ESP and Personality Patterns

By Gertrude Raffel Schmeidler; R. A. McConnell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
ESP Tests of Patients Suffering from Cerebral Concussion

IS THERE A LOCUS of ESP ability, or of the processes which inhibit it, within the nervous system? One way to answer this question might be to find subjects who have had localized brain injury, to give them ESP tests, and to determine (a) if any area of brain injury is associated with high ESP scores, or (b) if any area is associated with ESP scores that show no consistent difference from a random distribution. If such loci should be found, they would presumably be functionally related to the facilitating or inhibiting of ESP response.

The most difficult part of such research is to find subjects with clearly mapped areas of brain damage. Having tried fruitlessly for some time to find such subjects who would be available for ESP experiments, we finally decided to do exploratory research with any available subjects who were known to have any kind of brain injury. All whom it was possible to test were suffering from concussion, with no signs of focal injury. Thus the experiment which was performed was not the one we set out to do, and it can give no information about brain localization of the ESP response. It nevertheless is worth reporting, because the results are statistically suggestive at the .012 probability level and because a comparison between the ESP and Rorschach data seems to throw interesting light on the manner in which ESP functions. The present account is adapted only slightly from the report that has already been published [ Schmeidler, 1952b].

The basic plan of the experiment was simple. Patients suffering from brain injury were to take ESP tests and Rorschachs; the same tests were to be given to other patients hospitalized for a similar length of time but not suffering from brain injury; and the data of the two groups were to be compared with each other

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