Ganzfeld experiment

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A ganzfeld experiment (from the German for “entire field”) is a technique used in the field of parapsychology to test individuals for extrasensory perception (ESP). It uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation to produce an effect similar to sensory deprivation.[1] The deprivation of patterned sensory input is said to be conducive to inwardly generated impressions.[2] The technique was devised by Wolfgang Metzger in the 1930s as part of his investigation into the gestalt theory.[3]

Parapsychologists such as Dean Radin and Daryl Bem say that ganzfeld experiments have yielded results that deviate from randomness to a significant degree, and that these results present some of the strongest quantifiable evidence for telepathy to date.[4] Critics such as Susan Blackmore and Ray Hyman say that the results are inconclusive.[5][6][7]

Contents

Historical context

The ganzfeld experiments are among the most recent in parapsychology for testing the existence of and affecting factors of telepathy, which is defined in parapsychology as the paranormal acquisition of information concerning the thoughts, feelings or activity of another person.[8] In the early 1970s, Charles Honorton had been investigating ESP and dreams at the Maimonides Medical Center and began using the ganzfeld technique as a more efficient way to achieve a state of sensory deprivation in which it is hypothesised that psi can work.[9]

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