Are our subconscious minds capable of clueing us in to future events without any external clues? This phenomenon, called presentiment, may in fact exist according to Northwestern University researchers who recently analyzed the findings of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010.
Scientists have already determined that the subconscious mind sometimes knows more than the conscious mind. Physiological responses to subconscious awareness, for example, tend to emerge before conscious awareness that a deck of cards is stacked against us.
“What hasn’t been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen,” said Julia Mossbridge, Ph.D., lead author of the study and research associate in the Visual Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern.
For example, an employee playing a video game while wearing headphones can’t hear when his or her boss is getting closer.
“But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your video game,” Mossbridge said.
“You might even have a chance to open that spreadsheet you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room.”
However, Mossbridge said she and the other researchers are not completely sure whether people are really sensing the future.
“I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense.”
“It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”
The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Perception Science.
Source: Northwestern University