A psychic reading is a specific attempt to discern information through the use of heightened perceptive abilities. These natural extensions are claimed to be clairvoyance, clairsentience and clairaudience and the resulting statements made during such an attempt; the term is associated with paranormal-based consultation given for a fee in such settings as over the phone, in a home, or at psychic fairs. Though psychic readings are controversial and a focus of skeptical inquiry, a popular interest in them persists. Extensive experimentation to replicate psychic results in laboratory conditions have failed to find any precognitive phenomena in humans. Psychic reading is pseudoscience. A cold reading technique allows psychics to produce specific information about an individual from social cues and broad statements. There are many types of psychic readings practiced. Although psychic readings might not incorporate the use of any tools, a professional psychic may have one or more specialized areas of expertise.
Some of the more common readings include Tarot reading, email psychic reading, palm reading, aura readings, or astrological readings. Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means for divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events; the position of the stars, planets and moon when one is born are believed to have affect one's personality, shape how relationships work in one's life and predict future events such as one's economic success. Aura readings involve the interpretation of auras; the aura is purported to be a field of luminous radiation surrounding a person. Psychics have offered aura readings for many years, they claim to have a unique ability to see or sense individual’s auras, however no evidence has been provided to substantiate this claim. Cartomancy is fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards. See Tarot reading below. Cleromantic readings involve casting small objects and reading them by their position and mutual proximity.
There are numerous variants used throughout the world. A distant reading, "traveling clairvoyance", or "remote perception" can be conducted without the reader meeting the client; this includes letters, text messaging, email and webcam readings. Correspondence readings are done via letters emails and filling in special forms on psychic websites. Telephone readings are live readings where both psychic and client hear each other by connecting via premium rate telephone line. In the last years, with restrictions on premium rate numbers, more common are pre-paid callbacks, in which case client leaves his/her credit card details over the phone to an operator, after which gets a call on a specified phone number. Telephone readings became most popular with the growth of live advice TV shows as main means of advertising, is used by companies rather than individual psychics, due to high setup costs. SMS and chat readings is a quick question-and-answer format of reading allowing exchange of basic information between psychic and client.
Webcams and online video communication may be used for this type of reading. Lithomancy readings involve suitable gems or stones that are immersed in water, or tossed as a set and read by mutual proximity, its origins are unknown, there are numerous different methodologies used by various cultures throughout the world. A more common variant is crystallomancy known as crystal gazing. Using quartz as a crystal ball it is stereotypically depicted as gypsy fortune telling. Numerology is defined as the study of the occult meanings of numbers and their influence on human life, it is a reading of an individual based upon numerical values such as their date of birth, letters in their names, etc. Numerology can be used in psychic readings. Palmistry is another popular method of psychic readings, involving characterization and foretelling of one's future through the study of the lines, shapes and curves on the palm. Palmistry does not require psychic ability, as it uses cold reading abilities and previous knowledge of the subject.
Psychometry is a form of psychic reading in which the reader claims to obtain details about another through physical contact with their possessions. Psychometry readers ask the subject for their favorite and most meaningful objects, such as wedding rings, car keys, etc. for the reading. The belief is that objects which are in close proximity to a person for extended periods of time hold some of that person's'energy'; this method has been used in attempts to locate missing persons. Runes are the letters of a set of related alphabets used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Lati alphabet. There is evidence to suggest that they had magical or divinatory uses. In modern settings, stones or tablets with runes inscribed on them are cast on a mat or cloth to discern future events or path a problem or issue will take. Runes are used by some witches and other practitioners of divination. Tarot cards have been popularized, but can be regarded as entertainment. Traditional decks are available in chain bookstores.
New decks frequently appear in New Age bookstores. Though not requiring psychic abilities, Tarot cards can be used as a psychic or cold reading tool and Tarot readings are common at psychic fairs. Skeptics have challenged the veracity of the claims of psychic readings through disclosure of the methods. Psychologist Richard Wiseman's 2011 book Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't
Ectoplasm is a term used in spiritualism to denote a substance or spiritual energy "exteriorized" by physical mediums. It was coined in 1894 by psychical researcher Charles Richet. Although the term is widespread in popular culture, the physical existence of ectoplasm is not accepted by science and many purported examples were exposed as hoaxes fashioned from cheesecloth, gauze or other natural substances. In spiritualism, ectoplasm is said to be formed by physical mediums; this material is excreted as a gauze-like substance from orifices on the medium's body and spiritual entities are said to drape this substance over their nonphysical body, enabling them to interact in the physical and real universe. Some accounts claim that ectoplasm begins clear and invisible, but darkens and becomes visible, as the psychic energy becomes stronger. Still other accounts state. According to some mediums, the ectoplasm cannot occur in light conditions as the ectoplasmic substance would disintegrate; the psychical researcher Gustav Geley defined ectoplasm as being “very variable in appearance, being sometimes vaporous, sometimes a plastic paste, sometimes a bundle of fine threads, or a membrane with swellings or fringes, or a fine fabric-like tissue”.
Arthur Conan Doyle described ectoplasm as “a viscous, gelatinous substance which appeared to differ from every known form of matter in that it could solidify and be used for material purposes”. The physical existence of ectoplasm has not been scientifically demonstrated, tested samples purported to be ectoplasm have been found to be various non-paranormal substances. Other researchers have duplicated, with non-supernatural materials, the photographic effects sometimes said to prove the existence of ectoplasm; the idea of ectoplasm was merged into the notion of an "ectenic force" by some early psychical researchers who were seeking a physical explanation for reports of psychokinesis in séances. Its existence was hypothesized by Count Agenor de Gasparin, to explain the phenomena of table turning and tapping during séances. Ectenic force was named by de Gasparin's colleague M. Thury, a professor of natural history at the Academy of Geneva. Between them, de Gasparin and Thury conducted a number of experiments in ectenic force, claimed some success.
Their work was not independently verified. Other psychical researchers who studied mediumship speculated that within the human body an unidentified fluid termed the "psychode", "psychic force" or "ecteneic force" existed and was capable of being released to influence matter; this view was held by Camille Flammarion and William Crookes, however a psychical researcher Hereward Carrington pointed out that the fluid was hypothetical and has never been discovered. The psychical investigator W. J. Crawford had claimed that a fluid substance was responsible for levitation of objects after witnessing the medium Kathleen Goligher. Crawford, after witnessing a number of her séances, claimed to have obtained flashlight photographs of the substance, he claimed the substance can be felt by the body. The physicist and psychical researcher Edmund Edward Fournier d'Albe investigated the medium Kathleen Goligher at many sittings and arrived at the opposite conclusions to Crawford. D'Albe claimed. During a séance D'Albe had observed white muslin between Goligher's feet.
Ectoplasm on many occasions has been proven to be fraudulent. Many mediums had used methods of swallowing and regurgitating cheesecloth, textile products smoothed with potato starch and in other cases the ectoplasm was made from paper and egg white or butter muslin; the Society for Psychical Research investigations into mediumship exposed many fraudulent mediums which contributed to the decline of interest in physical mediumship. In 1907, Hereward Carrington exposed the tricks of fraudulent mediums such as those used in slate-writing, table-turning, trumpet mediumship, sealed-letter reading and spirit photography. In the early 20th century the psychical researcher Albert von Schrenck-Notzing investigated the medium Eva Carrière and claimed her ectoplasm "materializations" were not from spirits but the result of "ideoplasty" in which the medium could form images onto ectoplasm from her mind. Schrenck-Notzing published the book Phenomena of Materialisation which included photographs of the ectoplasm.
Critics pointed out the photographs of the ectoplasm revealed marks of magazine cut-outs, pins and a piece of string. Schrenck-Notzing admitted that on several occasions Carrière deceptively smuggled pins into the séance room; the magician Carlos María de Heredia replicated the ectoplasm of Carrière using a comb, gauze and a handkerchief. Donald West wrote that the ectoplasm of Carrière was fake and was made of cut-out paper faces from newspapers and magazines on which fold marks could sometimes be seen from the photographs. A photograph of Carrière taken from the back of the ectoplasm face revealed it to be made from a magazine cut out with the letters "Le Miro"; the two-dimensional face had been clipped from the French magazine Le Miroir. Back issues of the magazine matched some of Carrière's ectoplasm faces. Cut out faces that she used included Woodrow Wilson, King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, French president Raymond Poincaré and the actress Mona Delza. After Schrenck-Notzing discovered Carrière had taken her ectoplasm faces from the magazine he defended
An aura or human energy field is, according to New Age beliefs, a colored emanation said to enclose a human body or any animal or object. In some esoteric positions, the aura is described as a subtle body. Psychics and holistic medicine practitioners claim to have the ability to see the size and type of vibration of an aura. In New Age alternative medicine, the human aura is seen as a hidden anatomy that affect the health of a client, is understood to comprise centers of vital force called chakra; such claims are pseudoscience. When tested under controlled experiments, the ability to see auras has not been shown to exist. In Latin and Ancient Greek, aura means breeze or breath, it was used in Middle English to mean "gentle breeze". By the end of the 19th century, the word was used in some spiritualist circles to describe a speculated subtle emanation around the body; the concept of auras was first popularized by Charles Webster Leadbeater, a former priest of the Church of England and a member of the mystic Theosophical Society.
Leadbeater had studied theosophy in India, believed he had the capacity to use his clairvoyant powers to make scientific investigations. He claimed that he had discovered that most men come from Mars but the more advanced men come from the Moon, that hydrogen atoms are made of six bodies contained in an egg-like form. In his book Man Visible and Invisible published in 1903, Leadbeater illustrated the aura of man at various stages of his moral evolution, from the "savage" to the saint. In 1910, Leadbeater introduced the modern conception of auras by incorporating the Tantric notion of chakras in his book The Inner Life, but Leadbeater didn’t present the Tantric beliefs to the West, he reconstructed and reinterpreted them by mixing them with his own ideas, without acknowledging the sources of these innovations. Some of Leadbeater’s innovations are describing chakras as energy vortexes, associating each of them with a gland, an organ and other body parts. In the following years, Leadbeater’s ideas on the aura and chakras where adopted and reinterpreted by other Theosophists such as Rudolf Steiner and Edgar Cayce, but his occult anatomy remained of minor interest within the esoteric counterculture until the 1980s, when it was picked up by the New Age movement.
In 1977, American esotericist Christopher Hills published the book Nuclear Evolution: The Rainbow Body, which presented a modified version of Leadbeater’s occult anatomy. Whereas Leadbeater had drawn each chakras with intricately detailed shapes and multiple colors, Hills presented them as a sequence of centers, each one being associated with a color of the rainbow. Most of the subsequent New Age writers will base their representations of the aura on Hill’s interpretation of Leadbeater’s ideas. Chakras became a part of mainstream esoteric speculations in the 1990s. Many New Age techniques that aim to clear blockages of the chakras were developed during those years, such as crystal healing and aura-soma. Chakras were, by the late 1990s, less connected with their theosophical and Hinduist root, more infused with New Age ideas. A variety of New Age books proposed different links between each chakras and colors, personality traits, Christian sacraments, etc. Various type of holistic healing within the New Age movement claim to use aura reading techniques, such as bioenergetic analysis, spiritual energy and energy medicine.
There have been numerous attempts to capture an energy field around the human body, going as far back as photographs by a French army officer in the 1890s. Supernatural interpretations of these images have been the result of a lack of understanding of the simple natural phenomena behind them, such as heat emanating from a human body producing aura-like images under infrared photography. In 1939, Semyon Davidovich Kirlian discovered that by placing an object or body part directly on photographic paper, passing a high voltage across the object, he would obtain the image of a glowing contour surrounding the object; this process became known as Kirlian photography. Some parapsychologists, such as Thelma Moss of UCLA, have proposed that these images show levels of psychic powers and bioenergies. However, studies have found that the Kirlian effect is caused by the presence of moisture on the object being photographed. Electricity produces an area of gas ionization around the object if it is moist, the case for living things.
This causes an alternation of the electric charge pattern on the film. After rigorous experimentations, no mysterious process has been discovered in relation to the Kirlian photography. More recent attempts at capturing auras include the Aura Imaging cameras and software introduced by Guy Coggins in 1992. Coggins claims; the technique has failed to yield reproducible results. Tests of psychic abilities to observe alleged aura emanations have been met with failure. One test involved placing people in a dark room and asking the psychic to state how many auras she could observe. Only chance results were obtained. Recognition of auras has been tested on television. One test involved an aura reader standing on one side of a room with an opaque partition separating her from a number of slots which might contain either actual people or mannequins; the aura reader failed to identify the slots containing people, incorrectly stating that all contained people. In another televised test another aura reader was placed before a partition where five people were standing.
He claimed. As each person moved out, the reader was asked to identify where that person was standing behind the slot, he identified 2 out of
Frank Podmore was an English author, founding member of the Fabian Society. He is best known as an influential member of the Society for Psychical Research and for his sceptical writings on spiritualism. Born at Elstree, Hertfordshire, Podmore was the son of Thompson Podmore, headmaster of Eastbourne College, he was educated at Oxford. In October 1883 Podmore and Edward R. Pease joined a socialist debating group established by Edith Nesbit and Hubert Bland. Podmore suggested that the group should be named after the Roman General, Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, who advocated weakening the opposition by harassing operations rather than becoming involved in pitched battles. In January 1884 the group became known as the Fabian Society, Podmore's home at 14 Dean's Yard, became the organisation's first official headquarters, he was a member of the Oxford Phasmatological Society which dissolved in 1885. In 1886 Podmore and Sidney Webb conducted a study into unemployment published as a Fabian Society pamphlet, The Government Organisation of Unemployed Labour.
Podmore married Eleanore Bramwell in 1891, the marriage was a failure and they separated. They had no children, his major work was ideas of Robert Owen. Podmore resigned from a senior post in the Post Office in 1907. Psychical researcher Alan Gauld wrote that "In 1907 Podmore was compelled to resign without pension from the Post Office because of alleged homosexual involvements, he separated from his wife, went to live with his brother Claude, rector of Broughton, near Kettering."Podmore died by drowning at Malvern, Worcestershire, in August 1910. Researcher Ronald Pearsall wrote that it was believed that Podmore was a homosexual and that it was "very strange" that his brother Claude, his wife or any member of the Society for Psychical Research did not attend his funeral. Podmore's books, giving non-paranormal explanations from much of the psychical research that he studied, received positive reviews in science journals, his book Studies in Psychical Research received a positive review in the British Medical Journal which described his debunking of fraudulent mediums as scientific and came to the conclusion the "book is well worth reading, it is agreeable reading, for the style is vigorous and not infrequently brilliant."Podmore who considered most mediums fraudulent, was open minded about the telepathic hypothesis for Leonora Piper's séances.
However, Ivor Lloyd Tuckett had "completely undermined" this hypothesis for Mrs. Piper. Podmore was critical of her claims of Theosophy, he concluded they are best explained by deception and trickery. Rationalist author Joseph McCabe stated that despite Podmore's "highly critical faculty" he was misled in the Piper case by Richard Hodgson; this was based on a letter he saw in the 2nd edition Spiritualism and Oliver Lodge by Dr. Charles Arthur Mercier, from a cousin of George Pellew to Edward Clodd, alleging that Hodgson claimed that Professor Fiske from his séance with Piper was "absolutely convinced" Piper's control was the real George Pellew, but that when Pellew's brother contacted Fiske about it, he replied it was "a lie" as Piper had been "silent or wrong" on all his questions. However, Alan Gauld, referring to this letter as published by Clodd, stated that it was "wholly unreliable", noted that Hodgson in his original report wrote that Fiske had a negative attitude, that Hodgson himself considered the Fiske sittings to be of no evidential value.
Podmore's text Mesmerism and Christian Science: A Short History of Mental Healing received a positive review in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which referred to it as "an excellent account of this interesting and important subject."Podmore defended the validity of telepathy. and ghosts, the latter of which he believed to be "telepathic hallucinations." Podmore's publications include: Phantasms of the Living.. The Government Organisation of Unemployed Labour.. Apparitions and Thought-Transference.. Studies in Psychical Research.. Modern Spiritualism. Reprinted as Mediums of the 19th Century.. Robert Owen A Biography. Volume 1; the Naturalisation of the Supernatural.. Mesmerism and Christian Science.. Telepathic Hallucinations: The New View of Ghosts.. The Newer Spiritualism.. Eusapia Palladino Edward R. Pease, The History of the Fabian Society. Andrew Lang, "The Poltergeist and his explainers", The Making of Religion, Longmans, Green and Co. 1900, pp. 324–39. Alice Johnson.. Modern Spiritualism: A History and a Criticism.
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 17: 389–403
Astral projection is a term used in esotericism to describe a willful out-of-body experience that assumes the existence of a soul or consciousness called an "astral body", separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside it throughout the universe. The idea of astral travel occurs in multiple cultures; the modern terminology of ` astral projection' was promoted by 19th century Theosophists. It is sometimes reported in association with dreams, forms of meditation; some individuals have reported perceptions similar to descriptions of astral projection that were induced through various hallucinogenic and hypnotic means. There is no scientific evidence that there is a consciousness or soul, separate from normal neural activity or that one can consciously leave the body and make observations, astral projection has been characterized as a pseudoscience. According to classical and renaissance Hermeticism and Theosophist and Rosicrucian thought the astral body is an intermediate body of light linking the rational soul to the physical body while the astral plane is an intermediate world of light between Heaven and Earth, composed of the spheres of the planets and stars.
These astral spheres were held to be populated by angels and spirits. The subtle bodies, their associated planes of existence, form an essential part of the esoteric systems that deal with astral phenomena. In the neo-platonism of Plotinus, for example, the individual is a microcosm of the universe. "The rational soul...is akin to the great Soul of the World" while "the material universe, like the body, is made as a faded image of the Intelligible". Each succeeding plane of manifestation is causal to a world-view known as emanationism; these bodies and their planes of existence are depicted as a series of concentric circles or nested spheres, with a separate body traversing each realm. The idea of the astral figured prominently in the work of the nineteenth-century French occultist Eliphas Levi, whence it was adopted and developed further by Theosophy, used afterwards by other esoteric movements. Carrington, Muldoon and Williams claim that the subtle body is attached to the physical body by means of a psychic silver cord.
The final chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes is cited in this respect: "Before the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be shattered at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern." Scherman, contends that the context points to this being a metaphor, comparing the body to a machine, with the silver cord referring to the spine. Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthians is more agreed to refer to the astral planes: "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows." This statement gave rise to the Visio Pauli, a tract that offers a vision of heaven and hell, a forerunner of visions attributed to Adomnan and Tnugdalus as well as of Dante's Divine Comedy. Similar concepts of soul travel appear in various other religious traditions. For example, ancient Egyptian teachings present the soul as having the ability to hover outside the physical body via the ka, or subtle body.
Taoist alchemical practice involves creation of an energy body by breathing meditations, drawing energy into a'pearl', "circulated". "Xiangzi... with a drum as his pillow fell fast asleep and motionless. His primordial spirit, went straight into the banquet room and said, "My lords, here I am again." When Tuizhi walked with the officials to take a look, there was a Taoist sleeping on the ground and snoring like thunder. Yet inside, in the side room, there was another Taoist beating a fisher drum and singing Taoist songs; the officials all said, "Although there are two different people, their faces and clothes are alike. He is a divine immortal who can divide his body and appear in several places at once...." At that moment, the Taoist in the side room came walking out, the Taoist sleeping on the ground woke up. The two merged into one." In Buddhism the ability to do Astral Projection is one of many believed super normal powers for those who reach 4th Jhana. According to Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life Buddha said.
"With his mind thus concentrated and bright, free from defects, malleable and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body, endowed with form, made of the mind, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties. Just as if a man were to draw a reed from its sheath; the thought would occur to him:'This is the sheath, this is the reed. The sheath is one thing, the reed another, but the reed has been drawn out from the sheath.' Or as if a man were to draw a sword from its scabbard. The thought would occur to him:'This is the sword, this is the scabbard; the sword is one thing, the scabbard another, but the sword has been drawn out from the scabbard.' Or as if a man were to pull a snake out from its slough. The thought would occur to him:'This is the snake, this is the slough; the snake is one thing, the slough another, but the snake has been pulled out from the slough.' In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated and bright, free from defects, malleable and attained to imperturbability, the monk direct
Psychokinesis, or telekinesis, is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction. Psychokinesis experiments have been criticized for lack of proper controls and repeatability. There is no convincing evidence that psychokinesis is a real phenomenon, the topic is regarded as pseudoscience. Psychokinesis as an ability is common in popular culture, to the point of becoming a stock superpower; the word "psychokinesis" was coined in 1914 by American author Henry Holt in his book On the Cosmic Relations. The term is a linguistic blend or portmanteau of the Greek language words ψυχή – meaning mind, spirit, or breath – and κίνησις – meaning motion, movement; the American parapsychologist J. B. Rhine coined the term extra-sensory perception to describe receiving information paranormally from an external source. Following this, he used the term psychokinesis in 1934 to describe mentally influencing external objects or events without the use of physical energy.
His initial example of psychokinesis was experiments that were conducted to determine whether a person could influence the outcome of falling dice. The word telekinesis, a portmanteau of the Greek τῆλε – meaning distance – and κίνησις – meaning motion – was first used in 1890 by Russian psychical researcher Alexander N. Aksakof. In parapsychology, fictional universes and New Age beliefs and telekinesis are different: psychokinesis refers to the mental influence of physical systems and objects without the use of any physical energy, while telekinesis refers to the movement and/or levitation of physical objects by purely mental force without any physical intervention. There is a broad scientific consensus that PK research, parapsychology more have not produced a reliable, repeatable demonstration. A panel commissioned in 1988 by the United States National Research Council to study paranormal claims concluded that "despite a 130-year record of scientific research on such matters, our committee could find no scientific justification for the existence of phenomena such as extrasensory perception, mental telepathy or ‘mind over matter’ exercises...
Evaluation of a large body of the best available evidence does not support the contention that these phenomena exist."In 1984, the United States National Academy of Sciences, at the request of the US Army Research Institute, formed a scientific panel to assess the best evidence for psychokinesis. Part of its purpose was to investigate military applications of PK, for example to remotely jam or disrupt enemy weaponry; the panel heard from a variety of military staff who believed in PK and made visits to the PEAR laboratory and two other laboratories that had claimed positive results from micro-PK experiments. The panel criticized macro-PK experiments for being open to deception by conjurors, said that all micro-PK experiments "depart from good scientific practice in a variety of ways", their conclusion, published in a 1987 report, was that there was no scientific evidence for the existence of psychokinesis. Carl Sagan included telekinesis in a long list of "offerings of pseudoscience and superstition" which "it would be foolish to accept without solid scientific data".
Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman advocated a similar position. Felix Planer, a professor of electrical engineering, has written that if psychokinesis were real it would be easy to demonstrate by getting subjects to depress a scale on a sensitive balance, raise the temperature of a waterbath which could be measured with an accuracy of a hundredth of a degree centigrade, or affect an element in an electrical circuit such as a resistor, which could be monitored to better than a millionth of an ampere. Planer writes that such experiments are sensitive and easy to monitor but are not utilized by parapsychologists as they "do not hold out the remotest hope of demonstrating a minute trace of PK" because the alleged phenomenon is non-existent. Planer has written that parapsychologists have to fall back on studies that involve only statistics that are unrepeatable, owing their results to poor experimental methods, recording mistakes and faulty statistical mathematics. According to Planer, "All research in medicine and other sciences would become illusionary, if the existence of PK had to be taken seriously.
Planer has no scientific basis. PK hypotheses have been considered in a number of contexts outside parapsychological experiments. C. E. M. Hansel has written that a general objection against the claim for the existence of psychokinesis is that, if it were a real process, its effects would be expected to manifest in situations in everyday life. Science writers Martin Gardner and Terence Hines and the philosopher Theodore Schick have written that if psychokinesis were possible, one would expect casino incomes to be affected, but the earnings are as the laws of chance predict. Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey argues that many experiments in psychology, biology or physics assume that the intentions of the subjects or experimenter do not physically distort the apparatus. Humphrey counts them as implicit replications of PK experiments; the ideas of psychokinesis and telekinesis violate several well-established laws of physics, including the inverse square law, the second law of thermodynamics, the conservati
Richard Langton Gregory was a British psychologist and Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol. Richard Gregory was born in London, the son of Christopher Clive Langton Gregory and his first wife Helen Patricia, his father was the first Director of the University of London Observatory. Gregory served with the Royal Air Force's Signals branch during World War II, after the war earned an RAF scholarship to Downing College, Cambridge. One of Sir Frederic Bartlett's last pupils at Cambridge, Gregory admitted to having been inspired by him, he was made an Honorary Fellow of Downing in 1999. In 1967, with Prof. Donald Michie and Prof. Christopher Longuet-Higgins FRS, he founded the Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception, a forerunner of the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh, he was Head of the Bionics Research Laboratory, Professor of Bionics, Department chairman 1968–70. Gregory was founding editor of the journal Perception, which emphasized phenomenology and novel percepts produced by new stimuli.
He was a founding member of the Experimental Psychology Society and served as its President in 1981–2. He collaborated with W. E. Hick for the latter's influential paper "On the rate of gain of information", he commented: "I was the only subject for his gain of information experiment to complete the course, as he was the only other subject and he packed it in when the apparatus fell apart."In 1981, he founded The Exploratory, an applied science centre in Bristol, the first of its kind in the UK. In 1989, he was appointed Osher Visiting Fellow of the Exploratorium, a similar scientific education centre in San Francisco, California. Gregory suggested Hermann von Helmholtz as his hero from past psychology, describing him as "the modern founder of the science of perception", he appeared on, or was an advisor to, numerous science-related television programmes in the UK and worldwide. His particular interest was in optical illusions, he edited several books, notably Eye and Brain and Mind in Science.
One of his hobbies was punning. In April 1993, he was the guest for BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, where his favourite choice was Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30. Having suffered a stroke a few days earlier, he died on 17 May 2010 at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, surrounded by family and friends. In 1967, he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on The Intelligent Eye. Gregory's main contribution to the discipline was in the development of cognitive psychology, in particular that of "Perception as hypotheses", an approach which had its origin in the work of Hermann von Helmholtz and his student Wilhelm Wundt. Between them, the two Germans laid the basis of investigating how the senses work sight and hearing. According to Gregory, Helmholtz should take the credit for realising that perception is not just a passive acceptance of stimuli, but an active process involving memory and other internal processes. Gregory progressed this idea with a key analogy; the process whereby the brain puts together a coherent view of the outside world is analogous to the way in which the sciences build up their picture of the world, by a kind of hypothetico-deductive process.
Although this takes place on a quite different time-scale, inside one head instead of a community according to Gregory, perception shares many traits with scientific method. A series of works by Gregory developed this idea in some detail. Gregory's ideas ran counter to those of the American direct realist psychologist J. J. Gibson, whose 1950 The Perception of the Visual World was dominant when Gregory was a younger man. Much in Gregory's work can be seen as a reply to Gibson's ideas, as the incorporation of explicitly Bayesian concepts into the understanding of how sensory evidence is combined with pre-existing beliefs. Gregory argued that optical illusions, such as the illusory contours in the Kanizsa triangle, demonstrated the Bayesian processing of perceptual information by the brain. Recovery from Early Blindness: A Case Study, with Jean Wallace, Exp. Soc. Monogr. No.2. Cambridge: Heffers.. Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.. Second Edition. Third Edition.
Fourth Edition. USA: Princeton University Press. Fifth Edition Oxford University Press and Princeton University Press; the Intelligent Eye, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.. Illusion in Nature and Art, London: Duckworth. Concepts and Mechanisms of Perception, London: Duckworth.. Mind in Science: A History of Explanations of Psychology and Physics, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Paperback, Peregrine.. Transl. Italian, La Mente nella Scienze, Mondadori. Odd Perceptions, London: Methuen. Paperback Routledge.. Creative Intelligences, London: Frances Pinter. ISBN 0-86187-673-3. Oxford Companion to the Mind, Oxford: OUP... Evolution of the Eye and Visual System, vol. 2 of Vision and Visual Dysfunction. London: Macmillan. Odder Perceptions. London: Routledge; the Artful Eye. Oxford: OUP Mirrors in Mind, Oxford: W. H. Freeman/Spektrum. Penguin. Th