An introduction to the scientific study of psychics and mediums—those who are frauds, those who are psychotic, and those whose claims seem to defy easy dismissal.
From Ghostbusters to The X-Files to Medium, audiences are fascinated by portrayals of people whose abilities seem difficult to explain in ordinary ways. In real life, women and men claiming to have psychic abilities are, by and large, either ridiculed as fakes or marginalized as pathological. But are all reported extrasensory experiences the work of a duplicitior or a deranged mind? Is there scientific evidence to support the possibility of genuine psychic episodes?
Welcome to the world of Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Extraordinary People. Here, experts in the emerging field of neurobiological study make the case that while many claims of psychic ability are easily proven false, there may well be claimants who can obtain information in ways not easily explained by mainstream science—and there might be scientific tools and approaches available to confirm those experiences.
Written by an expert team of distinguished investigators from a half dozen countries around the world, Mysterious Minds introduces readers to the current state of research into parapsychological experiences, emphasizing the neurobiological data obtained by those who claim to be psychics or mediums. It offers specific examples of paranormal claims of extraordinary people—claims scrutinized through the use of high-tech brain imaging, clinical neurological examinations, and psychotropic drugs. The book concludes by proposing a series of models based on fundamental neurobiology, psychology, and quantum physics that could help us unravel these mental mysteries.
• Includes essays from several expert contributors, each an accomplished scientific researcher in the fields of parapsychology, neurobiology, and cognitive neuroscience
• Offers case studies on definitive episodes of both fraudulent and not-easily-disproven psychic events
• Provides a bibliography of references and additional readings, including print and online resources
• Looks at the cutting-edge science behind reports and experiences that have inherent appeal to a wide audience, as demonstrated by the popularity shows like The X Files and Medium
• Provides an accessible scientific assessment of activity often dismissed as spurious or psychotic
• Looks at controversial topics such out-of-body experiences and the use of psychotropic drugs to examine psychic claimants
• Proposes viable new paradigms, based on contemporary scientific models, for acknowledging the potential of the mind to engage in activity that appears to transcend usual concepts of time, space, and energy