Sensory perceptions of the deceased by the living...

#1
I posted this on another thread... but got no takers... so I'm trying again on a separate one... I'm just interested in peoples ideas.

So anybody willing to having a stab at the possible reasons for the modality of experient's sensory perceptions when perceiving the deceased? Why in this order, why this frequency?

Visual........ 67%,
Auditory.... 28%,
Tactual...... 13%,
Olfactory... 5%​

This example data is taken from Erlendur Haraldsson large Icelandic study, published in his book "The Departed Among the Living".


 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Aren't those akin to the sensory responses we retain via memory? As in, we most closely recall sight, then sound, and so on?

Alternatively, perhaps certain senses are more rooted in our normal conception of time?
 
#3
Not sure olfactory should be as low as 5%, smell is a fairly common factor in hauntings. At the Treasurer's House (the famous Roman Ghost location in York, UK), one of the volunteer guides told me of an incident recently. She said she'd seen and smelt a plume of cigar smoke hanging in the air one morning, in the room she was acting as guide. Her superior happened to be walking through, and became angry that she was allowing visitors to smoke when there was a strict no-smoking policy, and the historic house was full of valuable carpets and antiques.

The guide said no one had entered the room for some time, and she wasn't the first person to notice the same pungent cigar smell in that room. The previous owner, who left the property to the National Trust, favoured such cigars apparently. Perfumes and cigarette smells are common accompaniments to ghostly phenomena.
 
#5
The answer is simple: in humans the most important sense is vision, then the ear, then touch and finally olfatory and taste.
I posted this on another thread... but got no takers... so I'm trying again on a separate one... I'm just interested in peoples ideas.
Visual........ 67%,
Auditory.... 28%,
Tactual...... 13%,
Olfactory... 5%​
If one looks at our records for recording these senses digitally, that is close to the same ratio that different types of information use up bandwidth. For instance, in a well compressed video file which runs for 30 minutes the visual component is going to be several times over the audio size. It doesn't seem strange that deceased would have similar characteristics (actually, it would indicate that any appropriate after realms were more calculable than 'mysterious'.) I think it would be more strange if deceased used avenues with less fidelity (how much can one communicate with odors? certainly not as much as with spoken words) on a regular basis.

(Usual caveat, I'm maintaining agnosticism over everything.)
 
#7
Perhaps it is to do with what is being communicated? Speech is essentially a symbolic representation of thoughts (whatever they are) I guess - perhaps speech requires more processing or is more complex than communicating an image or thought? I have only experienced one example of communication that could conceivably have been from a dead person and that was auditory however I was in a particularly 'absent' state of mind for that. I noticed that as soon as I started to analyse what was being said, the communication ended, almost as if my attention interfered with it. To process speech I find my consciousness seems to be much more active than when I am simply observing, perhaps the processing of images is more likely to by-pass the conscious mind?

Dunno. Just musing.
 
#8
Well these are fascinating replies, thanks to everyone who has replied so far, and they have given me a lot to think about, I have not really considered any of them before, they are all very clever...

If one looks at our records for recording these senses digitally, that is close to the same ratio that different types of information use up bandwidth. For instance, in a well compressed video file which runs for 30 minutes the visual component is going to be several times over the audio size. It doesn't seem strange that deceased would have similar characteristics (actually, it would indicate that any appropriate after realms were more calculable than 'mysterious'.) I think it would be more strange if deceased used avenues with less fidelity (how much can one communicate with odors? certainly not as much as with spoken words) on a regular basis.
I guess you are meaning that the volume of sensory information available from each sensory modality might be correlated with Haraldsson's results. Sounds reasonable to me.

The answer is simple: in humans the most important sense is vision, then the ear, then touch and finally olfatory and taste.
It sounds reasonable... but I'm not sure why?

Aren't those akin to the sensory responses we retain via memory? As in, we most closely recall sight, then sound, and so on?

Alternatively, perhaps certain senses are more rooted in our normal conception of time?
Your former idea involving memory sounds reasonable, I'll have to look that up now. I don't quite understand your second idea, although it sounds interesting?

Perhaps it is to do with what is being communicated? Speech is essentially a symbolic representation of thoughts (whatever they are) I guess - perhaps speech requires more processing or is more complex than communicating an image or thought? I have only experienced one example of communication that could conceivably have been from a dead person and that was auditory however I was in a particularly 'absent' state of mind for that. I noticed that as soon as I started to analyse what was being said, the communication ended, almost as if my attention interfered with it. To process speech I find my consciousness seems to be much more active than when I am simply observing, perhaps the processing of images is more likely to by-pass the conscious mind?.
That's an interesting idea, I guess you are saying that the amount of conscious processing for each sensory modality in the experient, might be inversely correlated with Haraldsson's results.
 
#9
HI Max_B - yes, often it seems to be suggested that communication via mediums occurs when they are in an altered state of some kind. Though I am definitely not a medium (more of a large these days :)), it does seem that the trick is, as far as possible, not to let one's own consciousness or thoughts intrude. I find that I can receive all kinds of imagery in day-to-day life without feeling the need to process it consciously, almost like it by-passes some cognitive process but for me, speech seems to require more of my attention. It may just be me or my imagination. :)
 
#10
HI Max_B - yes, often it seems to be suggested that communication via mediums occurs when they are in an altered state of some kind. Though I am definitely not a medium (more of a large these days :)), it does seem that the trick is, as far as possible, not to let one's own consciousness or thoughts intrude. I find that I can receive all kinds of imagery in day-to-day life without feeling the need to process it consciously, almost like it by-passes some cognitive process but for me, speech seems to require more of my attention. It may just be me or my imagination. :)
I'll try and work through all these ideas as I get chance...
 
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