2004: Volume 4

Abstracts from Australian Journal of Parapsychology

Volume 4(1), pp. 2-31

People Who Remember Things They Never Learned


ABSTRACT: Explaining the unique skills of so-called “idiot savants,” now generally referred to simply as savants, has long puzzled psychologists. Savant Syndrome combines various brain pathologies with highly sophisticated behavioural abilities in such areas as graphic art and musical performance. As a mental realist, I contend that no view of memory or behaviour based on physical realist views can account for Savant Syndrome. I argue that it is related to other “structural” phenomena such as biological morphogenesis, the transmission of Jungian archetypes, and cognitive and sensory “formation rules” because all these classes of phenomena depend on the brain/body’s access to configurations in their respective universal field levels. For mental realism, all such levels derive from the Cosmogenic Field, the “first” (ontologically speaking) emanation of Cosmic Thought in mental realist ontology. While each of us has his or her own idiosyncratic set of modulations relative to the cerebral field level of the Cosmogenic Field, every human being also has access to a priori structural organizing patterns introduced in our phylogenetic and cultural heritage. Behavioural as well as cognitive skills depend on such a priori structures. Savant Syndrome is thus explained as a sharing of or participation in field memories of advanced behavioural skills.

Volume 4(2), pp. 63-80

The Possible Role of Psychokinesis in Place Memory


ABSTRACT: The idea that the environment can store recordings made by living beings – also known as place memory – has been around for over a century. This paper reviews how the term ‘place memory’ has changed since it was first used by parapsychologists. It also considers what the research literature says regarding the recording and retrieval of place memory, and suggests that there may be more than one way in which information can be recorded by, or imprinted upon, the environment. The hypothesis is discussed that psychokinesis might be involved in some of these cases, particularly when stress or peak levels of emotion are involved, as is often the case in crisis situations.

Volume 4(2), pp. 81-104

Avoiding the Intervention Paradox


ABSTRACT: The author aims to show that there are possible models of time for which the Intervention Paradox is not a barrier to the possible existence of a type of precognition in which the event precognised is avoided or changed. Two different configurations of the ‘block model’ of space-time are used to show how this could be done: one with multiple futures and one with another time dimension.

Volume 4(2), pp. 109-113

Mania and its Relationship to the Sheep-Goat Variable


ABSTRACT: In this study the focus was on the correlations between belief in, and alleged experience of, the paranormal (the so-called sheep-goat variable) and measures of hypomania and of mania. In all 4 analyses examined sheep were significantly more hypomanic than goats, and in 7 out of 10 significantly more manic. Mental health implications are discussed.

Volume 4(2), pp. 114-127

Are Musical Themes Better than Visual Images as ESP-Targets? An Experimental Study Using the Ganzfeld Technique


ABSTRACT: The ability to detect emotion in music has many educational and practical benefits. However, there appear to be few studies reported in the literature in which sounds have been used as stimuli in extrasensory tests. The present study was undertaken in order to compare auditory with visual stimuli and to explore whether psychological factors which appear to be favourable in music tests are related to ESP. Musical styles were chosen as targets in this experiment. Fifty-four participants attended two GESP sessions (each on a different occasion) at the Institute of Paranormal Psychology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first author (AP) was the experimenter, who received each participant, and the second author (JV) was the blind “sender” for all of the sample. A CD-R containing 3,500 high-resolution colour pictures and another CD containing 112 themes in MP3 format were used, on the two different occasions.