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Archive for the ‘psi’ Category

Dean Radin, PhD is an accomplished bluegrass banjo and fiddle player.

Dr. Radin is also Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA). Dr. Radin began his academic career after earning a degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with senior honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), a masters degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

For a decade Dr. Radin worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For over two decades Dr. Radin has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at IONS, Dr. Radin held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and three Silicon Valley think-tanks, including SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the US government.

Dr. Radin has presented over a hundred invited lectures in venues including Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton Universities, Google headquarters, DARPA, and the US Navy.

I excerpted the following discussion from :

David Jay Brown and Rebecca McCLen Novick interview Dean Radin:

David: What do you think are some of the most important implications of parapsychological research?

Dean: I kind of get stuck on implications, because from a scientific point of view, in a sense, it’s extremely mundane. The history of science shows that for a long time scientists have a good sense of what they think the world is like, and then somebody comes up with a nutty idea and revolutionizes everything. There’s great chaos, and then it settles back down. It goes through these cycles over and over again, and the speed with which those cycles are changing are getting shorter and shorter. What used to take centuries, became decades, and now takes like six months.

The direction that science in general seems to be moving is perfectly compatible with the idea that there is some kind deep interconnection between things. There’s a quickly growing interest in religion and science, and the two are probably not incompatible, but, perhaps, are two sides of the same coin. I mean, they’re different obviously, but they may not need to be as different as people have thought. So where does it fit in?

One time I gave a talk where I was suggesting the topic of psychic phenomena as the middle ground between science and religion. This was because it addresses a lot of the phenomena that give religion it’s power– namely things that look supernatural, therefore can’t be us, and must be from some higher place or something. Yet all our research suggests that the cause of all this is people. It’s not disembodied entities doing it; it’s us doing it.

If you follow the logic out– especially with Eastern ideas, and even some Western notions about how reality is created– and if it truly is the result of an interaction between observation and some formless stuff out there, then parapsychological phenomena is just the tip of the iceberg. The evidence almost suggests that a solipsistic view of the world might be right, that we are engaged in continuous creation by virtue of our observation.

Jessica: What’s your sense of how music might influence the development of these kinds of abilities?

Dean: Well, the line of research came out of the observation that creative people generally have a much higher belief in psychic phenomena; correlations are very high, like .6, .7, or .8. Given the observation, empirical tests were done with different kinds of creative people to see who would be better in a telepathy test. It turns out that musicians are best, especially early-trained musicians. We know from other research that their corpus callosum is different from most other people’s.

If you’re an early-trained, string musician in particular, where one hand is doing something complicated, and the other hand is doing something even more complicated, the hemispheres need to talk to each other at a much higher frequency or facility, than in a person who is not trained to do complicated things with both hands, listen to the music, analyze it, do pitch intonation, and lots of other things. The brain is very fully engaged.

Jessica: So it’s a capacity for simultaneity?

Dean: Or a hemispheral integration of a higher order than is usual.

David: You know there’s culturally-created differences too in how brains respond to music. PET scans were done with American and Japanese musicians, and they found that Japanese musicians used their left hemisphere when they were performing more than American musicians, who used their right hemispheres more.

Dean: No, I didn’t know that. I do know that the musicians who are trained to read music are different than musicians who are learned by ear.

David: Their training is such that their brains actually get wired or programmed differently?

Dean: That’s right.

David: There’s more left hemisphere activity in people who were trained to read music?

Dean: That’s right, because it becomes another language. I was trained as a classical violinist, and played for many years. More recently I’ve switched into the banjo, because it’s just more fun. When I play the violin, or the banjo, I can not speak. I become aphasic. What it feels like internally is that whatever brain mechanism is used for language articulation is exactly the same mechanism for articulating music.
So it’s not surprising to me that some brain areas begin to specialize in these ways. There’s something perhaps we don’t know, but maybe for somebody to be perceived as good psychic in a lab test, where we’re asking them to articulate, they have to have this strange combination of perhaps right-brain intuitive who-knows-what, and a very fast connection to the other side so they can articulate it.

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