2001-05-20 – Psychic ability

Psychic ability is one of the big mysteries. <-Like trying to work out where this update went. And the one before it.. Once again, I shall reveal my musing.

Psychic ability is one of the big mysteries. “I believe I am mildly psychic, or I am deluding myself.” This has been said by many people, only not often quite in the same way. Decades of laboratory research have failed to prove anything, with some studies showing positive results, some showing none, and some showing negative correlations. As usual, I have a proposed solution. See, you knew I was going to say that!

For many years, man has studied the brain, to begin with, as a funny blob thing, then as a unit in a jar, after death. Then, once modern science explained what it was, and that the whole essence of a human being was locked up in it, two branches sprung up. One was psychology, the other was neuroscience. Psychology looks at the whole brain, as the sum of its parts, and what it can do. Neuroscience looks at individual neurons and how they work.

Modern techniques are now advancing to the point that, soon, we will be able to grow a fully telemetered brain. Not a human brain, not even a worm sized brain (the nematode worm has 302), but a tiny circuit, grown on a silicon sensor substrate, consisting of perhaps half a dozen custom arranged neurons. It is, due to the micron scale reproducibility of the substrate, possible to make identical “brains”.

Here, then, is the magic idea: Take three brain substrates. Make two identical, and a third in the mirror image of the other two. Use the full range of non-invasive tests, and check they respond in exactly the same ways to the same sets of stimuli. Now, turn off the stimuli, wire one of the brains up to the data recorder, along with the identical, but mirrored, counterpart. Put them in a rack, one on top of the other. Check your cables are shielded, and wire up the third brain for “data input”. Place it carefully in the middle rack,  then stimulate it. Do we see any result from the other two brains? Are they subtly responding?

If not, try placing them closer, or side-by-side, instead of stacked, check the other brains are fine, etc. and try again. If there is no result, one up to the people like James Randi, who decry this stuff. It won’t stop the loonies..

If so, check for cross-talk, errors, etc. and, above all, reproducibility, since you have just found a way to demonstrate tele-awareness, or psychic ability, in the lab. Beware, however, for I don’t want to be responsible for starting another Cold Fusion debacle! Then, perhaps, onwards to a glorious new future for mankind?

Either way, it seems like quite a cool experiment.

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