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Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 Charles Honorton 2. Psychophysical Interaction The Problem of Psychophysical Interaction The nature of miin and its relationship to the physical world remains\'a fundamental mystery. Does mind 'emerge' out of or represent some 'inner' di- mension of physical states? Or is mind an inde- pendent entity that interacts with but is not re- ducible to physical states? Is the brain a gener- ator or a transmitter of mind? If the former, what is the magical algorithm through which physi- cal states achieve consciousness? If the latter, what is the mode of interaction between mind and brain? Is the traffic one-way or two-way: are mental states always effects of brain states and never their causes, or are brain states sometimes effects as well as causes of mental states? The problem of psychophysical interaction, or the "mind-body problem" as it is sometimes called, has traditionally been a problem for speculative philosophy rather than science. Scientific dis- cussions of this topic have generally reflected one or two points of view. One is that the problem is inherently metaphysical, has no empirical conse- quences, and is therefore outside the domain of science. The other is that psychophysical inter- action is a premature scientific problem, one that can only be solved through future developments in the neurosciences. The philosopher of science Karl Popper refers to the latter view as "promis- sory materialism," and criticizes it on the grounds that it presupposes the form of the solution, i.e., through reduction of mind to currently unidentified Approved For Release 2003/09/09 CIA-RDRft?? 9aRpQQAeQQ11QW,1-9.nd in so doing, makes claims 20 CharZes Honorton Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 Psychophysical Interaction for the neurosciences that cannot be substantiated (Popper and Eccles, 1977). Among modern neuroscientists, J. C. Eccles (1953) and Wilder Penfield (1975) are perhaps the most outspoken critics of "promissory materialism." Both have advocated dualistic solutions to the problem of psychophysical interaction. Eccles (1953) suggests that the brain is a detector rather than a generator of mind and speculated that 'weak mind influences' could modify the pattern of dis- charge of hundreds of thousands of neurons via weak effects on neural assemblies specialized in mind- brain communication: "Thus," says Eccles (1953), "the neurophysiological hypothesis is that the 'will' modifies the spatio-temporal activ- ity of the neuronal network by exerting... 'fields of influence' that become affected through this unique detector function of the active cerebral cortex. "It will be objected," he continues, "that the essence of the hypothesis is that mind produces changes in the matter- energy system of the brain and hence must be itself in that system.... But this deduction is merely based on the present hypotheses of physics. Since these pos- tulated 'mind influences'have not been detected by any existing physical in- strument, they have necessarily been neg- lected in constructing the hypotheses of physics...." (My emphasis) Eccles' speculation, while in many ways an advance over earlier dualistic formulations, is based primarily upon negative evidence, i.e., our present inability to identify mind with specific brain processes or structures. In order to bring such speculation into the empirical domain, it would be necessary to have positive evidence of the sort suggested by Eccles in the above quotation, i.e., physical detection of mind influence under conditions that preclude physiological reduction- ism. Claims of evidence of this sort, and more importantly for our present purposes, of methods for obtaining such evidence, constitute the sub- ject matter of paraps 1 y For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792 Parapsychology Parapsychology or psi research is the stuc of interactions between living systems and thei environment (including other living systems) tY are anomalous with respect to currently-recogni physical channels of information exchange. The interactions are characterized by the acquisiti of information from the outside world under.cor tions prohibiting involvement of known physiolc cal receptors (extrasensory perception or ESP) by the apparently direct influence of mental pi cesses on external physical systems (psychokinE or PK). Such interactions are generally caller psi phenomena. Experimental evidence for the occurrence psi phenomena has accumulated over the past fil years (Rhine, e al., 1940) and has increased F ticularly during the past decade (Wolman, 1977; The experimental and statistical methods used this area have survived sustained and penetrat: critical examination (Honorton, 1975; Mauskopf, 1979; Mauskopf and McVaugh, in preparation) an( are generally well-regarded by behavioral sciei methodologists (e.g., Barber, 1977; Rosenthal, 1966). Nevertheless, parapsychological researci remains controversial. There are two major reasons for the'~conti: ing controversy. By far the most influential been the consistent failure of psi research to identify physical correlates of the phenomena, indeed, even a plausible physical mechanism fo their occurrence. Psi phenomena appear to be tinctly psychological in origin. Whether this view is correct or merely based upon our curre ignorance, it has been widely accepted by crit and researchers alike, and has led a number of scientists to reject psi phenomena on a priori grounds (e.g., Hebb, 1951). Although the appa lack of physical substrates may be philosophic disturbing, this is a dubious basis upon which reject empirical findings. As Popper and Eccl (1977) point out, the belief that our familiar tal processes are ultimately reducible to phys descriptions is, as yet, unsubstantiated specu tion, and until such time as "promissory mater 4 1 rally vindicated, we should reme e ative possibilities. The other major reason for continued contro- versy over the status of psi phenomena is that findings in this area have been difficult to repli- cate. Replicability implies specification of ante- cedent conditions associated with the occurrence or detection of a phenomenon. Because of the anoma- lous features of psi phenomena, much of the re- search in this area. has been demonstration-oriented rather than process-oriented. Demonstration exper- iments are useful in increasing confidence in the reality of a phenomenon through control or elimina- tion of alternative hypotheses, but they do not illuminate the antecedent conditions in which the phenomenon occurs, and therefore contribute little toward increasing its reliability. Fortunately, this situation has begun to change, with greater emphasis on process-oriented studies designed to identify psi-antecedent condi- tions, and as this has occurred, there has been an increase in the replicability (and in some cases, the magnitude) of experimental psi effects. I will illustrate with two sample areas that have been the focus of considerable experimental work during the past decade, and which I believe have both method- ological and substantive implications for an em- pirical approach to the problem of psychophysical interaction. Psi-conducive States Like other complex psychological processes, psi interactions appear to be modulated by individ- ual differences (Palmer, 1977), emotional and mo- tivational factors (Williams and Duke, 1979), the quality of interpersonal interaction between ex- perimental participants (Honorton, Ramsey and Cab- ibbo, 1975), and particularly by the internal state of the subject. Reports of naturally-occurring, spontaneous psi experiences are historically and cross-cultur- ally linked to dreaming, hypnosis, and meditation. Between 50-65% of the reported spontaneous ESP ex- periences have been dream-mediated (Green, 1960; Prasad and Stevenson, 1968; Rhine, 1962; Sannwald, 1959). Mental imagery is the dominant mode of psi expression: only 15-30% of the s ontan eon Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 Psychophysical Interaction Anecdotal accounts of apparent psi phenome recur frequently in the early literature of hyp sis and meditation. Psi phenomena were widely garded as the "higher phenomena of hypnotism" u .til late in the nineteenth century (Dingwall, 1967). Similarly, in traditional meditation to psi effects or siddhis were claimed to be natur by-products of a state of abstraction in which there is a diminution of ego-boundaries and sel object differentiation (Mishra, 1971). Controlled laboratory experiments support claim that dreaming, hypnosis, and meditation psi-conducive states. Experiments in which sul jects have been tested for ESP in the states show stronger and more reliable ESP effects the those obtained in studies where subjects perfor ESP tasks in th it ordinary "waking" state. A cent survey of a'.1l experiments performed in thJ area through 1976 shows significant overall ES1 effects in 49 of the 87 experiments reported (Honorton, 1977). This is a 56% success rate, compared to the chance expectation of 5%. Con: atory findings have been reported by 17 of the laboratories contributing to this data base. During the past decade, a growing researcl fort has been directed toward identification o: tecedent conditions of psi-conducive states. I of this work has been guided by a provisional i that considers psi-conducive states to the.intt nal attention states (IAS), characterized by t following conditions shared by classical psi-c, ducive states: (1) muscular relaxation, (2) r duced sensory input/processing, (3) sufficient cortical arousal to sustain consciousness in t absence of sensory input, (4) increased vividn of or attention to spontaneous mental processe and (5) a communication goal or need to commun cate (Honorton, 1977; 1978a). According to the IAS model, these conditi serve to increase the detectability (but not r essarily the availability) of psi input throug attentuation of competing proprioceptive and e teroceptive stimuli that ordinarily mask weake psi input. In other words, normal perceptual p s cases cesses constitute sources of noise with respec involve imageless impr% 8U@d r 6f a ,20'37@4/09: CIA-RDP96-00792FpK04- tOQ01v en sensory input is decreased, t is increased attention to internal processes, Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 especially imagery, which seems to be a primary mode of encoding psi input. The mediation of weak inputs through mental processes has been demon- strated in studies of subliminal perception (Dixon, 1971). Like psi phenomena, subliminal influences appear to be more readily detected when mediated through internal attention states, are sometimes associated with significant avoidance of the tar get, i.e., "perceptual defense," and seem to dis- play physically anomalous characteristics, e.g., subliminal retrieval rate appears to be inversely related to the physical stimulus energy. Several experimental procedures have been de- veloped to test these conditions. One such pro- cedure involves a mild form of perceptual isolation called ganzfeld stimulation to reduce sensory func- tioning and to increase the subject's attention to internal imagery and thought processes (Bertini, Lewis, and Witkin, 1964). Seated comfortably in a sound-attentuated room, the subject relaxes as his visual and auditory input is regulated to provide a constant, unpatterned perceptual field. The sub- ject is asked to "think out -loud," in order to de- scribe a randomly selected target picture that is located in another room. He is instructed not to dwell upon the target, but rather to allow it to emerge spontaneously through his ongoing mental processes. In 'telepathy' versions of this experiment, the target picture is viewed by a sender (Honorton and Harper, 1974). In 'clairvoyance' versions, the target picture is enclosed in an opaque enve- lope and its content remains unknown to anyone until the end of the experiment (Schmitt and Stan- ford, 1978). Objective evaluation of correspondences be- tween target pictures and subject descriptions is accomplished on a blind basis, following one or two basic procedures. The most common procedure has been to test the subject's ability to recog- nize the actual target picture from among several alternatives presented to him at the end of the experiment Here h Psycho physical Interaction (with replacement), the probability that the sub ject will correctly select the actual target in any given session is one quarter and the result a series of sessions is evaluated by a straightf ward application of the binomial expansion. The other method of evaluating target-menta tion correspondences has been to use a special s of target pictures characterized by the PRESENCE ABSENCE of content in each of ten categories (Honorton, 1975). The content of each target pi ture is described by a 10-digit binary number. For example, a picture containing elements.of cc tent in each of the ten categories is 11-rllllll, while a blank target, with no content-'at all, is 0000000000, etc. To ensure statistical indepenc ence of the categories, this target set contains one picture repr`qsenting each of the 1024 possil combinations of the ten categories. At the end the experimental session, the subject codes his ganzfeld mentation in terms of the PRESENCE/ABS1 of content in each of these same categories. TY subject's coded description is then matched aga the target code and since the target elements a_- statistically independent, this constitutes ten independent binary trials. With either method, in order to proclude s( sory cues, the experimenter as well as the subj' is blind to the target content until completion the ranking or coding procedure. A detailed summary of the psi ganzfeld wor through 1977 has been reported elsewhere (Honor 1978a). To date, thirty-two experiments of thi type have been reported by investigators in thi teen different laboratories. This data base no comprises well over 1,000 experimental sessions contributed by more than 500 subjects. Overall significant ESP effects have been obtained in e teen of the thirty-two experiments (56%) and by eight of the thirteen laboratories (62%). This a moderate level of replicability by behavioral science standards. , e.g., t e subject is shown four Statistical summaries do not convey the qrL different pictures--the actual target and three itative richness of this material. Subject's c controls--and is asked to rank each picture in or- feld descriptions of remote targets frequently der of its similarity to 6vdd "era%0 09/09: CIA-RDP96-0079 Since the target picture are randomly selected ~-~4~ A~ correspondences. The following cerpts from our studies at Maimonides medical c Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 42we COINS THE HOBBY OF NUMISMATICS Psychophysical Interaction 2 ter illustrate the better quality correspondences we have observed with this procedure. Example 1. (Terry and Honorton, 1976). " I see circles--an enormous amount of them Their sizes are not the same-some are really large, and others are very tiny--no larger than a penny. They just keep flashing in front of me-- all these different sized circles.... Now I see colors--a. complete array of colors. Two in par- ticular--gold and silver seem to stand out more than all the others.. .1 sense something important I can't tell what, but I get a feeling of impor- tance, respect, value." (Fig. 1) r., Example 2. (Terry and Honorton, 1976). " archbishop's hat. Tiny people, far away.. Floating.. .a 3-D statue of a girl's face, with short dark hair.... A blue sky, people with um- brellas, looks like it could be France.... Red Riding Hood. A little girl in a bonnet.... Arches. A church.... An aerial view, moving to the ground fast...." (Fig. 2) Example 3. (Smith, Tremmel, and Honorton, 1976). ..I see a man with a halo. Cherubs in the top left-hand corner. A tapestry hanging frc a wall.... A Dutch girl, a native of Holland.... There are definitely two halves of this picture. I see an Amish girl or a Quaker girl...." '(Fig. Example 4. (Smith, Tremmel, and Honorton, 1976). "...See shoulders and an arm. Scales of Libra or Justice.... Two little eyes shining. Two eyes ...a face like a baboon looking at me ves close. Monkeys swinging by their tails from the trees. Spider monkeys..:. Two faces looking at each other. See my own eyelashes very clearly... (Fig. 4) A number of studies highlight various aspec- of the ganzfeld experience in relation to psi pe formance. Subjects report a variety of unusual experiences during ganzfeld stimulation, e.g., a reduced sense of separation between self and en- vironment, an awareness of being connected to a larger whole, and a change in subjective time- sense. What makes these subjective reports of s For Releas` 03/09/09: CIA-RDP96-0079ZRm0G&&QGtG O1r2 that they correlate significant with objective measures of ESP success. Studies Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 28 Charles Honorton Psycho physical Interaction Figure in several different laboratories indicate that E success in the ganzfeld is significantly related t changes in subjective time-sense, body image, and other subjective factors (Braud, Wood, and Braud, 1975; Stanford and Neylon, 1975; Palmer, Bogart, and Tart, 1977). There is evidence linking the success or fai_ ure of psi ganzfeld experiments to the duration of exposure to ganzfeld stimulation. It is known thz sensory habituation (de-afferentation) requires al proximately twenty minutes of exposure to the gan; feld (Cohen, 1957). Successful psi ganzfeld,stud- ies, with overall significant ESP effects,-have averaged thirty-seven minutes of ganzfeld stimula. tion, compared to an average of twenty-two minute: for the unsuccessful studies (Honorton, 1976). This finding has recently been confirmed .(Ashton, et al., in press). This brief summary has just skimmed the sur- face of one of several productive lines of resear, with internal states procedures. A more detailed review of the ganzfeld work, with references to t' original research reports, is available elsewhere (Honorton, 1978a). For a review of similar work the effects of relaxation on psi performance, see Braud (1978). Psychokinesis Experiments with Random Generators A number of methods have been used over the years to test the hypothesis that mind can direct influence external physical systems (Rush, 1977). Another promising area of psi research, and one with special implications for the problem of psy- chophysical interaction, involves PK experiments with electronic or quantum mechanical random gen- erators. These devices use fundamentally random pro- cesses such as radioactive decay or the noise in semiconductors to provide an electronic analog o-' "coin flipping." In a typical device of this so- electrons emitted by Sr-90 decay trigger a Geige: counter and the momentary position of a high-spe< Figure 4. inamoounter at the time of the electron regis- Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-0071 ffp 99 1j- es whether "heads" or "tails" ar, generated (Schmidt, 1970a). These devices can r. Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 domly generate the equivalent of 10, 100, or even 1,000 "coin flips" per second, while at the same time automatically recording the total number of events generated and their "heads"/"tails" distri- bution. Subjects observe the current physical state of. the device through a feedback signal that occurs whenever the device is in, say, the "heads" state, with no--or different-feedback when it is in the "tails" state. The feedback display may be a digi- tal readout, a light or tone, or a computer,-graph- ics display which changes as a, function of the mo- mentary physical state of the random generator. The subject's task is to observe the feedback dis- play and attempt to mentally "bias" the normally random output of the device according to preset experimental instructions. The behavior of the de- vice under these conditions is compared to its be- havior in control conditions without subjects pre- sent or intended influence. The first experiments of this type were re- ported by Schmidt (1970b). The feedback display was a circle of nine lamps which lit one at a time in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direc- tion, depending on which of the two states was ran- domly generated on a given trial. The fifteen sub- jects in this experiment completed more than 30,000 individual trials. Extensive control runs were also taken in the absence of subjects or attempts to influence the device. While these control runs conformed closely to the expected chance distribu- tion, the experimental trials with subjects devi- ated significantly from the expected chance values. Since this line of research was inaugurated, approximately five dozen experiments of this type have been reported by investigators in eight dif- ferent laboratories. Approximately 65% of these studies yield significant departures from chance Psychophysical Interaction 3 task is to increase the frequency of a feedback signal. He need not know or be concerned with wha is "inside the box," that is, the internal mecha- nism of the random generator, in order to influenc its output. This is suggested by studies in which key physical parameters of the device have been systematically varied, e.g, when the feedback dis- play observed by the subject is, without his knowl edge, switched between two internally different random sources with no difference in the subject's ability to influence the outcome (Schmidt and Pan- tas, 1972). Several experiments in our laboratory the apparent goal-directedness of PK fzot a differ ent direction. We have used a random generator that automatically alternates the definition of th target between "heads"/"tails" one microsecond prior to each trial'-(May, 1976). This alternating target bit was originally incorporated as an addi- tional precaution, to cancel out any systematic side bias in the output of the device and it has served this function quite well: in seven millior control trials, the overall deviation was within 0.03 standard deviations of the expected chance value. In several experiments (Honorton and May, 1976; Honorton and Winnett, 1977; Winnett and Honorton, 1977) subjects attempted to mentally in- fluence the directional output of the device so a; to produce above chance deviations on some runs ("high-aim") and below chance deviations on Othere ("low-aim"). Significant directional effects were obtained in each of these experiments. The fact that the target was defined one microsecond in advance of each trial would appear to preclude an} reductionistic interpretation of these effects, since this operation is approximately three ordere of magnitude faster than human nervous system func tioning, which operates on the order of millisec- onds. under experimental conditions Several recent studies have shown a signifi- (i.e., with subjects cant relationship between random generator PK ef- present attempting to influence the device). None of these studies show similarly significant. results fects and specific imagery strategies employed by in control conditions without intended influence subjects (Morris, Nanko, and Phillips, 1979). Sul (Honorton, 1978b; Stanford, 1977). jects exerted significant influence on the output of the random generator when they employed a goal~ These effects, like those studied n bi directed strategy in which they focused on the de- back, appear to be goal -d @MQd Fc lae ,9/09 : CIA-RDP96-00 9YR606 0@ fl001-2 Approved For Release 2003/09/09 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000400010001-2 Psychophysical Reality Testing The problem of psychophysical interaction has remained in philosophical limbo only because it has been empirically inaccessible. In this paper I have reviewed two areas of psi research that may contribute to the development of an empirical ap- proach to this fundamental problem. I believe that the methods and findings of psi research provide science with a unique opportunity to bring this problem into the empirical domain. The internal states work suggests that when the normally restrictive filtering functions of the nervous system are bypassed or reduced, as in dreaming, ganzfeld stimulation, etc., sensorially- remote information may be acquired in an objective- ly verifiable manner. ESP falsifies the Aristote- lian dictum that all valid knowledge is mediated through the senses. The empirical viability of dualistic theories of mind/brain interaction, such as that of Eccles, is contingent upon evidence that mental processes are causes as well as-effects of physical process- es. Experimental evidence for PK is now suffi- ciently extensive to require at least tentative consideration of the hypothesis that goal-directed mental activity can produce small but measurable changes in the normal operation of external physi- cal devices. While "promissory materialism" could be extended to cover the anomalies studied in psi research, it should be noted that psi phenomena and, indeed consciousness itself, are only anoma- lous within a framework that assumes all of reali- ty must be reduced to physical principles. The lack of such reducibility is not only consistent with dualistic formulations, it is required by them. Clearly, any conclusions at this stage would be premature. For myself, I make no stronger claim for parapsychological research than this: for the first time in the history of science, we have be- gun to forge an empirical approach to one of the most profound and ancient of mysteries, the nature of mind and its relationship to the physical world. We have no answers, but we have begun to develop Psycho physical Interaction References 1. Ashton, H. T., Dear, P. R., Harley, T. A., a; Sargent, C. L. Journal of the Society for Psychi- cal Research, in press. 2. Barber, T. X. Pitfalls in Human Research. Ne, York: Pergamon Press, 1976. 3. Bertini, M., Lewis, H., and Witkin, H. Arch di Psicologia Neurologia e Psychiatria, 1964(6), 493-534. 4. Braud, W. G. In B. Shapin and L. Coly-(Eds. Psi and States of Awareness. New York,.; Pa.ra.psy chology Foundation, Inc., 1978, 1-41." 5. Braud, W. G.--, Wood, R., and Braud, L. W. Jc nal of the American Society for Psychical Resear 1975(69), 105-113. 6. Cohen, W. American Journal of Psychology, 1957(70), 403-410; see also: T. C. Cadwallande3 American Psychologist, 1958(13), 410. 7. Dingwall, E. J. (Ed.) Abnormal Hypnotic Phei ena. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1967. (4 vols 8. Dixon, N. Subliminal Perception. New York McGraw Hill, 1971. 9. Eccles, J. C. The Neurophysiological Basis Mind. Oxford University Press, 1953. 10. Green, C. Proceedings of the Society for P chical Research, 1960(53), 97-161. 11. Hebb, D. O. Journal of Personality, 1951(2 39-55. 12. Honorton, C. Journal of Communication, 197 (25), 103-116. 13. Honorton, C. 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Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1976(70), 207-217. 47. Williams, L. and Duke, M. Research in Para- psychology 1979. Metuchen, N. J.: The Scarecrow Press, in press. 48. Winnett, R. and Honorton, C. Research in Parapsychology 1976. Metuchen, N. J.: The Scare- crow Press, 1977, 97-98. 49. Wolman, B. B. (Ed.) Handbook of Parapsychol- ogy. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1977. Harold E. Puthoff, Russell Targ Edwin C. Ma) 3. Expe 'mental P i Research: Implicatio for Ph sics Experimental la provide evidence for psi processes, a clas consciousness and th plained. These incl formation not prese (2) the production ated by any obviou centrated primari phenomenon we cal ordinary sitivity approxima ward to ex rates on t viewed from day cages an ing from obje to geographic ing.1-6 Our d experiments in means of mental from ordinary p tory work continues to e existence of so-called of interactions between de ed ysical world as yet unx- (l) the acquisition of in- any obvious sense, and ical effects not medi- f phy mechan on the "remote sm. At SRI we have con- ormer, investigating a ewing," the ability duals to ac rocesses, in rception by di a base consist the remote viewi ss and describe, by ormation blocked of more than 100 g of targets rang- s in nearby light sites at transconti bcations which inclu tight cannisters ental distances, e shielded Fara- Data from a submerged submarin ations indicate that m e order of 0.1 bits/s, re ly 1 mm, apparent ineffec lectrical shielding, and re is put for- olution of veness of ative insen- 000 km. Alt1ough such phenomena might appear to be in conflict with the laws of physics, we anticipate that with further work much of the data will be accounted for either within the framework of physics as presently understood, or on the basis of extrapolations that have been proposed to ac- Approved For Release 2003/09/09: CIA-RDP96-OQ O OQO t o1 fZon-psi) data, and that, converse