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BIAL Foundation
TI:"Prestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system"
Selection Description
Type Title Begin End
DocumentPrestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system2008

Reference code: PT/FB
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Location: S. Mamede do Coronado
BIAL Foundation Archive
Start date: 1994
The BIAL Foundation was created in 1994 by Laboratórios BIAL in conjunction with the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities. BIAL’s Foundation mission is to foster the scientific study of Man from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.
Along the years the BIAL Foundation has developed an important relationship with the scientific community, first in Portugal and after worldwide. Today it is an institution of reference which aims to stimulate new researches that may help people, promote more health and contribute to new milestones to gain access to knowledge.
Among its activities the BIAL Foundation manages the BIAL Award, created in 1984, one of the most important awards in the Health field in Europe. The BIAL Award rewards both the basic and the clinical research distinguishing works of major impact in medical research.
The BIAL Foundation also assigns Scientific Research Scholarships for the study of neurophysiological and mental health in people, arousing the interest of researchers in the areas of Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
To date the BIAL Foundation has supported 461 projects, more than 1000 researchers, with research groups in twenty-seven countries, resulting, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, out of which 172 published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Since 1996 the BIAL Foundation organizes the Symposia entitled "Behind and Beyond the Brain", a Forum that gathers well renowned neurosciences speakers and the BIAL Foundation Fellows which are spread around the world.
Classified as an institution of public utility, the BIAL Foundation includes among its patrons the Portuguese President, the Portuguese Universities Rectors' Council and the Portuguese Medical Association.
Accessibility: By permission

Reference code: PT/FB/BL
Entity holding: BIAL Foundation
Title: BIAL Grants
Start date: 1994
In 1994 the BIAL Foundation launched a programme of science research grants with the aim of encouraging the research into Man’s physical and mental processes, namely in fields still largely unexplored but which warrant further scientific analysis, as Psychophysiology and Parapsychology.
Since its launch, applications to the BIAL grants have been increasing. Up to now 461 projects have been supported, involving more than 1000 researchers from 27 countries.
The approved applications have benefited from grants in amounts comprised between €5,000 and €50, 000. The amount to be granted is fixed by the Scientific board according to the needs of each project.
The supported projects have originated, until April 2013, in about 600 full papers, 172 out of which were published in indexed international journals with an average impact factor of 3.6 and a substantial number of citations (1665).
Among the BIAL Foundation fellows is worth highlighting the presence of scientists from prestigious universities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Canada, and many others.
The BIAL grants are promoted biannually.

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2004
Location: Arquivo PCA - Pastas 1 a 25/2004
2004 Grants
Start date: 2005-01 - 2012-09
25 caixas de arquivo

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2004-007
Location: Arquivo PCA - Pasta 16/2004
007 - Prestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system
Duration: 2005-01 - 2008-04
Edwin May
Institution(s): Laboratories for Fundamental Research, Palo Alto (USA)
Contents: Contents:
Bursary agreement
Application form
Financial report and expenditure documents
Progress reports
Final report
Language: eng
May, E. C.
Number of reproductions:
Parapsychology / Extrasensory perception (ESP) / Presentiment

Reference code: PT/FB/BL-2004-007.04
Location: Arquivo PCA - Pasta 16/2004
Prestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system
Publication year: 2008
Abstract/Results: ABSTRACT:
The objective of this study was twofold: (1) to observe prestimulus response effects using heart rate as in indicator of the autonomic nervous system and (2) to ascertain which of two potential models of the functioning best fit the data. Are the data indicative of a precognitive response to a future stimuli or an experimenter effect via Decision Augmentation Theory (DAT). Using a 3-point electrode system, we monitored heart rate continuously for approximately 45 minutes. At random intervals of 30±10 s, we consulted a predefined list of counter balanced stimuli of either 1 s of 95 dB white noise or a silent data marker as a control. The prestimulus region was defined as - 4.7 to -1.2 s prior to stimulus onset and the heart rate data for each stimulus was referenced to that at -4.7s (i.e., clamped at that point). The dependent variable was the area between the average heart rate prior a future acoustic stimulus and a future control. A statistical assessment for this area was determined using a traditional non-parametric permutation technique. A DAT test required either 8 (condition A) or 24 (condition B) stimuli, respectively. Combining the two conditions we found essentially no effect (z = -0.29, p = 0.6, ES =-0.01, n = 518 stimuli). So also there appeared to be no observable effect in either of the two conditions: Condition A (z = -0.46, p = 0.68, ES = - 0.043, n = 121 stimuli) and Condition B (z = -0.12, p = 0.54, ES = -0.006, n = 397 stimuli). It is difficult to ascribe a meaning to a null result; however, we do consider a number of potential explanations. (1) Heart rate may not be subject to prestimulus response effects. (2) This study was plagued with difficulties. The result was that we had to restart the study a number of times. This had two important side effects. The first is that it sharply reduced the available participant pool from which we could draw, and secondly and most importantly it had a demoralizing effect on the researchers. This last point requires further discussion. It is a well established effect that set and setting play an important role in experimental psychology and perhaps a determining role in parapsychological experiments. One of the strongest effects in the PSI literature is the so-called sheep/goat effect which may be a strong manifestation of this effect.
Accessibility: Document does not exist in file
May, E. C.
Document type:
Conference abstract
Number of reproductions:
May, E. C. (2008). Prestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system. In Aquém e além do cérebro. Behind and beyond the brain. Proceedings of the 7th Symposium of Fundação Bial. Porto: Fundação Bial.
Indexed document: No
Keywords: Prestimulus response / Decision augmentation theory / Heart rate / Autonomic nervous system

Prestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system

Prestimulus response in the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system