Electrocortical activity associated with subjective communication with the deceased

Scientific research on mediumship has also witnessed a small resurrection within the last decade. More recent research has examined the accuracy of statements provided by mediums under double- and triple-blind conditions (e.g., Roy and Robertson, 2004; O'Keefe and Wiseman, 2005; Beischel and Schwartz, 2007; Jensen and Cardeña, 2009; Kelly and Arcangel, 2011) as well as mediums' phenomenology (e.g., Rock and Beischel, 2008; Rock et al., 2009), psychology (e.g., Roxburgh and Roe, 2011), neurobiology (e.g., Hageman et al., 2010), and the therapeutic potential of mediumship readings for the bereaved (Beischel et al., in press). Recent research has also confirmed previous findings that mediumship is not associated with conventional dissociative experiences, pathology, dysfunction, psychosis, or over-active imaginations (Roxburgh and Roe, 2011). Indeed, a large percentage of mediums have been found to be high functioning, socially accepted individuals within their communities (Krippner, 2007; Moreira-Almeida et al., 2007).

Most prior research on this phenomenon has focused on whether mediums can genuinely report accurate information under blinded conditions, and whether their personalities deviate in significant ways from population norms. But little is known about their physiological and electrocortical processes. Scientists have long proposed and used electroencephalography to study mediums in trance (deeply dissociated) states (Prince, 1968; Mesulan, 1981; Hughes and Melville, 1990; Oohashi et al., 2002; Hageman et al., 2010), but to our knowledge mental mediums who do not experience trance states have not been studied using these techniques. The present study investigated electrocortical activity in six professional mental mediums to explore two research questions: first, correlations between the accuracy of mediums' statements and their brain electrical activity were examined; and second, differences in mediums' brain activity were studied when they intentionally evoked four subjective states: perception, recollection, fabrication, and communication

=> http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00834/full