Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Event-Related Brain Potentials (Erps) to Psi Targets: Disentangling Effects of Topography, Latency, and Relationship to Subjects' Guesses

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

Event-Related Brain Potentials (Erps) to Psi Targets: Disentangling Effects of Topography, Latency, and Relationship to Subjects' Guesses

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: Several of our previous studies showed that event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by psi targets in a forced-choice precognition task differed significantly from ERPs elicited by nontarget stimuli. The present study aimed at disentangling the ERP effects related to the detection of targets from guessing-related ERP effects, that is, those related to the subjects' subsequent guesses, as well as further elucidating the topography (scalp distribution) and latency from stimulus onset of the involved ERP components.

The present study re-analyzed ERP data from 20 self-reported gamblers performing a computerized, forced-choice guessing task (McDonough et al., 1998) using an approach which controlled for the effects of the subjects' guesses on their ERPs to psi targets. On each trial, ERPs were elicited by four playing cards, sequentially presented on a video monitor. After the last card was delivered, subjects guessed which of the four cards would subsequently be selected by a random process as the target for that hand. McDonough et al. (1998) reported that in a nonwager condition the amplitude of a negative-going ERP--the Negative Slow Wave (NSW) elicited by target stimuli--was greater to target than nontarget stimuli when stimuli were averaged across subjects without regard to which stimuli were guessed by the subjects (to be targets) or to the accuracy of those guesses. …

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