We currently have the following papers available online.

Get the Acrobat Browser Plug-InThese documents are in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) format. This is available free as a plug-in for your browser. Clicking on a link should take you to where you can find the plug-in. Or, click on the icon.

Methodological Issue in the Study of Correlation between Psychophysiological Variables
Edwin C. May; S. James P. Spottiswoode

We used previously accumulated skin conductance (SC) and EEG data to examine the effects of their respective autocorrelations upon hypothesis testing. We found that SC data remain autocorrelated for many seconds, and that EEG data remain autocorrelated for many fractions of a second depending upon filtering parameters. We show that the effect of these non-zero autocorrelations upon the interpretation of correlation coefficients using normal statistics can lead to substantial and artifactually inflated significance levels. With SC, for example, the high autocorrelation can lead to a Pearson's r correlation of 1.0 even under the null hypothesis. The resulting null-hypothesis z-score distribution range is [-20,20]; whereas, is should be approximately in the range [-3,3]. Alpha EEG, while less autocorrelated than SC, still leads to Pearson's r correlations in the range [-0.4,0.4] leading to a null-hypothesis z-score distribution in the range [-15,15]. Beta band EEG reduces the null- hypothesis z-score range to [-5,5]. We demonstrate that standard Monte Carlo techniques can provide valid estimates of the significance levels. The underlying assumptions of conventional statistical tests can be easily ignored, and the resulting error may become embedded into the thinking of a research community. As an example, we critically review a paper claiming significant correlation between the EEG's of isolated subjects (Grinberg-Zylberbaum, Delaflor, Attie, and Goswami, 1994); however, using uncorrelated EEG data from one of our previous studies and Monte Carlo methods to model the true null hypothesis, we compute a non-significant difference (Z = 1.22) between their non-"correlated" subjects and their "correlated" ones. As a result of their, possibly incorrect, interpretation of these correlations there is a growing literature proclaiming that these experiments are evidence for EPR-like quantum connections in isolated brains. These putative connections have been used as explanations, or at least plausibility arguments, for a variety of phenomena including distant healing.

Global Consciousness Project: An Independent Analysis of The 11 September 2001 Events
Edwin C. May; S. James P. Spottiswoode

We have conducted an independent analysis of the worldwide network of random number generators called EGG's by the Global Conscious Project (GCP) personnel. At the time we found direct contradictory statements with regard to the proper protocol between a published account and an account posted on the GCP web site http://noosphere.princeton.edu. (Subsequently, this inadvertent ambiguity has been corrected.) We provide, nonetheless, our analyses of both proposed methods. The formal test hypothesis according to the published protocol, namely that there would be at least a significant deviation (i.e., p = 0.05) of the accumulation of c2, which was derived from squaring the Stouffer's Z across valid EGG's at each second, was satisfied. However, we show that the choice was fortuitous in that had the analysis window been a few minutes shorter or 30 minutes longer, the formal test would not have achieved significance. We discuss the implications of this finding. The alternative analysis based upon the instructions posted on the GCP website, however, showed chance deviations throughout. We also provide verification of a separate analysis posted by Dr. Dean Radin, but we differ markedly with regard to the posted conclusions. Using Radin's analysis, we do not find significant evidence that the GCP network's EGG's responded to the New York City attacks in real time. Radin's computation of 6000:1 odds against chance during the events are accounted for by a not-unexpected local deviation that occurred approximately 3 hours before the attacks. We conclude that the network random number generators produced data consistent with mean chance expectation during the worst single day tragedy in American history.

A Search for Alpha Power Changes Associated with Anomalous Cognition
Edwin C. May; S. James P. Spottiswoode; Laura V. Faith

Serious research into extrasensory perception (ESP) has been conducted since the 1930s, and a number of different protocols have been established to elicit the phenomenon. The large database to date has been analyzed by critics and statisticians alike, and the consensus is that the result meets generally accepted criteria for evidence of a statistically based, information transfer anomaly. These include homogeneity of effect size and conceptual replications. We provide a brief overview of three of the most common procedures and their results as the basis for the justification to engage in a search for a central nervous system (CNS) correlate to ESP. As part of that search, we conducted an experiment to detect event-related desynchronizations (ERDs) resulting from an ESP stimulus. Three subjects contributed a total of 70 trials during which both ESP and EEG data were collected. The ESP data, which have been blind judged by an established rank-order method, yielded independently significant results for two of the three receivers, and the overall ESP result was significant at p=0.006 (ES = 0.303). Using a cross correlation technique, which was twice as sensitive as standard signal averaging, we did not observe any evidence for an ERD in response to an ESP stimulus. Our analysis technique was sensitive enough to detect a 20% decrease from prestimulus alpha power. We discuss a number of possible explanations for this null result.

Anomalous Cognition Effect Size: Dependence on Sidereal Time and Solar Wind Parameters
S. James P. Spottiswoode; Edwin C. May

In a database of 2,879 free-response anomalous cognition (AC) trials the Spearman’s r correlation between the ap geomagnetic index and AC effect size was -0.029 (p = 0.06). An increased correlation was found for trials that occurred at 13 hours Local Sidereal Time (LST). The correlation observed for trials which occurred between 11.2 h and 14.8 h LST was -0.192 (N = 256, p = 0.002) while the correlation was effectively zero (r = -0.01, N = 2,623, ns) for trials at other times. The maximum magnitude correlation of -0.33 (N = 134, p = 0.0001) was observed in the 12.9 1 h LST period. A subset of this data for which solar wind speed measurements were available showed a similar correlation configuration with a negative correlation peak near 13h LST. The power spectrum of the effect sizes showed a peak at 13.8 days period, which is close to twice the solar rotation rate, a period typical of solar wind modulations. These observations are consistent with the thesis that AC performance is modulated by a parameter which varies with solar activity.

Apparent Association between Effect Size in Free Response Anomalous Cognition Experiments and Local Sidereal Time
S. James P. Spottiswoode

Nothing is known about the physical mechanism of anomalous cognition (AC), or ESP. A first step towards generating focused hypotheses would be the discovery of a physical parameter which clearly modulated AC performance. In this paper, an association between the local sidereal time (LST) at which a trial occurs and the resulting effect size is described. In an existing database of 1,468 free response trials, the effect size increased 340% for trials within 1 hour of 13.5 h LST (p = 0.001). A independent database of 1,015 similar trials was subsequently obtained in which trials within 1 hour of 13.5 h LST showed an effect size increase of 450% (p = 0.05) providing confirmation of the effect. Possible artifacts due to the non-uniform distribution of trials in clock time and variations of effect size with experiment are discussed and rejected as explanations. Assuming that some unknown systematic bias is not present in the data, it appears that AC performance is strongly dependent upon the LST at which the trial occurs. This is evidence of a causal connection between performance and the orientation of the receiver (i.e., a term for subject or participant), the earth and the fixed stars.

Applications of Decision Augmentation Theory
Edwin C. May, PhD; Jessica M. Utts, PhD; Christine L. James

Decision Augmentation Theory: Toward a Model of Anomalous Mental Phenomena
Edwin C. May, PhD; Jessica M. Utts, PhD; S. James P. Spottiswoode

Decision Augmentation Theory: Applications to the Random Number Generator Database
Edwin C. May, PhD; Jessica M. Utts, PhD; S. James P. Spottiswoode

Effect of Ambient Magnetic Field Fluctuation on Performance in a Free Response Anomalous Cognition Task: A Pilot Study
S. James P. Spottiswoode

Retrospective analyses of putative spontaneous psi, or anomalous cognition (AC), events have shown a tendency for these to be reported on days of relatively low geomagnetic disturbance. Studies of past laboratory experiments have produced evidence that scores in successful AC experiments are negatively correlated to geomagnetic field (GMF) indices. Relevant characteristics of GMF activity and of the geomagnetic indices are discussed and a rationale for an experimental test of this effect is presented. A wide range of physical effects are correlated to the GMF indices and it is not presently possible to determine the exact physical parameter responsible for the GMF – AC correlations. In an exploratory experiment subjects were tested for AC in an apparatus where they could be shielded from the relatively large amplitude (> 1 nT) and slow (< 0.1 Hz) variations which are registered by the GMF indices used in the retrospective studies. The apparatus used a Helmholtz coil to generate a magnetic field which could both null out external variations and provide artificial magnetic noise for a control condition. AC performance in a free response task was compared, using a double blind protocol, between the shielded condition and conditions in which three kinds of magnetic noise were imposed upon subjects. In 68 trials the pilot study produced only weak evidence for AC (p = 0.3, effect size = 0.05) and, contrary to hypothesis, AC performance was slightly higher in the magnetically noisy, rather than shielded, conditions.

Geomagnetic Activity and Anomalous Cognition: A Preliminary Report of New Evidence
S. James P. Spottiswoode

Analyses of anecdotal reports of putative telepathic experiences have shown that these tend to be reported on days of relatively low geomagnetic activity. Studies of laboratory psi experiments have yielded weak confirmation of this effect. The existence of a negative correlation between scores in free response anomalous cognition experiments and geomagnetic fluctuations was confirmed in four data sets (combined p = 3x10 -6 ) which showed significant anomalous cognition. The negative correlation was absent from two other data sets showing no evidence of anomalous cognition. Additionally, analysis of an unusually large database of anomalous cognition trials (n = 336), covering a range of 130 hours between perception and target observation, suggests that the negative correlation between scores and geomagnetic fluctuations occurs only for trials in which this interval is less than 2 hours, and is absent for precognitive or retrocognitive perceptions outside this time range. These results may facilitate the elucidation of the physical mechanism of anomalous cognition.

Geomagnetic Fluctuations and Free Response Anomalous Cognition: A New Understanding
S. James P. Spottiswoode

Efforts to establish whether a correlation between anomalous cognition (AC) performance and geomagnetic fluctuations exists have met with mixed results, a negative correlation being seen in some studies and not in other comparable ones. Confirming this observation, in a large database of 2,879 free-response trials the Spearman’s r correlation between the ap geomagnetic index and AC effect size was –0.029 (p = 0.06). However, a large increase in the magnitude of the correlation was found at approximately 13 hours Local Sidereal Time, the longitudinal-like astronomical coordinate for the portion of the celestial sphere that is directly overhead at the time of the viewing. This sharp increase of correlation may be connected with an earlier result: that the AC-effect size increases by 380% within 1 hour of 13.5 LST. The correlation observed here for trials which occurred between 11.2 h and 14.8 h LST was –0.192 (N = 256, p = 0.002) while the correlation was effectively zero (r = –0.01, N = 2,623, ns) elsewhere. The maximum magnitude correlation of –0.33 (N = 134, p = 0.0001) was observed in the 12.9 1 h LST period. The negative correlation peak was confirmed in both the ganzfeld and remote viewing protocols and was homogeneously present in those individual studies with trials in the relevant sidereal time interval. This finding allows an understanding of a previous anomaly in the literature: the varying correlations to GMF found in different studies. For instance one large remote viewing study showed near zero overall correlation since few of the trials occurred in the critical time period. In another case a comparable study had a large correlation of –0.22 and by happenstance all the trials were conducted near 13 h LST.

Managing the Target Pool Bandwidth: Noise Reduction for Anomalous Cognition Experiments
Edwin C. May, PhD; S. James P. Spottiswoode; Christine L James

Possible Effect of Geomagnetic Fluctuations on the Timing of Epileptic Seizures
S.James P. Spottiswoode, BSc; Erick Tauboll, MD; Michael Duchowny, MD; Vernon Neppe, MD, PhD

Some reports have suggested that epileptic seizures might occur more frequently at times of enhanced disturbance of the geomagnetic field. This study examines this putative association using 4101 seizures from 22 epileptic patients where the seizure times were known to within a day or better. A measure of the geomagnet-ic fluctuation level for the seizure day, and the days preceding the seizures, was derived from the geomagnetic index ap. This daily index was significantly higher on the seizure days than on the day prior to the seizures (p = 0.007) and slightly higher than for the preceding 10 days (p = 0.1). The effect size for the increase of geomagnetic activity on seizure days from the previous days was inhomoge-neous across this group of patients (p = 0.04), suggesting an uncontrolled factor. However, a regression of age, sex, seizure type and frequency onto effect size failed to reveal any significant loadings.

Shannon Entropy as an Intrinsic Target Property: Toward a Reductionist Model of Anomalist Cognition 22 April 1994
Edwin C. May, PhD; S. James P. Spottiswoode; Christine L. James

We propose that the average total change of Shannon's entropy is a candidate for an intrinsic target property. We analyze the results of two lengthy experiments that were conducted from 1992 through 1993 and find a significant correlation (Spearman's rho = 0.337, df = 31, p< 0.028) with an absolute measure of the quality of the anomalous cognition. The 1993 result replicated the similar finding from the 1992 study. We describe the methodology, the calculations, and correlations in detail and provide guidelines for those who may wish to conduct similar studies. In addition, we provide circumstantial evidence which leads us towards a reductionistic view of anomalous cognition.

 

Contents of the James Spottiswoode and Associates web site are
Copyright 1997-1998 by S. James P. Spottiswoode. All rights reserved.