The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenomena

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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Luck » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:23 am

Tim, it looks like we cross-posted! :)

I did find some additional studies that might be of interest to you.

One on the accuracy of memories of paranormal events:
"Incredible Memories: How Accurate are Reports of Anomalous Events? page 81
http://www.bial.com/fotos/gca/1178809516livroactas.pdf#page=82

This one proves that errors in visual processing do occur:
http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/4/500.full

Discussion of the subjective nature of the viewer when perceiving objective reality:
Perception is far from Perfection
http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~id/BBS%20perception%20and%20perfection.pdf

edit:
some additional information on Broca's area, imaging indicates that is it responsible for expressive and receptive language.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015141500.htm

edit: #2 I just got through the last of the papers, and this one appears to be a fairly good overview on the mechanisms of hallucination. Funny enough, the author mentions Jaynes and feels the present evidence may support his theory of bicameralism.
http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0354 ... 01043P.pdf
http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0354 ... 01043P.pdf
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Luck » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:18 am

Jaynes feels very strongly that schizophrenia is a vestige of bicameralism.
I read literature which did indicate that visual and auditory hallucinations do occur in a significant segment of the normal or healthy population.

Do the hallucinations occurring in healthy populations occur using the same mechanisms by which visual input dysfunction and auditory hallucinations occur in schizophrenics?

Does a willingness to believe in the paranormal predispose the believer to experience anomalous events?

Or, does a belief in the paranormal predispose the believer to focus or to place greater emphasis on experienced anomalous events; whereas a non-believing population would not significance in anomalous events?

Is sleep paralysis still worth investigating as a glitch left over from bicameralism?


Okay, I did finally find a study that indicates there was increased bilateral activation of non-clinical subjects (healthy/normal) experiencing auditory hallucinations which is consistent with the increased bilateral activation of affected areas within the brain of schizophrenics with auditory hallucinations. The areas of the brain involved might be slightly different, but I am not sure that is as relevant. I think the bilateral activation is key.
http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/2/330.full.pdf+html

I am currently going back to review the literature I found on visual process dysfunction in healthy subjects, I found a study regarding visual dysfunction in schizophrenics; I am going to compare them for any similarities.

edit: (grammar, big surprise)
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Tim Hebert » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:56 pm

Jaynes provides a strong foundation for linking auditory responses, from cerebral context, to past cultural responses to stressful events. Based on the literature review, it would appear that it is possible that we may have a remnant traits of bicameralism, ie schizophrenic traits. I'm thinking that these traits are possible in all of us and manifests in different ways when we are put in a position of a combination of stressful events.

Currently, psychiatric nursing theory is based on Gail Stuart's 1983 Stress Adaptation Model. Stuart's theoretical assumptions is that nature is ordered as a social hierarchy from the simplest unit to the most complex. This theory integrates the biological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of the individual. Health/illness and adaptation/maladaptation are distinct concepts that exists on separate continuum but are inter-related as to how the individual copes with stress.

Stressors are defined as life events: illness, death, marriage, divorce, etc. Each individual either adapts appropriately or exhibits maladaptive coping responses.

I spent the last couple of nights looking at sample ufo abduction claims and comparing the current and past literature reviews I noticed that most credible researchers were looking at sleep paralysis and underlying dissociative issues. Yet most underplay the possible "individualistic" stressors that may affected each individual.

True some of the claims appear to be outright fantasy, yet most, on the surface, are believable due to the fact that the individual truly believed that the abduction was real and for the most part had no known underlying psychiatric disorder. Yet when you peel away the layers of the story certain stressors appear.

Does predisposition play a part in this phenomenom? I once was on a web site where a comment was posted asking why everyone on the site stated that they saw and interacted with ghosts yet this individual could not. The web host stated that because the individual did not believe in ghosts, then they (the ghosts) would be reluctant to reveal themselves. This was from a well known "authority" on ghosts and hauntings. I found this to be a profound statement .
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Luck » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:41 pm

Tim Hebert wrote:Currently, psychiatric nursing theory is based on Gail Stuart's 1983 Stress Adaptation Model.


I was not aware of this, but it sounds interesting and a way to provide some correlation of stressful events to anomalous events.

Tim Hebert wrote:Does predisposition play a part in this phenomenom? I once was on a web site where a comment was posted asking why everyone on the site stated that they saw and interacted with ghosts yet this individual could not. The web host stated that because the individual did not believe in ghosts, then they (the ghosts) would be reluctant to reveal themselves. This was from a well known "authority" on ghosts and hauntings. I found this to be a profound statement .


I don't doubt that some people are more susceptible to anomalous events by the nature of their biology and genetics. I also strongly believe that predisposition to a belief in the paranormal allows some people to place far greater emphasis on such episodes when they do occur.

I wonder if a nightmare I had in my late teens was a bicameral event? In the dream (which may have been lucid), I was chatting with coworkers about the existence of the devil and whether possession was a real event. I maintained that the devil was the created by us. Then quite out of my control, a deep male voice rumbled out of my chest and my mouth said, "You speak of things of which you nothing." In the dream, after the deep male voice spoke, I remember rocking back and forth and saying "help me" over and over in a very small squeaky voice. I woke up with a violent start and sat up immediately. I turned on the light. When I was finally able to go back to sleep, the light stayed on. It was my first and only true nightmare and one that has remained quite vivid for me to this day.

Oh, btw, I did find out that OBE's can be attributed to the Temporal Parietal Junction.

I have one last question (one that is only slightly related), I noticed that in of the studies that Tim liked, the one that attributed to a possible biological origin to paranormal events, they were able to classify the events into specific categories and apparently this is possible across cultures. And nab and Tim both had interesting observations:
nablator wrote:Delusions (and hoaxes) are much more likely IMHO: culture and folklore play a central role, as evidenced by the continuous evolution from ancient tales of encounters with supernatural beings to the current typical UFO/alien narrative.


Tim Hebert wrote:Even though Caravaca's premise of an external origin runs counter to my "working hypothesis" of delusional/hallucinatory possibility, his use of symbolism as a construct of the "close encounter" may have merit from a neurological standpoint. Contemporary research points to memory as being imprinted images (symbols) that are stored for retrieval at a later time, excepting those memories had not already degraded. Our written language is basically symbols. Religion, politics, national identity, literature, poetry...all have a symbolic nature.


That sounds almost Jungian. Or am I completely off base here?

edit: needed to fix a quote attribution.
Last edited by Luck on Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby nablator » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:57 am

Luck wrote:That sounds almost Jungian. Or am I completely off base here?

Well, in "A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies" Jung associates (in the Freudian psychoanalytic perspective) flying saucers with the uterus, and guess what with the cigar-shaped UFOs... #-o

Again, cultural stereotypes is a much simpler and therefore better hypothesis for the influences than the "collective unconscious" and "universal archetypes" (Jung) or "unknown intelligences" (most UFOlogists).
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Luck » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:18 am

nablator wrote:Well, in "A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies" Jung associates (in the Freudian psychoanalytic perspective) flying saucers with the uterus, and guess what with the cigar-shaped UFOs... #-o

Again, cultural stereotypes is a much simpler and therefore better hypothesis for the influences than the "collective unconscious" and "universal archetypes" (Jung) or "unknown intelligences" (most UFOlogists).


:lol:

Thanks nab, I see your point. :)
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Zep Tepi » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:13 pm

Whoops, I posted this originally in the wrong thread...

Here are my experiences, as promised earlier in the week.

A few years ago, I was caught somewhat between a rock and a hard place. I won't go into detail, but suffice to say I was really struggling with making a decision that would hugely impact on my life and that of those around me. The decision I had to make was taking up a lot of my "thinking time" and I'd been struggling with it internally for months.

I don't believe in God per se, but I have often wondered if everything we are part of is just one astronomically huge computer simulation. Yes, I'm a fan of Professor Nick Bostrom's ideas... ;)

Anyway, with that in mind, I was smoking a cigarette* at the back door of my house late one night, looking up at the stars as I smoked and pondering my problem. Without any real forethought, I looked at one group of stars and softly asked for a sign. I know that must sound insane, but I was getting desperate! I looked at my half-smoked cigarette and then back up at the stars and made the request much more specific. I said if I should take path 'A', give me a sign. Not anything that could be misinterpreted as a trick of the light, but a jaw-dropping "yep, that's a sign" bright sign in the sky. I went on(!), show me a shooting star but one that isn't a blue streak gone in a nanosecond, one that is bigger, brighter, whiter and more impressive than anything I've ever seen before. With that, I looked at my cigarette and drew on it, which is when I immediately noticed something odd. As I drew on it, it glowed bright orange, far in excess of a normal "drag" and everything seemed to slow down. I remember thinking it was weird, and I slowly looked up at the sky again. As I looked, an impossibly bright, white light streaked overhead and over the horizon. I say streaked, but it was much slower than a shooting star. I could follow its trajectory with ease and it must have taken a couple of seconds to disappear. It was much wider than a shooting star and much brighter, being white instead of blue.

Needless to say, I was completely stunned by what I'd just witnessed. My heart rate went off the scale and I was breathing like I'd just finished running a marathon. It was definitely real, what I'd seen was so bright I could still see the trace of it when it had gone, similar to what you get after looking at the sun.

At the time I didn't really know what to think, I asked a very specific question and I received a very specific answer right back! The thing is, I'm a skeptic so what was I doing asking the question in the first place...

Since that time however, I've come to believe that what I saw didn't really happen, in the sense that if someone else had been looking up at the sky at that precise moment in time, they wouldn't have seen anything.

It was real to me, but because of the internal wrangling I was going through at the time, I think my subconscious mind created whatever it was I saw in order to allow me to make the decision and move on from it.

Oddly enough, even though I asked for a sign if I should take path A, I actually chose path B! :shock:

So what do you guys think, should I be on medication? ;)


*I no longer smoke, I've finally quit after 30 years of smoking. One month and counting...


PS I wrote "experiences" at the top, I'll let you digest this one before mentioning the other. That and I have to get the kids ready for bed!
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby nablator » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:02 am

Zep Tepi wrote:I could still see the trace of it when it had gone, similar to what you get after looking at the sun.

A bright, slow meteor then. What are the odds? Astronomical. :)

At the time I didn't really know what to think, I asked a very specific question and I received a very specific answer right back! The thing is, I'm a skeptic so what was I doing asking the question in the first place...
:)

A little experiment with magical thinking doesn't hurt. :) I could tell a nice personal story too, about synchronicity (I bet everyone has one) but I'm too shy, and too embarrassed to admit that the "magic" actually worked. It was certainly no hallucination.

I don't believe in God per se, but I have often wondered if everything we are part of is just one astronomically huge computer simulation.

There may be a few bugs in the Matrix code... :)
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Re: The possibility of internal origins for anomalous phenom

Postby Luck » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:16 pm

Zep Tepi wrote:So what do you guys think, should I be on medication? ;)


Not really. I think all or most of us are susceptible to similar experiences at some point in their lives. I have talked about hearing voices while on an anti-depressant medication before in this forum. I have also have a couple of precognitive dreams, both of which still make me shake my head despite the fact that I think now there may be a mundane origin for most paranormal events (including my own).

I had just recently ordered "Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness" which is a series of essays; some from Jaynes, some from other authors.

It just came yesterday and as I was flipping through it, I came across a few passages about Aleister Crowley and what he experienced may have been bicameral incidents; how the angel Aiwass dictated the "Book of the Law" to Crowley was given as an example.

nablator wrote:There may be a few bugs in the Matrix code... :)


A few? :)
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