Is There Any Scientific Evidence For Psychic Ability?
The argument as to whether we actually have any psychic abilities or not has raged between skeptics and believers for decades. However, new research has shown that we all have the potential to predict events in the future. It may also show that science needs to develop different methods of testing to fully assess the limits of our gifts.
Precognition is the ability to predict events before they happen. Professional psychics have long-claimed to be able to ‘see’ into the future – a claim long-dismissed by scientists. In the last months of 2011, research was conducted at the Washington University in St Louis and produced some surprising results.
A Few Seconds Into The Future
The research initially focused on the mid-brain dopamine system (MDS), which sends signals to the rest of the brain when unexpected events occur. Using MRI to monitor results, the researchers played subjects films of mundane events, such as people washing cars, building Lego models or washing clothes. The film was played for a short time, before being stopped, just before an event was about to take place. The subjects were then asked to predict what was going to happen around five seconds after the film was to be started up again. Between 80% and 90% of the viewer predictions were found to be correct.
Once the results were collated, Professor Zacks, heading the project, made a statement, saying that “when we watch everyday activity unfold around us, we make predictions about what will happen a few seconds out. Successful predictions are associated with the subjective experience of a smooth stream of consciousness.” This statement seems to correlate with the beliefs of many precognitive psychics. Clairvoyants believe that, in order to accurately predict future events, they must clear their minds and allow their psyches to come to the forefront of their consciousnesses.
While the results show that most of us can successfully predict events a few seconds into the future, there has been no similar research into the long-term predictions made by precognitive psychics. Until this is carried out, the debate will continue to rage, although science seems to be edging towards a more open-minded approach.