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Percept Mot Skills. 2000 Apr;90(2):659-74.

Experimental simulation of a haunt experience and elicitation of paroxysmal electroencephalographic activity by transcerebral complex magnetic fields: induction of a synthetic "ghost"?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that experiences of apparitional phenomena with accompanying fear can be simulated within the laboratory, a 45-yr.-old journalist and professional musician who had experienced a classic haunt four years previously was exposed to 1 microTesla, complex, transcerebral magnetic fields. Within 10 min. after exposure to a frequency-modulated pattern applied over the right hemisphere, the man reported "rushes of fear" that culminated in the experience of an apparition. Concurrent electroencephalographic measurements showed conspicuous 1-sec.-to-2-sec. paroxysmal complex spikes (15 Hz) that accompanied the reports of fear. A second magnetic field pattern, applied bilaterally through the brain, was associated with pleasant experiences. The subject concluded that the synthetic experience of the apparition was very similar to the one experienced in the natural setting. The results of this experiment suggest that controlled simulation of these pervasive phenomena within the laboratory is possible and that this experimental protocol may help discern the physical stimuli that evoke their occurrence in nature.

PMID:
10833767
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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