Send to

Choose Destination
Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Oct;85(2):683-93.

Experimental induction of the "sensed presence" in normal subjects and an exceptional subject.

Author information

Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.


9 of the 15 volunteers who were exposed to successive 3-min. durations of bursts of different types of weak (1 microT) complex magnetic fields or sham-fields reported the sense of a presence as indicated by a button press at the time of the experience. Reports of subjective experiences indicated that attempts to "focus" cognitively upon the location of the presence altered its location or induced its "movement." An exceptional subject who had a history of experiencing within his upper left peripheral visual field "flashing images" concerning the health and history of people [when handling their photographs] was also exposed to the burst sequences. Numbers of button presses associated with the experiences of a mystical presence, to whom the subject attributed his capacity, increased when the complex magnetic fields were applied without the subject's knowledge. The results support the hypothesis that the sense of a presence, which may be the common phenomenological base from which experiences of gods, spirits, angels, and other entities are derived, is a right hemispheric homologue of the left hemispheric sense of self.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center