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Esoteric Voices 9: Neuroscience of Psychic Phenomena

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In this episode of Esoteric Voices, Diane Hennacy Powell talks about her research into the neuroscience of psychic phenomena.
It started with her seeing a patient who started giving her a psychic reading that contained too much accurate information for her to ignore. She wondered how it was possible for people to know these types of things, and why there was a higher incidence of it occurring with people who are usually described as mentally ill.

One of the problems with researching psychics from a neuroscience perspective is that they are wary of having their brains scanned and risking exposure to radiation. What Powell did to overcome this was to look at already existing brain scans of patients who had higher incidents of psi experiences, which included people diagnosed as being bi-polor, having symptoms of ADD, or autism as well as people who have had head trauma, vivid dreams, or synesthesia.

Powell wrote a book called The ESP Enigma which reported her findings into the nature of consciousness. She found that psychic people tend be have more dominant right brains, and to that they have more activity in their limbic system, which is related to dreaming and emotional processing. She also found that DMT tends to activate the limbic system, and that it’s present in our pineal gland or Third Eye, it’s the active ingredient of ayahuasca, and that it’s usually secreted during out-of-body or near-death experiences.

Powell theorizes that the evolution of dreaming and psychic phenomena developed simultaneously as a defense mechanism so that baby mammals who are in a REM-state would be able to psychically connect to their mothers if there was an imminent threat to their safety. She also likes David Bohm’s theory of the universe as a dynamic hologram that allows humans to access information about the universe by going within. Finally, she talks about her hopes to be able to lessen the taboo for patients to be able to talk about their psychic experiences within the context of the psychiatric fields.

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Music by scottaltham, courtesy of Creative Commons license.

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