The purpose of this study is to determine whether visual evoked potentials generated in one
human brain by photostimulation can generate a correlated EEG signal in the brain of another
human subject who is located at a distance and who is not visually stimulated.
This study will attempt to replicate findings suggesting that visual evoked potentials
generated in one human brain (Subject A) by photostimulation can generate a correlated EEG
signal in the brain of another human subject (subject B) who is located at a distance (14.5
meters) and who is not visually stimulated.
This project will occur in three stages. First we will identify pairs of subjects who have
cross-correlated evoked potentials during photostimulation to Subject A at the p < .01 level
of significance. If no pairs can be identified we will continue to enroll and test up to 50
pairs of subjects. If pairs of subjects that demonstrate the phenomenon cannot be
identified using this p value by the end of the project time line we will reject the
hypothesis that remote transfer of neural energy occurs and report failure to replicate the
original study. If we detect greater than or equal to 5 pairs of subjects who meet the
criteria we will attempt to replicate in those pairs using a higher criteria of p < .001.
If Grinberg-Zylberbaum et al's experiment can be replicated at both stages, the project team
will go to stage 3 to investigate the same phenomenon in the identified pairs of human
subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as a second independent
neurophysiological measure of transfer of information between two human brains. We will
record fMRIs (occipital, temporal, frontal and parietal) in the remote individual while
their counterpart, located in a separate chamber, is receiving light stimulation in an
on-off pattern. We will determine if there are statistically significant differences in
digitized fMRI during lights on vs. lights off conditions. The main outcome measures for
this project will be the binary (yes-no) output from statistical analysis using
cross-correlational and z-score testing for the detection of a transferred evoked signal (in
both EEG and fMRI experiments) in Subject B. Appropriate controls will be used. If
replicated, this study will provide a useful technology and method to quantitatively
investigate the characteristics and neural mechanisms of remote effects of "mental events."
Such experimental methods will assist in the investigation of basic mechanisms involved in
- Pairs of healthy human volunteers 18-65 years of age who know each other and who each
answered yes to the following statement: I have had at least one experience of
feeling the presence of a friend/relative/partner even when we are not physically
- Subjects have at least one year experience practicing meditation, relaxation
techniques, contemplation or prayer at least once a week.
- Willingness to report to the University of Washington on at least 1-2 occasions and
up to a maximum of 6 visits, for 1-2 hour sessions each visit.
- Willingness to undergo FreezeFrame relaxation training in a 8 minute session.
- Willingness to have EEG and EKG measurements.
- Willingness to undergo functional MRI evaluation for 45-60 minutes in a small
horizontal chamber and to be exposed to high decibel auditory stimulation during the
- Ability to provide informed consent.
- Visual acuity 20/20 or better in each eye, with correction.
- Diagnosis of neurological disease, including epilepsy. History of epilepsy.
- Diagnosis of psychiatric disorder either past or current.
- Visual acuity more than 25/25 in each eye, with correction.
- Implanted devices or metal objects such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, metal bone or
joint pins, or shrapnel (in case of willingness to participate in fMRI part of the
- Current use of psychotropic medications, either prescription or illicit.
- History of self-reported claustrophobia (in case of willingness to participate in
fMRI part of the study).