Saturday, 25th April, 2009 - Psi and the Brain, Society for Psychical Research Study Day, St. Philip's Church, Earls Court Rd, London
Forthcoming Talks:August 2009:
Paranormal Phenomena and Psychoactive Drugs:
Parapsychology: Magic and Science:
Luck as a Euphemism for Psi?Testing for Precognition
You Never Know Your Luck: The Psychology of Superstition
The Speculated Neurochemistry of Psi and Associated Processes
Dr. David Luke
10am-5pm Saturday, 25th April, 2009 Psi and the Brain, Society for Psychical Research Study Day St. Philip's Church, Earls Court Rd, London, W8
Members £30 / Non-Members £35. / Students, Over 60s or Unwaged: £2 discount.
This paper will focus on the use of psychoactive drugs in inducing experiences of anomalous cognition and other ostensibly paranormal experiences and investigate what might be learned, if anything, about the neurochemistry of such experiences. It will briefly review the empirical research in this area and critically evaluate a number of nascent neurochemical models that attempt to underpin the possible neurochemistry of certain ostensibly paranormal experiences, such as ESP (clairvoyance, telepathy or precognition), out of body experiences, near-death experiences, and mediumship.
Most of the published research on this topic has been conducted within the field of parapsychology and has been largely confined to psychedelic and euphoric agents, as few other psychoactive drugs have been reported to induce paranormal-type experiences. There exist a number of direct experimental attempts to induce ESP with such drugs and these will be critically evaluated along with the available survey data. Historical, anthropological, psychiatric and psychotherapeutic reports also add some valuable phenomenological data to this debate. The few extant neurochemical models of paranormal experience will be critically evaluated in light of the parapsychological and neurochemical evidence available. Criticisms of previous research, suggested improvements, and speculations for further areas of research and means of testing these models will also be proposed.