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Parapsychology articles and news

Rhine research center calls for participants

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 in Parapsychology, Psychokinesis, Research | 0 comments

The Rhine Research Center – one of the leading parapsychology research centers, has a number of studies. A member of our parapsychology forum, PSI hippie, reported about a new study that calls for participants in the Rhine Research Center. I find its subject interesting, since I’ve heard about such things.


This is the call, below. I copied/pasted it from their site. I hope they don’t mind me helping them:

  • RESEARCH PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITY! **

MIND OVER MATTER STUDY: UNEXPLAINED PHYSICAL EVENTS RELATED TO CRISIS AND DEATH,

by Sally Rhine Feather, Ph.D., Christine Simmonds-Moore, Ph.D., and Jean Hamilton, M.D.

“Psychokinesis” was first studied in the early years of the Duke Parapsychology Lab when participants attempted to influence the outcome of falling dice by mental intention. Studies of PK have continued with more modern techniques at the Rhine Center and other laboratories around the world. However, except for the occasional poltergeist investigation, there has been little attention directed to PK experiences that occur spontaneously in everyday life.

Our present study is designed to learn more about the broad general range of possible spontaneous PK experiences. In the current phase of this study, our focus is on those unexplained physical events that seem to occur specifically around the time of crisis, death or near-death. Typical reports in our collection include the falling or breaking of objects, unusual noises, unexplained behavior of animals, or the malfunctioning of electronic equipment that occur around the time of a crisis, near-death, or death of a family member or loved one.

If you have noted this type of unexplained physical event, we would very much appreciate hearing about your experiences by email or postal mail. All reports are confidential.

Please send your experiences to Sally@Rhine.org or by postal mail to:

Sally Rhine Feather, Ph.D.
Rhine Research Center
2741 Campus Walk Avenue, Building 500
Durham, NC 27705.

Thank you for your help.

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Benefits of meditation researched by scientists

Posted on Jul 4, 2008 in Meditation, Research | 2 comments

An article in OregonLive.com reports about various studies performed by different scientists related to meditation and the brain.

The first one, performed in the University of Oregon by Michael Pisner and Yi-Yuan Tang, compared focusing ability of college students, those who received meditation training and those who didn’t. After five days, meditators outpaced non-meditators on the attention test, and they became significantly better at handling stress. Saliva samples revealed lower levels of the hormone cortisol when the meditators were subjected to an anxiety-inducing math quiz.

Another study, in the University of Wisconsin at Madison, showed that meditation may sharpen the ability to focus by training the brain to apply limited processing power more efficiently. In this study, volunteers had to identify two numbers flashed on a computer screen amid a stream of letters. After three months of meditation training, volunteers were able to name the second number significantly more often. EEG recordings of brain activity showed that those subjects devoted less effort to finding the first target, thus freeing more brainpower to focus on finding the second.

A study at San Francisco University showed that meditation improved pain endurance. They mapped electrical activity in the brain of a yoga master while he had his tongue pierced. The research found that the pattern of brain activity suggests that the meditating yogi entered a state similar to that produced by pain-numbing drugs.

Another study showed that long-term* meditators showed a 40 percent to 50 percent reduction in brain activity in response to pain* compared with a control group of non-meditators.

A few studies suggest that meditation can change how the brain responds to advancing age. Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta compared 13 older adults who regularly practiced Zen meditation with non-meditators of similar age. Among the latter, shrinking brain size and declining performance on attention tests correlated with age: The older the subject, the smaller the brain volume and the worse the performance. Among meditators, advancing age did not correlate with brain shrinkage or declining attention skills.

The findings match those of a 2005 study at Harvard Medical School, which found that brain regions involved in focusing attention and processing sense information were thicker in meditators than age-matched non-meditators.

Source: OregonLive.com

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A monetary prize offered for proving homeopathy works

Posted on Jul 1, 2008 in Healing, Health, Research | 1 comment

One of Britain’s leading researchers into complementary medicine offered £10,000 to the first person to prove homeopathy works.

Professor Edzard Ernst – a former homeopath himself who now researches complementary medicine at Exeter University – said 200 strictly controlled trials had failed to find any evidence that homeopathy worked.

‘If you do a systematic look at all the evidence you fail to demonstrate strong evidence in favour of homeopathy,’ he added.

Some selectively pick studies that support the treatment, but ignore those that don’t, or misquote the findings of trials, or rely on flawed studies, he claimed.

Dr Simon Singh, who co-authored the book Trick or Treatment with Professor Ernst, said homeopathy only worked as a placebo.

‘If homeopathy could be proven to be effective it might earn the researcher a Nobel Prize in Medicine,’ he said.

‘He or she would also deserve Nobel prizes in chemistry and physics because the laws of science would need to be re-written.’

To win the money, homeopaths will need to publish evidence through the Cochrane Collaboration, a respected UK independent group which investigates medicines.

Last night, the British Homeopathic Association claimed the challenge was nothing more than a gimmick to boost sales of Professor Ernst’s book.

Source: Daily mail

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