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Sensed presence and mystical experiences are predicted by suggestibility, not by the application of transcranial weak complex magnetic fields

Granqvist, P; Fredrikson, M; Unge, P; Hagenfeldt, A; Valind, Sven LU ; Larhammar, D and Larsson, M (2005) In Neuroscience Letters 379(1). p.1-6
Abstract
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with weak (micro Tesla) complex waveform fields have been claimed to evoke the sensed presence of a sentient being in up to 80% in the general population. These findings have had a questionable neurophysiological foundation as the fields are approximately six orders of magnitude weaker than ordinary TMS fields. Also, no independent replication has been reported. To replicate and extend previous findings, we performed a double-blind experiment (N = 89), with a sham-field control group. Personality characteristics indicating suggestibility (absorption, signs of abnormal temporal lobe activity, and a "new age"-life-style orientation) were used as predictors. Sensed presence, mystical, and other... (More)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with weak (micro Tesla) complex waveform fields have been claimed to evoke the sensed presence of a sentient being in up to 80% in the general population. These findings have had a questionable neurophysiological foundation as the fields are approximately six orders of magnitude weaker than ordinary TMS fields. Also, no independent replication has been reported. To replicate and extend previous findings, we performed a double-blind experiment (N = 89), with a sham-field control group. Personality characteristics indicating suggestibility (absorption, signs of abnormal temporal lobe activity, and a "new age"-life-style orientation) were used as predictors. Sensed presence, mystical, and other somatosensory experiences previously reported from the magnetic field stimulation were outcome measures. We found no evidence for any effects of the magnetic fields, neither in the entire group, nor in individuals high in suggestibility. Because the personality characteristics significantly predicted outcomes, suggestibility may account for previously reported effects. Our results strongly question the earlier claims of experiential effects of weak magnetic fields. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mystical experiences, magnetic fields, sensed presence, suggestibility
in
Neuroscience Letters
volume
379
issue
1
pages
1 - 6
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000228436700001
  • pmid:15849873
  • scopus:20044393704
ISSN
0304-3940
DOI
10.1016/j.neulet.2004.10.057
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ba15c66a-4b7e-4288-81e6-e300306bb25e (old id 246364)
date added to LUP
2007-08-24 13:28:47
date last changed
2017-09-17 05:21:41
@article{ba15c66a-4b7e-4288-81e6-e300306bb25e,
  abstract     = {Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with weak (micro Tesla) complex waveform fields have been claimed to evoke the sensed presence of a sentient being in up to 80% in the general population. These findings have had a questionable neurophysiological foundation as the fields are approximately six orders of magnitude weaker than ordinary TMS fields. Also, no independent replication has been reported. To replicate and extend previous findings, we performed a double-blind experiment (N = 89), with a sham-field control group. Personality characteristics indicating suggestibility (absorption, signs of abnormal temporal lobe activity, and a "new age"-life-style orientation) were used as predictors. Sensed presence, mystical, and other somatosensory experiences previously reported from the magnetic field stimulation were outcome measures. We found no evidence for any effects of the magnetic fields, neither in the entire group, nor in individuals high in suggestibility. Because the personality characteristics significantly predicted outcomes, suggestibility may account for previously reported effects. Our results strongly question the earlier claims of experiential effects of weak magnetic fields.},
  author       = {Granqvist, P and Fredrikson, M and Unge, P and Hagenfeldt, A and Valind, Sven and Larhammar, D and Larsson, M},
  issn         = {0304-3940},
  keyword      = {mystical experiences,magnetic fields,sensed presence,suggestibility},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--6},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Neuroscience Letters},
  title        = {Sensed presence and mystical experiences are predicted by suggestibility, not by the application of transcranial weak complex magnetic fields},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2004.10.057},
  volume       = {379},
  year         = {2005},
}