This highly elaborative study aimed on replicating a possible correlation in EEG and/or skin conductance responses in separated human participants which was found by Wackermann et al., 2004 and Hinterberger et al., in press. In order to prove the effect without the possibility of an electromagnetic or acoustic cross talk between the participants and with the assumption that telepathic communication is spatially independent,
we arranged a setting with two far distant laboratories, one in Northampton/UK and one in Tübingen/Germany in which closely related pairs of participants were measured synchronously.
28 sessions were conducted with 16 pairs of participants in which one of both (referred to as ‘stimulated
participant’) had to view 360 pictures of different categories in five runs. Emotionally affective pictures, neutral pictures, black screen stimuli, and pictures of the co-participant were presented. Eight channels of EEG, eye movements, and skin conductance were recorded from both the stimulated and non-stimulated participant. The event-related responses in the EEG of the non-stimulated participant of three seconds after stimulus onset were used for the data analysis and additionally the response curves of the spectral power of seven frequency bands. A nonparametrical statistical approach was applied to those measures to identify possible correlations between the stimulus times and the EEG of the non stimulated participant. Therefore, a randomised selection of 10 000 possible but arbitrary stimulus sequences was applied to the EEG data for comparison with the actual one.
The results for the entire group could not replicate the findings of the previous studies. The event-related
potentials show no remarkable effect nor does the EOG reveal remarkable significances. Also the spectral analysis shows no exceptional significances in all categories. However, the significances seem not to be equally distributed over all participants. Three participants show extraordinary high significances for emotional, affective, or the coparticipants pictures.
The data of the non-stimulated participants were used to search for correlations with the stimulation
times of the stimulated participants to detect a possible telepathic effect measurable with physiology. This effect turned out to be, if present at all, very small. The SCPs and skin conductance level and response revealed the highest z-scores which is in line with the fact that both measures react highly sensitive on emotional changes and changes in the arousal level. Other measures such as the time series ERP and the frequency bands did not show exceptional significance values. However, extraordinary large values in some participants suggest the existence of ‘gifted participants’.
Hinterberger, T., Studer, P., Jäger, M., and Walach, H., "Event-related correlations between brain electrical activities of separated human participants", International Journal of Neuroscience, in press.; Wackermann,
J., Seiter, C., Keibel, H. & Walach, H. (2003). Correlations between brain electrical activities of two spatially
separated human subjects. Neuroscience Letters, 336, 60-64.; Wackermann, J., Muradas, J.R.N. & Puetz, P. (2004). “Event-related correlations between brain electrical activities of separated human subjects: preliminary results of a replication study”, Proceedings of presented papers. The 47th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, 465-468.