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Presentiment The retro-causality debate. Experimental approaches And Theory. Dick Bierman, University of Amsterdam Towards a science of Consciousness, Stockholm, May 3-7, 2011. Synopsis of this talk. The experimental precursor ‘Presentiment’ Method & Results Bems approach

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presentiment the retro causality debate

Presentiment The retro-causality debate

Experimental approaches

And

Theory

Dick Bierman, University of Amsterdam

Towards a science of Consciousness, Stockholm, May 3-7, 2011

synopsis of this talk
Synopsis of this talk
  • The experimental precursor ‘Presentiment’
    • Method & Results
  • Bems approach
    • Method & Results, example retroactive facilitation of recall
    • Criticism
      • Statistical
      • Ontological
  • CIRTS
    • Consciousness Induced Restoration of Time Symmetry
  • New experiments
    • Necker Cube: retroactive interference
    • Retroactive recognition

Bem, D. (2011). Feeling the future, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 407-425.

9 experiments suggesting retrocausal effects.

slide3

Presentiment

a feeling about an event in the future …

emotion study 1999

150 msec

7 sec

Fixation stimulus

BlankScreen

Emotion Study (1999)

Globisch, J., Hamm, A.O., Estevez, F., and Ehman, A. (1999). Psychophysiology, 36, pp. 66-75.

6850 msec

response

Skin Conductance

anticipation

time

published results

Erotic

Calm

Published Results

Baseline had been set at stimulus-onset

All signals are clamped to 0 there.

results re analysis raw data

Erotic

Anomaly

Calm

Results re-analysis raw data

Baseline set at -7 seconds

stimulus

presentiment
Presentiment
  • Anticipatory physiology triggered by ‘future’?
  • Simple stimulus response paradigm
  • Comparing physiology within subjects between conditions

e.g. anticipation of picture, random emotional or neutral

presentiment variables
Presentiment variables

• Dependent Variables

    • Skin Conductance
    • HR
    • EEG, CNV
    • BOLD
    • Blinks, pupil dilation, eye movement
  • Independent Variables
    • Pictures, sounds, shocks, slotmachine
presentiment meta analysis
Presentiment Meta-analysis
  • 37 studies, 15 different main authors
  • Mean effect size: 0.29
  • Combined p <10^-9
  • Filedrawer fail safe: 670
  • Gambler’s fallacy
  • Mossbridge et al (2011). In press.
bem s approach
Bem’s approach
  • Behavioral measures
    • No physiology because of global replication
  • Reversed standard Psychological Paradigms
    • Manipulation after the measurement
      • Decision making
      • Habituation
      • Affective Priming
      • Retroactive memory facilitation
procedure retroactive facilitation of recall
Procedure retroactive facilitation of recall

3. Practice exercise

2.Surprise Free

Recall

Carpenter

To which category belongs

To which category belongs

1.Visualize words

…........................

Carpenter

Random subsample

of words

results bem studies
Results Bem studies
  • Hypothesis Retroactive Facilitation of Memory
    • Improved recall performance on words that got later extra exercise.
  • Results Retroactive Facilitation of Memory
    • (N=150) mean effect size: 0.30 (p<0.01)
  • Results all 9 studies
    • All Bem studies mean effect size: 0.22 (p<10^-10)
criticism
Criticism
  • Statistical
    • Using Bayesian stats the null hypothesis is still to be preferred (Wagenmakers et al, 2011)…..
    • Over-analyses are not corrected for….
    • Combination of experimental results is not allowed….
  • Theoretical
    • Temporal Causality violation is not allowed……
cirts
CIRTS
  • Consciousness Induced Restoration of Time Symmetry
      • Symmetries in physics
      • In EM theory
        • Retarded and Advanced Solution
        • Initial & Boundary conditions
          • Conscious information processing as boundary condition restores time symmetry
      • Coherence to account for individual differences
procedure retroactive facilitation of recognition
Procedure retroactive facilitation of recognition

4. Extra exercise

3. Recognition

Test

Carpenter

Hammer

Trousers

….

Learn these words

Carpenter

Did you see this word before?

2.Filler task

.

  • Attention
  • task

Carpenter

Random subsample

of words

the necker cube experiment
The Necker Cube experiment

Change randomly into

opaque

Top or Bottom view

interference

Top view is experienced

Top view duration

time

Second

button press

when experience switches

First

button press

retroactive interference results
Retroactive interference Results

Followed by:

(difference = 129, p<0.03)

N=153

Effectsize = 0.17

the paradoxes
The paradoxes
  • Formally RetroCausality equivalent with bw time travel.
  • Formally Time Symmetry predicted
  • But ……. philosophical ‘grandfather like’ paradoxes
    • Synchronicity protection postulate (Hawkins)
      • Never allow time travel near grandfather
      • Never allow psi to become useable.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Retrocausality is physically not impossible
    • See also Helmut Schmidt in Foundations of Physics
  • Empirical evidence needs independent replication.
    • But replication runs against the ‘Synchronicity Protection’
  • Experiments have to be set up to avoid paradoxes (can’t use the information from the future)
thanks
Thanks
  • The Amsterdam & Groningen Universities
  • Bial Foundation
  • Eva Lobach, Stephen Whitmarsh, Jacob Jolij, Victor Lamme and many students