Anomalous Cognition

With the support of a generous gift from the James Bower foundation the lab has continued to conduct controversial research on anomalous cognition or what is better known as parapsychology.  This is a taboo topic often considered inappropriate for mainstream researchers.  However, we have found positive effects in a number of paradigms.   For example we have found that performance on a perceptual identification task appears to be influenced by the kind of practice that participants subsequently get.  More recent research has used this paradigm to predict the outcome of off site roulette wheel spins.  Such findings appear to implicate pre-cognition although we are of course exploring other possible explanations.   Our research in this area has been both promising but also challenging as initially robust findings tend to become increasingly difficult replicate.   Indeed, our observation of surprisingly systematic declines in the magnitude of these effects has led to an important new direction in the lab- consideration of the decline effect and its implications for current scientific methodologies.

Related Questions

Selected Publications

Researchers

Jonathan Schooler

My lab’s research takes a “big picture” perspective in attempting to understand the nature of mental life, and in particular consciousness. Combining empirical, philosophical, and contemplative traditions, we address broad questions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Melody Pezeshkian

Melody is a 3rd year Psychological and Brain Sciences major assisting James Elliott with his EEG research on expectation, perception of random stimuli, magical thinking, and creativity. She is currently interested in the subconscious mind, attention, and computational models of the brain.