'

Subsequently, he achieved considerable success both as subject and as sender, and has found, by studying the psychological questionnaires he gives all his subjects, that extroverted types are far more likely to be successful than introverts. 

He himself is the most exuberant of extroverts, (a bit like RiPA Cally!) 'Ganfeld work is, above all, tremendous fun,' he says. 'People really enjoy it and they keep coming back for more.' Yet however much he enjoys his work, he take it very seriously. As the first person to be awarded a Ph.D for a thesis on a parapsychological topic, and as a full time parapsychologist, he is well aware of the need to achieve scientific respectability if his subject is to attract the attention of tother scientists and to encourage funding. Thanks to him, parapsychology became part of the syllabus for Cambridge undergraduates, and by 1981 eight of them had volunteered to undergo training in it.

Ganzfeld research is one of the most promising areas of parapsychology for at least 2 reasons:
First, it has produced a very consistent and high repeatability rate, and second it is largely fraud-proof, as there is no opportunity for the subject to cheat - deliberately or subliminally. It is also a clear example of a parapsychological hypothesis being put to the test and successfully repeated elsewhere, a standard requirement of any branch of science.

So from the start of the Ganzfeld to modern study.
In 1994, psychologist Daryl Bem and Charles Honorton carried out a meta-analytic survey of a set of ESP ‘Ganzfeld’ experiments arguing that the database constituted evidence for psychic functioning. In 1999, Dr Julie Milton (then Edinburgh University) and Prof Wiseman published a follow-up paper, presenting a meta-analysis of Ganzfeld studies conducted between 1987 & 1997, and arguing that this subsequent research had failed to replicate the initial effect. This paper produced a large amount of controversy within parapsychology, culminating in a special issue of the Journal of Parapsychology. The details that this entailed will take far to long to describe in this blog, but feel free to ask RiPA more on this subject if you so wish.

RiPA is currently undertaking the Ganzfeld experiments to bring to you a modern day, truthful result. All the Experiments will be filmed and will be on RiPA tv soon.

In : Scientific Projects 


Tags: ganfeld  parapsychology  honorton  wiseman  daryl bem  julie milton  experiments  ghosts  hauntings  most huanted uk  paranormal  milton keynes  england   
blog comments powered by Disqus