Sunday, May 23, 2010

The paranormal and UFOs

Hi readers

I have always been interested in both the paranormal and UFOs. No doubt, you could say that any fan of Jacques Vallee's would be interested in both these topics.

It was of therefore, of relevance that I came across an article in an old issue of the "Psychology Today" magazine dated August 2008, on pages 76-78.

"Peter Brugger is a neuroscientist at the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. He focuses on the neuropsychological underpinnings of belief systems and phenomena such as "phantom limbs" - the sensation that an amputated limb is still connected to the body." p 76.

"Brugger pursued a PhD in biology and steered his research towards the phenomenon of perception. For his dissertion, he preformed an ESP study of two groups of people: those who believed in the paranormal and those who did not. He exposed his subjects to a rapid sequence of light flashes, and made them believe that the stimuli contained dice faces. The paranormal enthusiasts were particularly unlikely to repeat the same guess for a dice twice in a row. Brugger concluded that those who have a hard time accepting that weird occurrences are purely due to chance tend to believe in the paranormal, because it is a way to explain the coincidences they naturally distrust.

Those who believe that funny occurrences-such as two identical dice rolls in a row-sometimes happen haphazardly don't need to blame unseen forces...."

"After 20-plus years of scientific explanation Brugger has accumulated evidence to show that belief in paranormal activity is a brain function, just as emotion and cognition are. The brain chemical dopamine is an obvious suspect. " "People with too much dopamine literally see things; they have suspicious thoughts. They see two many patterns in what is random" he explains. Parkinsons' patients take dopamine to control their motor symptoms. If you give them too much, they begin to see things like schizophrenics do" he points out."

Comment:

"...belief in the paranormal is a brain function..."? I'm not too sure about that. I must do some more reading about Brugger's ideas.

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