Paranormal Science

Is there a way to make the brain "psychic"?
Answered by Valerie Conners and Science Channel
  • Valerie Conners

    Valerie Conners

  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Parapsychologists believe there are a variety of psychic abilities such as telepathy, or mind-to-mind communication; precognition, the ability to predict future events, and clairvoyance, the ability to perceive events occurring remotely. Of course, to believe that one can train the brain to become psychic, it must first be understood that being psychic is scientifically possible. While parapsychology is a growing field, it is still unaccepted by a majority of members of the United States National Academy of Science. But for those who do believe, the consensus is that yes, it is possible to hone psychic skills.

    Researchers at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom have conducted a study which, though not fully complete, seemed to indicate that up to 85 percent of people possess some type of clairvoyance, also known as "remote viewing" [source: Penman]. During these experiments, some subjects were able to "see" things that were happening in a completely different place, including one female in a room who could "see" her friend standing on rocks in a stream of water -- exactly where he was at that moment.

    Remote viewing abilities have been studied and practiced by the U.S. military for years, gaining particular notoriety during the Cold War, when it was believed that Russians were using psychics to spy on the nation and the U.S. strove to use them, in turn. Contemporary government research continues, evidenced by a 1995 CIA report on the success of experiments done by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which showed that remote viewing could be used by governments for information gathering [source: Wiseman and Milton].

    It's exciting to imagine psychics being used in covert military operations, but many parapsychologists stress that it's possible to train regular folks how to sharpen their psychic skills as well. Their belief is that people are only using a small percentage  of their brains, and if we were to tap into the sizeable, unused areas, we would increase our psychic abilities. Part of achieving psychic ability comes by trusting and paying better attention to what we consider our own hunches and gut instincts, as these are indicative of our subconscious. To better tap into the subconscious, people can use techniques like self-hypnosis, meditation and even paying closer attention to their dreams.

    Psychics claim to have telepathic powers that allow them to predict the future. (Scott Gries, Image Direct)

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  2. The brain has two hemispheres: left and right. The left tends to be the more logical half, while the right is more emotional; the left brain is more analytical, while the right brain is more intuitive [source: Marquis and Huston]. Parapsychologists point to the brain's right hemisphere as the place where psychic ability resides. Indeed, some think that tapping into your psychic ability is a matter of exercising that right hemisphere, through meditation, chanting, singing and drumming [source: Powell]. In this way, these supposedly psychic brain cells will be awakened and able to send and receive messages [source: De Long]. We should note, however, that this is not recognized by the mainstream scientific community.


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