Telepathy

2,639 views
2,490 views

Published on

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,639
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
13
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
17
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Telepathy

  1. 1. Telepathy (from the Greek τηλε, tele meaning "distant" and πάθη, pathe meaning "affliction,experience"),[3] is the transmission of information from one person to another without using anyof our known sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was coined in 1882 by theclassical scholar Frederic W. H. Myers,[1] a founder of the Society for Psychical Research,[2] andhas remained more popular than the earlier expression thought-transference.[2][4] Many studiesseeking to detect, understand, and utilize telepathy have been done within this field. Claims oftelepathy as a real phenomenon are at odds with the scientific consensus. According to theprevailing view among scientists, telepathy lacks replicable results from well-controlledexperiments.[5][6]Telepathy is a common theme in modern fiction and science fiction, with many superheroes andsupervillains having telepathic abilities. In more recent times, neuroimaging has allowedresearchers to actually perform early forms of mind reading.Origins of the conceptAccording to Roger Luckhurst,[7] the origin of the concept of telepathy (not telepathy itself) inthe Western civilization can be tracked to the late 19th century. In his view, science did notfrequently concern itself with "the mind" prior to this. As the physical sciences made significantadvances, scientific concepts were applied to mental phenomena (e.g., animal magnetism), withthe hope that this would help understand paranormal phenomena. The modern concept oftelepathy emerged in this historical context.The notion of telepathy is not dissimilar to two psychological concepts: delusions of thoughtinsertion/removal and psychological symbiosis. This similarity might explain how some peoplehave come up with the idea of telepathy. Thought insertion/removal is a symptom of psychosis,particularly of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatric patients who experience thissymptom falsely believe that some of their thoughts are not their own and that others (e.g., otherpeople, aliens, or conspiring intelligence agencies) are putting thoughts into their minds (thoughtinsertion). Some patients feel as if thoughts are being taken out of their minds or deleted (thoughtremoval). Along with other symptoms of psychosis, delusions of thought insertion may bereduced by antipsychotic medication.Psychological symbiosis, on the other hand, is a less well established concept. It is an idea foundin the writings of early psychoanalysts, such as Melanie Klein. It entails the belief that in theearly psychological experience of the child (during earliest infancy), the child is unable to tell thedifference between his or her own mind, on one hand, and his or her experience of themother/parent, on the other hand. This state of mind is called psychological symbiosis; withdevelopment, it ends, but, purportedly, aspects of it can still be detected in the psychologicalfunctioning of the adult. Putatively, the experience of either thought insertion/removal orunconscious memories of psychological symbiosis may have led to the invention of "telepathy"as a notion and the belief that telepathy exists. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists believeand empirical findings support the idea that people with schizotypal personality disorder areparticularly likely to believe in telepathy.[8]
  2. 2. [edit] Scientific TheoriesVarious theories have been advanced to try and explain telepathy. A physical theory of telepathywhether described as radiational or by other terms assumes that transference is effected by meansof a vibratory current linking one brain to another.[9] William Crookes proposed a "brain wave"theory in which he claimed telepathy might occur due to high frequency vibrations of the ether.Crookes had stated that there may be parts of the human brain that may be capable of sendingand receiving electrical rays of wavelengths.[10] William Fletcher Barrett and Frederic WilliamHenry Myers however pointed out problems in a physical theory for telepathy and insteadadvocated psychical theories.[11]In the early 20th century there were two other theories of telepathy, the spiritualist theory whichclaimed telepathy was the result of external spirits and the subconscious mind theory whichclaimed telepathy occurs due to contact between two or more subconsciouses.[12] Thesubconscious mind theory was advocated by psychical researcher Thomson Jay Hudson whowrote that the mind is a duality and actually consists of two minds: the objective mind(conscious) and the subjective mind (subconscious).[13]The psychical researcher John Arthur Hill wrote regarding telepathy "No physical theory oftelepathy has been worked out — there are no "brain-waves" known, and no receiving stationsyet discovered inside our skulls."[14] George N. M. Tyrrell also claimed that a physical basis fortelepathy was untenable as ideas can not be transmitted from one mind to another by anyphysical mean without being first translated into a code.[15] H. H. Price also suggested thattelepathy was incompatible with any material explanation as a physical theory of telepathywould reveal radiations detectable on physical instruments but none have ever been detected.Price wrote:“ There is no room for telepathy in a materialistic universe. Telepathy is something which ought not to happen, if the materialistic theory were true. But it does happen. So there must be something seriously wrong with the materialistic theory, however numerous and imposing the normal facts which support it may be.[16] ”[edit] Case studiesA famous experiment in telepathy was recorded by the American author Upton Sinclair in hisbook Mental Radio which documents Sinclairs test of psychic abilities of Mary CraigKimbrough, his second wife. She attempted to duplicate 290 pictures which were drawn by herhusband. Sinclair claimed Mary successfully duplicated 65 of them, with 155 "partial successes"and 70 failures. However, these experiments were not conducted in a controlled scientificlaboratory environment.[17]Another example is the experiments carried out by the author Harold Sherman with the explorerHubert Wilkins who carried out their own experiments in telepathy for five and a half monthsstarting in October 1937. This took place when Sherman was in New York and Wilkins was inthe Arctic. The experiment consisted of Sherman and Wilkins at the end of each day to relax and
  3. 3. visualise a mental image or "thought impression" of the events or thoughts they had experiencedin the day and then to record those images and thoughts on paper in a diary. The results at theend when comparing Shermans diary to Wilkins was that "Seventy-five per cent were found tobe correct". A typical example was on 21 February 1938. On that day, both Sherman and Wilkinshad recorded that cold weather had delayed their jobs, they both had witnessed that someonesskin had peeled off their finger, they both recorded that they had drunk alcohol with friends andwitnessed boxes of cigars being brought and both recorded that they had experienced atoothache.[18][19]To rule out any kind of fraud, each night Sherman had sent his impressions to Gardner Murphy,a psychologist at Columbia University. Murphy had studied the Wilkins-Sherman results andclaimed that some could be explained by coincidence but that some exceptions wereunexplainable. One such example took place on Armistice Day, 1937. Wilkins had attended aformal ball for the Army with the locals in Canada as his plane was forced to land due to badweather, Wilkins recorded that he was worried about a dress-suit that he had to wear as thewaistcoat was short in size.[20] On the same night, Sherman recorded in his dairy "You incompany with men in military attire-some women-evening dress-important people present-muchconversation-you appear to be in evening dress yourself."[21] Wilkins was very impressed by theresults and wrote that:“ When we finally were able to compare notes, what did we find? An amazing number of impressions recorded by Sherman of expedition happenings, and personal experiences, reactions and thoughts of mine. Too many of them were approximately correct and synchronized with the very day of the occurences to have been guesswork.[22] ”The full results of the experiments were published in 1942 in a book by Sherman and Wilkinstitled Thoughts Through Space in the book both Sherman and Wilkins had written that theybelieved they had demonstrated that it was possible to send and receive thought impressionsfrom the mind of one person to another.[23][edit] In parapsychologyMain articles: Parapsychology and Ganzfeld experimentWithin the field of parapsychology, telepathy is considered to be a form of extra-sensoryperception (ESP) or anomalous cognition in which information is transferred through Psi. It isoften categorized similarly to precognition and clairvoyance.[24] Various experiments have beenused to test for telepathic abilities. Among the most well known are the use of Zener cards andthe Ganzfeld experiment.
  4. 4. Zener cardsZener cards are cards marked with five distinctive symbols. When using them, one individual isdesignated the "sender" and another the "receiver". The sender must select a random card andvisualize the symbol on it, while the receiver must attempt to determine that symbol using Psi.Statistically, the receiver has a 20% chance of randomly guessing the correct symbol, so in orderto demonstrate telepathy, they must repeatedly score a success rate that is significantly higherthan 20%.[25] If not conducted properly, this method can be vulnerable to sensory leakage andcard counting.[25]When using the Ganzfeld experiment to test for telepathy, one individual is designated thereceiver and is placed inside a controlled environment where they are deprived of sensory input,and another is designated the sender and is placed in a separate location. The receiver is thenrequired to receive information from the sender. The exact nature of the information may varybetween experiments.[26]Some parapsychologists still proposed that telepathy may have a physical explanation. TheItalian neurologist Ferdinando Cazzamali in the 1920s had claimed that telepathiccommunication occured due to a type of electromagnetic radiation.[27] However theneurophysiologist William Grey Walter in his book The Living Brain (1953) wrote that electricalbrain- waves are too weak to explain telepathy. Hans Berger also held this view but extendedthe theory by proposing that telepathy occurs when "electrical energy in the agents brain istransformed into psychic energy which can be diffused to any distance, passing throughobstacles without attenuation".[28]In 1974 Michael Persinger proposed that extremely low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic wavesmay be able to carry telepathic and clairvoyant information.[29] Gerald Feinberg also suggestedthat telepathy may exist due to as of yet undiscovered elementary particles which he calledpsychons or mindons.[30][31]In recent years the parapsychologist Charles Tart has accepted the existence of telepathy butclaims that it is nonphysical in nature and can not be fitted into any physical theory.[32][edit] TypesParapsychology describes several different forms of telepathy, including latent telepathy andprecognitive telepathy.[4]Latent Telepathy, formerly known as "deferred telepathy",[33] is described as being the transferof information, through Psi, with an observable time-lag between transmission and receipt.[4]Retrocognitive, Precognitive, and Intuitive Telepathy is described as being the transfer ofinformation, through Psi, about the past, future or present state of an individuals mind to anotherindividual.[4]
  5. 5. Emotive Telepathy, also known as remote influence [34] or emotional transfer, is the process oftransferring kinesthetic sensations through altered states.Superconscious Telepathy, involves tapping into the superconscious [35] to access the collectivewisdom of the human species for knowledge.[edit] Skepticism and controversyAlthough not a recognized scientific discipline, people who study certain types of paranormalphenomena such as telepathy refer to the field as parapsychology. Parapsychologists claim thatsome instances of telepathy are real.[36][37] Skeptics say that instances of apparent telepathy areexplained as the result of fraud, self-delusion and/or self-deception and that telepathy does notexist as a paranormal power.[38]Parapsychologists and skeptics agree that many of the instances of more popular psychicphenomena, such as mediumism, can be attributed to non-paranormal techniques such as coldreading.[39][40][41] Magicians such as Ian Rowland and Derren Brown have demonstratedtechniques and results similar to those of popular psychics, without paranormal means. Theyhave identified, described, and developed psychological techniques of cold reading and hotreading.A technique which shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy on every occasion has yetto be discovered. This lack of reliable reproducibility has led skeptics to argue that there is nocredible scientific evidence for the existence of telepathy at all.[42] Skeptics also point tohistorical cases in which flaws in experimental design and occasional cases of fraud wereuncovered.[42][edit] In popular cultureTelepathy is commonly used in fiction, with a number of superheroes and supervillains, as wellas figures in many science fiction novels, etc., use telepathy. Notable fictional telepaths includethe Jedi in Star Wars. The mechanics of telepathy in fiction vary widely. Some fictional telepathsare limited to receiving only thoughts that are deliberately sent by other telepaths, or even toreceiving thoughts from a specific other person. For example, in Robert A. Heinleins 1956 novelTime for the Stars, certain pairs of twins are able to send telepathic messages to each other. In A.E. van Vogts science fiction novel Slan, the mutant hero Jommy Cross can read the minds ofordinary humans. Some telepaths can read the thoughts only of those they touch, such as Vulcansin the Star Trek media franchise. Star Trek science consultant and writer André Bormanis, hasrevealed that telepathy within the Star Trek universe works via the "psionic field." According toBormanis, a psionic field is the "medium" through which unspoken thoughts and feelings arecommunicated through space.[43] Some humanoids can tap into this field through a kind of senseorgan located in the brain; in the same manner that human eyes can sense portions of theelectromagnetic field, telepaths can sense portions of the psionic field. In the book "Eragon",Eragon can communicate through his mind with almost anyone, including his dragon Saphira,but it is possible to block people from ones mind with a barrier. In the Harry Potter series by J.
  6. 6. K. Rowling, telepathy is a magical skill known as Legilimency. In the John Wyndham novel TheChrysalids, the main character and narrator David Strorm is one of a group of nine telepaths. InAnthony Horowitzs Power of Five series twins Jamie and Scott Tyler were born with telepathicpowers that enable them to read peoples minds and, ultimately, control them. They always knoweach others thoughts, which earns them money doing tricks at a circus in Reno, Nevada, USA.Some writers view telepathy as the evolutionary destiny of humanity. In Tony Vigoritos novel,Just a Couple of Days, telepathy emerges across the entire human species as a result of the PiedPiper Virus, which inadvertently eliminates humanitys symbolic capacity. In this instance,telepathy is seen as a latent ability that emerges only when the distractions of language arebypassed.Some fictional telepaths possess mind control abilities, which can include "pushing" thoughts,feelings, or hallucinatory visions into the mind of another person, causing pain, paralysis, orunconsciousness, altering or erasing memories, or completely taking over another persons mindand body (similar to spiritual possession). Examples of this type of telepath include ProfessorXavier, Psylocke, Jean Grey, Emma Frost, and numerous other characters in the MarvelUniverse, along with Matt Parkman from the television series Heroes.The radio crimefighter The Shadow had "the power to cloud mens minds," which he used tomask his presence from others.The film Scanners concerns around people born with this kind of telepathy as well as those withtelekinetic abilities.The Urdu novel "Devta" is based on the character of Farhad Ali Taimur, a telepath involved inthe fight of good and evil.Technological enabled mental connections (occasionally seen as a form of telepathy as in thefollowing section, but not usually described using this word) are also present in science fiction,often involving the usage of neural implants of some description. For example, RobertSilverbergs 1971 story Tower of Glass features a technology called a "shunt room" whereparticipants wearing "shunt helmets" are able to probe one anothers thoughts, feelings andmemories. Another example is the Conjoiners in the Revelation Space series by AlastairReynolds. Conjoiners rely on their technological telepathy (referred to by them as"Transenlightenment") to the extent that they no longer actually speak. Certain Conjoiners areable to read, attack and control the minds of other Conjoiners and machines (though not standardhumans) using digital attacks, often having similar effects to other telepaths in fiction. Moregenerally, the concept of technological mental connections quite often features in science fictionstories featuring group minds,See also a composite list of fictional characters with telepathy.Technologically enabled telepathy:
  7. 7. Recent BCI toys like those developed by NeuroSky have brought real life telepathy to thegeneral public. The MindFlex made by Mattel in collaboration with NeuroSky was even rankedin Time Magazines top 100 toys of all time.[44][45] In this game the player floats a ball byconcentrating on it; an electroencephalogram is used to judge the persons level of concentrationthrough direct measurement of the electrical activity in their brain, this headset thencommunicates with a platform controlling the speed of a fan and thus the ball.[46][47]In 2011 a Guinness Book of World Records category was created for BCI based telepathy. TheNeuroSky MindWave was awarded it for the, “Heaviest machine moved using a brain controlinterface”.[48]Futurists think that brain-computer interfaces may make telepathy possible. There has alreadybeen progress in connecting brains with machines, and a man-machine-man bridge is consideredvery possible.[citation needed] And if man-machine-man bridges can be made, then such a link can beachieved over great distances using the Internet.Technologically enabled telepathy is also called "techlepathy," "synthetic telepathy," or"psychotronics."Some people, occasionally referred to by themselves or others as "transhumanists", believe thattechnologically enabled telepathy is a technology that humans should pursue in order to improvethemselves.Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading, England is one of the leading proponents of thisview and has based all of his recent cybernetics research around developing technology fordirectly connecting human nervous systems together with computers and with each other. Hebelieves techno-enabled telepathy will in the future become the primary form of humancommunication.[49][50]

×