November 12, 2014

"The sensation of an otherworldly presence... actually derives from garbled sensorimotor brain signals..."

"... in which a person's self awareness of their own body is projected into a seemingly disconnected space. In such cases... the brain mis-assigns its own life signals as belonging to someone or something else."

In other words: It's not a ghost. It's not an angel. It's just you.

46 comments:

traditionalguy said...

"What we cannot control does not exist," says the man in control of his sensorimotor brain signals to all of you mental weaklings.

Laslo Spatula said...

"... in which a person's self awareness of their own body is projected into a seemingly disconnected space. In such cases... the brain mis-assigns its own life signals as belonging to someone or something else."

Applicable to blogging, maybe.

carrie said...

Prove it.

m stone said...

The spiritual and the physical world work hand in hand. A spiritual stimulus is coordinated with a physical response (the body, the brain).

The scientists look only at one side of the equation. That might be the case here.

Very easy to overlook the spiritual either if you don't believe that world exists or you can't study or measure it.

Henry said...

Very easy to overlook the spiritual either if ... you can't study or measure it.

True. The search for phlogiston is over.

n.n said...
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Christy said...

Didn't Connie Willis do an entire novel, Passages, on this at the turn of the century?

n.n said...

In other words, this is one observable pattern in the chaos. It should be beneath serious scientists to make general claims or extrapolate from circumstantial evidence. They are not operating in the scientific domain. Science is deductive, not inductive. Constrain yourself.

Also, science is incapable of distinguishing between origination or expression. The [selective] normalization of homosexual behavior and premeditated abortion, both behaviors that are antithetical to evolutionary fitness, are proof of expert duplicity. This isn't science, but social competition; or political ambition coupled with corporate greed. I wonder if there is a Democrat behind this.

n.n said...
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Henry said...

I wonder if there is a Democrat behind this.

Neuroscientists studying the biology of the brain. Research that could help our understanding of epilepsy and schizophrenia. Dogs and Cats living together.

Plus, they're Swiss. Maybe that makes them even more suspicious.

Here's the last line of the abstract, if that helps: Our findings reveal the neural mechanisms of the FoP, highlight the subtle balance of brain mechanisms that generate the experience of “self” and “other,” and advance the understanding of the brain mechanisms responsible for hallucinations in schizophrenia.

n.n said...

traditionalguy:

But he has an objective frame of reference, perfect and an unadulterated. It's like premeditated abortion that was legalized with a deference to individual faith, and normalized to appease individual hubris. Or MIT professor Gruber, who with Obama et al, participated in perpetrating an unprecedented fraud. Then there is Gore and Global Warming, and the short-term profits extracted from an invented carbon credit market. Yeah, the patterns are emergent and discernible. The sensations manifest as a devaluation of capital and labor, human dignity, and reduction of human life to a commodity.

Anglelyne said...

Cool. Sounds like a variant of those "God helmet" experiments from a few years back.

"Others were so creeped out that they asked to stop the experiment."

I remember some subjects having similar reactions in those earlier studies, but I don't recall if they, like the subjects here, "had no idea what the aim of the study was". I wonder if the sensation would still creep me out, even if I were fully aware of what was going on.

I would guess that up to a point it would be kind of interesting (like having a good buzz on), but at more "hallucinogenic" levels it might get frightening, even if one knows perfectly well it isn't real.

john said...

Oh. I thought this was about Glenn Beck.

EDH said...

Hot dog!

Think of all the evil and kinky shit we can get away without all that damn metaphysical "transparency".

n.n said...
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n.n said...

Henry:

You are missing the point. The issue is not voluntary treatment of psychological disorders as physical corruption; or involuntary treatment (e.g. confinement) when it poses an immediate threat to others; but, the news report that extrapolates to form general conclusions or widespread claims -- approaching libel -- based on circumstantial evidence.

What objective criteria do you use to classify psychopathic orientations and behaviors?

Do you classify homosexual, transexual, etc. orientations and behaviors as a mental aberration? They are objectively dysfunctional. Or they were before the normalization of womb banks and sperm depositors; and selective normalization by some psychiatrists.

Do you classify abortionists to suffer from a mental aberration? Premature termination of human life (i.e. murder) is objectively a dysfunctional and degenerate behavior. Perhaps people who commit or contract for premeditated abortion of wholly innocent human lives base their choice on "garbled sensorimotor brain signals".

Actually, we know that not all women remain mentally stable throughout their pregnancy. This calls into question the mental stability or motives of abortionists, who carry out the contract murder of a woman's "unwanted" child.

traditionalguy said...

Another way to restate his conclusion would be, "The existence of the natural totally explains the supernatural."

Henry said...

@n.n. - It sounds like what you object to is that the news report doesn't generalize to the conclusions you desire.

The actual article linked by Althouse is almost entirely descriptive.

David said...

Go to Colorado. Have a joint or two. Those guys in blue helmets shouting "You are violating International Conventions! You are violating International Conventions!" are just artifacts of your self awareness.

Paddy O said...

"I see garbled sensorimotor brain signals..."

n.n said...

Henry:

My desire is to restrain people from corrupting science and exploiting people with capricious and opportunistic departures to universal and extra-universal frames of reference. Your desire has an ulterior motive. Why is this personal for you?

FullMoon said...

AA once explained: See, whatever happens can be said to have happened for the reason you've already reasoned is the reason for whatever happens to have happened. .

Anonymous said...

I guess I don't see why a robot drawing on your back *wouldn't* be felt as an "otherworldly presence". That's not what the subject said, anyway, he said it was like playing with a monkey.

Alex said...

Looks like another side-effect of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Gotta loosen the belt next time.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The sensation of an otherworldly presence, they found, actually derives from garbled sensorimotor brain signals...

In related news, scientists found that blindness actually derives from wearing a blindfold.

Ralph Hyatt said...

Sometimes when I am just about to drop off to sleep I have the feeling that I am falling through the air and awake with a start.

This proves that those times I felt as though I was falling through the air while awake (for instance when I jumped out of the perfectly serviceable airplane with a parachute on my back or the times I jumped from a 30 feet cliff into the ocean below) were totally illusionary.

SCIENCE!

Ralph Hyatt said...

The sensation of an otherworldly presence, they found, actually derives from garbled sensorimotor brain signals...

or

Garbled sensorimotor brain signals can cause the sensation of an otherworldly presence.

See the difference?

Anonymous said...
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Henry said...

@n.n. Ah. I see. Your motives are pure.

n.n said...

Henry:

Actually, they are. I do not countenance classification or condemnation of individuals without an objective basis, including, but not limited to: harm to individuals, society, and humanity. This is why, for example, I recognize homosexual, transexual, etc. orientations as psychopathies, acknowledge that their expression is tolerable, but that they do not merit normalization. This is also why I recognize abortion as premeditated murder, elective abortion as murder without cause, and acknowledge that this behavior cannot be tolerated, and certainly not subsidized, in a civilized society.

As for the people who have universal or extra-universal experiences, I do not share their enlightenment. But, I do not condemn nor seek to marginalize them unless they pose a clear and present danger to themselves and others. They do not, and neither their orientation nor behavior are disruptive. They may also be truthful about their experiences. I do not claim knowledge or experience with phenomenon or entities from the universal or extra-universal domains.

Chef Mojo said...

Is it just me, or is n.n. basicically Crack with fetuses instead of racism?

n.n said...

In any case, I welcome the researchers' observations and insight, but not their prejudice. Their discovery may help people whose distorted perception poses a danger, or who choose to seek treatment for disruptive orientations and behaviors.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

Chef Mojo:

Why would you equate opposition to a faith-based or, really, egoistic argument to legalize and normalize premeditated murder with a selective prejudice?

Human life evolves from conception to a natural, accidental, or premeditated death. My interest in human life, throughout its evolution, should be self-evident and shared by all people. Committing or contracting murder for causes other than self-defense is difficult for me to reconcile. How do you do it?

You do recognize that spontaneous conception is a myth, and that the arbitrary and ideologically-motivated viability standard would guarantee abortion of more than half of the world's human population, right? Degrading human life, throughout its evolution, to a commodity that can be liquidated for capricious reasons has consequences.

m stone said...

It seems to me that anyone interested in human life would consider the spiritual dimension.

It's not an argument and not even faith alone, it's often above our understanding, but within reach.

Take a lesson from Haitians and many Africans who recognize the spirit world. And some Westerners.

It's a big leap from sensorimotor brain signals. Scientists have it easy.

Revenant said...

Very easy to overlook the spiritual either if ... you can't study or measure it.

The only things that can't be studied or measured are those things which cannot be detected at all.

Revenant said...

Is it just me, or is n.n. basicically Crack with fetuses instead of racism?

Nah, not until he starts accusing us all of personally killing babies.

Darrell said...

n.n. is making total sense. Unlike Crack.

Chef Mojo said...

n.n.,

Not unexpectedly, you missed the point of my comment. Not surprising, given the one track nature of your comments in general.

The point of my comment resides in the fact that, like Crack did/does on the subject of his twisted views on racism, you never miss the opportunity to turn any thread into a personal jeremiad on your view of the morality of abortion. You do this no matter how far removed from abortion the subject at hand is. And, like Crack's comments, I find this tendency of yours to be tedious and predictable, and more than a little irritating. I get it. You don't like abortion. Neither do I. But every time I see you pop up, it's like walking by a raving street preacher who never misses an opportunity to go off the moment you get within screaming distance. It's rude and tacky, and really lends nothing to the subject at hand.

sinz52 said...

This is hardly a new idea, though the experimental evidence being offered is new.

St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy.
D Landsborough

Evidence is offered to suggest a neurological origin for Paul's ecstatic visions. Paul's physical state at the time of his conversion is discussed and related to these ecstatic experiences. It is postulated that both were manifestations of temporal lobe epilepsy.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. Jun 1987; 50(6): 659–664.

A lot of these religious visions can be explained in terms of epilepsy, sunstroke (notice how many prophets had visions in the desert), etc.

m stone said...

Evidence is offered to suggest a neurological origin for Paul's ecstatic visions. Paul's physical state at the time of his conversion is discussed and related to these ecstatic experiences. It is postulated that both were manifestations of temporal lobe epilepsy.

You may be absolutely correct sinz52. I appreciate your evidence, wherever it came from.

The explanation doesn't negate the fact that the spirit world works in coordination with the physical world. So, basically, the temporal lobe could simply be responding to another stimulus.

That's a lot of people in recorded scripture experiencing the same neurological presentation.

traditionalguy said...

A hint when reading something written about an experience with the Holy Spirit is that only the iinexperiencd ever use. the descriptive phrase " ecstatic experience" to describe what is a peaceful experience.

Revenant said...

The explanation doesn't negate the fact that the spirit world works in coordination with the physical world.

I'd be curious to hear how this "fact" was established. Last I heard the very existence of a "spirit world" was strictly a matter of faith.

sojerofgod said...

sinz52:

You mention the prophets had visions (you attribute to sunstroke) in the desert, without mentioning that they ALL lived in the freaking desert! Why didn't they have so many prophets that they were tripping over each other around the campfire? Plus, the 12 tribes were desert dwellers. Totally at home and acclimated to the desert environment. Now I cannot say it is not possible but I will say its not probable. (thanks, Captain Jack Sparrow!)

SJ said...

@Ann,

I find this conclusion to depend on circular reasoning.

It's not a ghost. It's not an angel. It's just you.

If I already think that religious experiences (my own or others) are the result of things happening in my brain, then this discovery provides supporting evidence.

If I already think that religious experiences might point to something outside of myself, then this evidence does not contradict that thought. It may point towards one of the ways in which spirits, if they exist, might tinker with my brain while imparting knowledge to me. Or it may point towards a way in which a human can be fooled into thinking they have interacted with a spirit, even if the spiritual interaction achieves the similar affect through a different means.

The discovery doesn't automatically point towards one or the other conclusion.

Revenant said...

Why didn't they have so many prophets that they were tripping over each other around the campfire?

They kind of did.