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  • Writer's picturePiero Calvi-Parisetti

Mediums are not frauds

Recent neuroimaging research conducted by Julio Fernando Peres and colleagues employed single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) to scan the brain activity of ten mediums (automatic writers, of whom five experienced and five less experienced), while in trance. The research findings, expressed in rather technical language, have been summarised as follows:

The researchers found that the experienced psychographers showed lower levels of activity in the left hippocampus (limbic system), right superior temporal gyrus, and the frontal lobe regions of the left anterior cingulate and right precentral gyrus during psychography compared to their normal (non-trance) writing. The frontal lobe areas are associated with reasoning, planning, generating language, movement, and problem solving, perhaps reflecting an absence of focus, self-awareness and consciousness during psychography, the researches hypothesised. Less expert psychographers showed just the opposite – increased levels of CBF in the same frontal areas during psychography compared to normal writing. The difference was significant compared to the experienced mediums (Thomas Jefferson University, 2012).

The implication here is that during trance states of the experienced automatic writers, activity is reduced in the areas of the brain usually associated with reasoning, planning, language, movement and problem solving, suggesting that te medium’s dissociative experience during trance is far from delusional or fraudulent. Furthermore, the researchers conducted an analysis of the writing and found that, contrary to what would normally be expected, the complexity increased as the activity in the areas of the brain usually associated with such complex behaviours was reduced. This raises the question of how, if the brain’s functioning was reduced, such complex writing was possible. The Spiritualist interpretation would suggest that it was spirits doing the writing while the medium’s consciousness was absent, and the data could indeed be read in this way.

(Originally reported by Jack Hunter, PhD, Daily Grail, 27th May 2014)

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