The Maimonides ESP-dream studies.
|Publication:||Name: The Journal of Parapsychology Publisher: Parapsychology Press Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1993 Parapsychology Press ISSN: 0022-3387|
|Issue:||Date: March, 1993 Source Volume: v57 Source Issue: n1|
|Organization:||Organization: Maimonides Medical Center|
|Persons:||Biographee: Honorton, Charles|
I remember September 25, 1967, as if it were yesterday. Charles
Honorton telephoned me from Durham, North Carolina, telling me that he
had decided to accept Montague Ullman's offer of a research
position at our Dream Laboratory at Maimonides Medical Center in
Brooklyn. I had joined Ullman in 1964, and several of our articles on
ESP and dreams had been published (e.g., Ullman, Krippner, &
Feldstein, 1966). Honorton had already gained a solid reputation in
parapsychology with his studies involving the hypnotic preparation of
percipients for psi tasks (e.g., Honorton, 1965) and psi and creativity
test scores (e.g., Honorton, 1967).
After several years of pilot studies in the area of telepathy and dreams, Ullman had launched the Maimonides Dream Laboratory in 1962 where the monitoring of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep could be incorporated into a psi-task design. These studies paired a volunteer subject with a "telepathic transmitter"; the pair interacted briefly, then separated and spent the night in distant rooms. An experimenter randomly selected an art print (from a collection or "pool") and gave the print to the transmitter in an apaque sealed envelope, to be opened only when the transmitter was in the distant room. The experimenter awakened the subject near the end of each REM period and requested a dream report. These reports were transcribed and sent to outside judges who, working independently, matched them against the pool of potential art prints from which the actual print had been randomly selected. Statistical evaluation was based on the average of these matchings, as well as by self-judgings of the percipients at the conclusion of the experiment. Precautions were taken to prevent sensory cues or fraudulent subject/transmitter collaboration from influencing the dream reports or the statistical results.
One example of a finding in an experiment that obtained statistically significant results occurred on a night when the randomly selected art print was "School of the Dance" by Degas, depicting a dance class of several young women. The subject was William Erwin, a psyhoanalysts; his dream reports included such phrases as "I was in a class made up of maybe half a dozen people; it felt like a school." "There was one little girl that was trying to dance with me." An examination of the dream reports and the matched art prints indicates a similarity in this process to the way day residue, psychodynamic processes, and subliminally perceived stimuli find their way into dream content. Sometimes the material corresponding to the art prints was intrusive (for example, "There was one little girl that was trying to dance with me"), and sometimes it blended easily with the narrative (for example, "It felt like a school"). At times it was direct, at other times symbolic (Ullman & Krippner, 1970, p. 78).
Honorton joined us as we were concluding a study with a prominent psychologist and parapsychologist, Robert L. Van de Castle (1977), whose eight-night ESP dream study was accompanied by psychodynamically oriented, in-depth interviews with Ullman each morning (Krippner & Ullman, 1970). Not only did Van de Castle obtain the most robust statistical results of any of the percipients, but the interviews provided another dimension to the experience. For example, on one night the target was Rousseau's "Repast of the Lion," which depicts a lion feeding on its kill of a smaller animal. After a night filled with dreams about an attempted strangulation, karate chops, a suicide, and fighting dogs, Van de Castle surmised that the target would contain aggression, "but the aggression would have to be in some kind of disguise" (Ullman & Krippner, with Vaughan, 1989, p. 112). The psychoanalytic interview probed, not only the way aggression came into the dreams, but also why Van de Castle postulated "some kind of disguise."
Honorton (1972b) set to work completing a clairvoyance study with hypnotically induced imagery or "hypnotic dreams." He divided 60 percipients into two equal groups, one of which received a hypnotic induction and one of which received instructions to facilitate imagination. The suggestibility level of all the percipients had been ascertained by a standardized test, and there was little difference between the two groups. However, Honorton had selected the percipients so that there would be 10 persons in each of 6 groups: a high-suggestible hypnosis group, a high-suggestible imagination group, a medium-suggestible hypnosis group, a medium-suggestible imagination group, a low-suggestible hypnosis group, and a low-suggestible imagination group.
For all percipients, a sealed envelope containing an art print was placed on the arm of each subject's chair. The hypnosis percipients were told, "You are going to have a dream, a very vivid and realistic dream about the target in the envelope." The imagination percipients were told, "You are going to have a daydream, a very vivid and realistic daydream about the target in the envelope." This procedure was repeated four times as four randomly selected pictures were used per subject. Later, in interviews, the percipients described the quality of their dreams or daydreams and the degree to which they felt their consciousness had been altered.
The percipients evaluated their own material immediately after their interview was over. Only the high-suggestible hypnosis group attained statistically significant results. It was observed that the hypnosis (but not the imagination) percipients who described their dreams as "like watching a film" or "as though I was in a dream world" did significantly better at the task than those percipients who said they were "just thinking." Finally, the percipients in the hypnosis (but not the imagination) group who reported major alterations in consciousness did significantly better that those reporting little change.
One of the percipients in the hypnosis group was Felicia Parise, a hematologist working at Maimonides. One of her target pictures was Hiroshige's painting "The Kinryuszan Temple," which portrays a red and gold ceremonial lantern hanging down from a temple doorway. Parise reported:
a room with party decorations. . . . I saw a gold chest, like a pirate's chest,
but shining and new. The party decorations were colorful. No decorations
on the floor, they were on the ceiling and walls. There was a table
with things on it. Red balloons, red punch bowls. (p. 96) When asked to associate to her hypnotic dream, Parise recalled her "sweet sixteen" birthday party at which her parents had strung party decorations of Japanese lanters. A few weeks later, Parise brought a photograph of that party to Honorton; it bore a striking resemblance to the Hiroshige painting.
Honorton and I (Honorton & Krippner, 1969) agreed that hypnotic induction provides one of the few available techniques for affecting the level of psi performance. But is this due to the demand characteristics of the situation, the subject's preconceived ideas about hypnosis, or some factor specific to hypnotic induction itself and the condition it evokes? Honorton (1977) was to explore these issues further in what he referred to as "internal attention states," those conditions in which "conscious awareness is maintained in the absence of patterned exteroceptive and proprioception information. These conditions include spontaneously generated states, such as hypnagogic reverie, as well as those which are deliberately induced, such as meditation and hypnosis" (p. 435). Honorton surveyed the available data and suggested an empirical generalization: "Psi functioning is enhanced (i.e., is more easily detected and recognized) when the receiver is in a state of sensory relaxation and is minimally influenced by ordinary perception and proprioception (p. 466; italics in original). For Honorton, the evidence lent support to a "filter theory" of the mind. As Aldous Huxley (1963) so eloquently put it: "To make biological survival possible, Mind at large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system" (p. 23). Honorton and other parapsychologists always have been challenged to find ways to bypass this filter, obtaining information or exerting influence that transcend ordinary constraints of time, space, and energy.
During his years at Maimonides, Honorton also pursued his interest in studying the effects of immediate feedback on psi scoring. He used card-guessing tasks, alternating runs with no feedback with runs involving immediate feedback on each guess. In general, the runs involving immediate feedback obtained higher scores when compared to the previous runs with no feedback (e.g., Honorton, 1970). However, the results were not clear-cut enough to support an interpretation compatible with learning theory (Palmer, 1978, p. 185). A more clear-cut finding was Honorton's (1972a) survey of dream recall; he was the first to present convincing data that people who remember their dreams tend to obtain higher scores on ESP tests.
Honorton was also instrumental in inaugurating studies of alpha rhythm biofeedback at Maimonides. He (Honorton, 1969) was one of the first to report a fragile but intriguing relationship between alpha activity and ESP performance, and he later took this work a step further (Honorton, Davidson, & Bindler, 1971). Instead of relaxation, he and his colleagues used the biofeedback technique to generate alpha; they compared ESP scores during this period with a period in which alpha was suppressed by the same method. Self-reports were used to rate change of consciousness during the session. Percipients with the highest self-reports during the generation of alpha also produced the highest ESP scoring rate. Those who produced the greatest subjective shift in consciousness during alpha generation obtained significantly higher ESP scores than those reporting only minor shifts. Later, Honorton (1975) proposed that relatively large and rapid shifts in one's conscious state would be associated with enhanced ESP performance; this observation was to evolve and change, but it guided Honorton's development as an astute researcher and led to some of his most important contributions.
The Malcolm Bessent Studies
One morning in 1969, I had a telephone call from Arthur Young, inventor of the Bell helicopter and president of the Foundation for the Study of Consciousness. Young asked me if we would be interested in initiating a formal study of Malcolm Bessent, an Englishman who had reported spontaneous precognitive dreams over the years. We agreed and were assisted by Donald C. Webster, a Canadian industrialist, in bringing Bessent from England for a summer of experimental work. Initially, Honorton (Honorton, 1971b) had Bessent guess which of two colored lights would next be lighted by an electronically controlled random number generator. Both Bessent's predictions and his "hits" were automatically registered. The total number of trials was set in advance: 15,360. There were 7,859 "hits," 179 more than expected by chance, with odds against coincidence on the order of 500 to 1.
Honorton joined Ullman and me (Krippner, Ullman, & Honorton, 1971) in designing an eight-night study that would test Bessent's purported abilities in a situation closer to his spontaneous dreams that purportedly matched future events. Once Bessent's last dream had been collected for the night, an elaborate random number system was used to choose a word from Hall and Van de Castle's (1966) manual, Content Analysis of Dreams; this, in turn, was matched with an art print from our collection, and a multisensory experience was designed around it--all after Bessent had awakened. The experimenters who designed the experience had not been present during the night, and the experimenters who had monitored the electroencephalograph (EEG) were not present during the designing or execution of the multisensory event.
For example, on one night, Bessent dreamed about "a concrete building," "a patient from upstairs escaping," "a white coat. . . , like a doctor's coat," and "doctors and medical people." The randomly selected word on the following morning was corridor, and the matching art print was Van Gogh's painting "Hospital Corridor at St. Remy." When Bessent was ushered out of the sleep room, he was met by a man wearing a white doctor's coat daubed with acetone, and was greeted as "Mr. Van Gogh." He was given a pill with a glass of water, and was led through a darkened corridor to a room where he was presented with paintings by mental patients as well as the Van Gogh art print while, in the background, hysterical laughter and music from a film about a mental hospital could be heard. The outside judges were able to match Bessent's dreams with an account of the "corridor" experience at high levels, giving him a "direct hit." He obtained five other "direct hits" during the study and two "hits" with more moderate scores. If chance had produced these results, one would have to have carried out 5,000 additional experiments.
The results of his experiment were so extraordinary that critics seemed unable to grasp the protocol. For example, Zusne and Jones (1982) imply that at least one of the experimenters had a chance to know the identity of the target. The authors state: "After the subject falls asleep, an art reproduction is selected from a large collection randomly, placed in an envelope, and given to the agent" (pp. 260-261). In fact, the target was already in the envelope at the time the session began, having been placed there by a person who was not present during the night. Zusne and Jones write that "three . . . judges rate their confidence that the dream content matches the target picture," implying that the judges knew the identity of the target while making their evaluations. In reality, each judge was presented with a dream transcript and a pool of potential targets and was asked to evaluate the degree of similarity between the transcript and each target in the pool. These misrepresentations pale by comparison with an assertion that research participants were "primed prior to going to sleep" so that they could better incorporate the target material in their dreams. It is claimed that they were "primed" through the experimenter's
preparing the receiver through experiences that were related to the
content of the picture to be telepathically transmitted during the night.
Thus, when the picture was Van Gogh's Corridor of the St. Paul Hospital
[sic], which depicts a lonely figure in the hallway of a mental hospital,
the receiver: (1) heard Rosza's Spellbound played on a phonograph;
(2) heard the monitor laugh hysterically in the room; (3) was addressed
as "Mr. Van Gogh" by the monitor; (4) was shown paintings done by
mental patients; (5) was given a pill and a glass of water; and (6) was
daubed with a piece of cotton dipped in acetone. The receiver was an
English sensitive," but it is obvious that no psychic sensitivity was required
to figure out the general content of the picture and to produce
an appropriate report, whether any dreams were actually seen or not.
(pp. 260-261) In actuality, rather than being "primed," Bessent was not shown the Van Gogh painting until after his dreams had been monitored and tape recorded. Indeed, when he was shown the Van Gogh painting, he exclaimed, "My Cod--that's my dream!"
Bessent returned during the summer of 1970 for another precognition study (Krippner, Ullman, & Honorton, 1972). This time, a target pool was prepared by an experimenter who planned to be in Europe while the entire study was run. He prepared 10 slide-and-sound sequences on the topics of "authoritarian signs," "beards," "birds," "crucifixion," "death," "Egyptain art," "police," "saints," and "2001." Each slide collection, made up of from 10 to 22 slides, was accompanied by 10 minutes of appropriate music or sound effects that Bessent could listen to with stereophonic headphones. The materials were placed in boxes that were numbered, taped, and sealed.
The 16 nights of the study were arranged in pairs so that on the first night Bessent would attempt to dream precognitively about the target sequence he would experience the next night, and on that night he would attempt to dream more conventionally about the sequence he had just seen. Thus, on the odd-numbered nights he would dream about the future and on the even-numbered nights he would dream about the past. As an additional control, the EEG technicians who monitored Bessent's sleep and dreams were psychology students from New York University who knew little about the experimental design. The target was selected the following evening, some 12 hours after the tape recording of Bessent's dreams had been mailed to the transcriber.
The results of this study were again significant, with five "direct hits" and two more moderate "hits." On the control nights, there were no "direct hits"; only when "death" was the topic, did a control night (in which Bessent dreamed about the past) obtain higher scores than an experimental night (when Bessent attempted to dream about the future). One night, Bessent dreamed about "people in motor uniforms," "conflict between students and the armed guard,"five hundred National Guardsmen," and "a police state." The slide-and-sound sequence for that night was "police." On the control night, Bessent mentioned "some sort of conflict" but had no other dreams that matched the target.
Taken together, the two Bessent dream studies have lent experimental credence to the precognition hypothesis. Bessent appeared to dream precognitively 14 out of 16 times in experiments that were tightly controlled against subliminal clues, sensory leakage, or fraud. And Honorton (1974b) observed: "It appears at least for this subject that extrasensory stimuli may be more easily incorporated into dreams than sensory stimuli" (p. 624).
Additional ESP Dream Studies
Honorton was a valued co-experimenter in the additional studies we conducted on dreams and ESP at Maimonides. In one of them, Alan Vaughan was a subject partly because of a letter I received from him on June 4, 1968. Writing from Freiburg, Germany, Vaughan cited several dreams that he felt might be premonitory of Robert Kennedy's being murdered in the near future. I immediately discussed this letter with Honorton, and the next day we were saddened by Kennedy's assassination.
Vaughan and three other percipients each spent eight nights in the Dream laboratory. A transmitter concentrated on the same target for four nights, then on a different art print for every REM period during each of the remaining four nights. The latter condition appeared to be superior, especially for Felicia Parise whose ratings of her dreams against the targets were independently significant (Honorton, Krippner, & Ullman, 1971).
For the next study, the transmitter was moved to the Foundation for Mind Research, a research center located 14 miles from Maimonides and equipped with facilities for providing the agent with a controlled audio-visual "sensory bombardment" experience. Four nights and eight percipients were involved, one of the percipants being Alan Vaughan. Such thematic sequences as "Oriental Religion" and "Space Exploration" evoked eight "hits" and no misses," and yielded highly significant results (Krippner, Honorton, Ullman, Masters, & Houston, 1971). However, an attempted replication of this design produced only chance results (Foulkes, Belvedere, Masters, Houston, Krippner, Honorton, & Ullman, 1972).
A variation of sensory bombardment was involved for a six-night study in which the transmitters consisted of about 2,000 musical fans attending rock concerts that featured "The Grateful Dead" (Krippner, Honorton, & Ullman, 1973). While the rock band played, the audience viewed a slide sequence for 15 minutes, attempting to transmit the contents of a randomly selected art print (projected on a giant screen, along with instructions) to Malcolm Bessent located at the Dream Laboratory some 45 miles distant. Felicia Parise, sleeping at home, served as a control subject. The judges' scores for Bessent were marginally significant; those for Parise were not.
The final ESP-dream study carried out at the Maimonides Dream Laboratory before we closed our doors in 1978 involved a comparison of ESP and pre-sleep influences on dreams (Honorton, Ullman, & Krippner, 1975). Target stimuli were four films, two of them emotionally toned and two of them neutral. On each of the first two experimental nights, a transmitter was shown a different film, and the percipient tried to dream about it. On the two pre-sleep nights, the percipient viewed the films before falling asleep. Forty percipient-transmitter pairs were involved; percipients making high scores on personality tests measuring field independence" obtained significantly higher scores for the emotional films than for the neutral films in the ESP condition. Neither type of film was incorporated into dreams at a significant level on the ESP nights. However, the pre-sleep nights yielded significant incorporation scores.
This finding may have been a disappointment for parapsychologists, but it supported some preliminary findings in sleep psychology. Shortly before we initiated our studies at Maimonides, Witkin and Lewis (1967) showed percipients an emotionally threatening film before they went to sleep, for example, a monkey hauling her dead baby about by the limbs while nibbling at it, or an Australian aboriginal puberty rite in which an incision was made across the surface of an initiate's penis with a sharp stone. Witkin and Lewis observed that there were no direct incorporations of film content, but that their judges were able to find elements of the film in the dream reports, often in disguised, symbolic form.
Had this been a parapsychological study, the researchers would never have been taken seriously. They would have been accused of the possible cueing of the percipients' responses, of projecting their expectations while collecting the dream reports, and (because blind judging was not used) of "reading" purported symbolism into the dream content. However, Witkin and Lewis's study did not study anomalous phenomena; hence, a less than rigorous approach appears to have been permissible. In the case of parapsychology, however, it is often pointed out that claims of extraordinary phenomena require extraordinary proof; for parapsychological studies to be taken seriously, their data need to be scrupulously collected and carefully evaluated. We were pleased that our data, collected and evaluated at a more rigorous level, supported Witkin and Lewis's earlier claims.
In another influential study, dream reports were collected from patients who were about to undergo surgery; the investigators claimed that the upcoming operation was featured symbolically in the patients' dreams (Breger, Hunter, & Lane, 1971). However, the investigators who collected the dream reports were well aware of the type of surgery each patient was facing. They easily could have found specific relationships between dream content and the scheduled operation, given the vagueness and variety of dream symbols. Again, this was not a parapsychological experiment and therefore there was little criticism of this study's obvious flaws.
To evaluate whether or not our target/transcript correspondences were due to chance, we sent copies of the dream reports and post-sleep associations to three outside judges who worked blind and independently. All judges had worked previously with dream reports and/or with "free response" parapsychological material (in which the variety of potential targets is unlimited rather than circumscribed). Each judge was sent copies or duplicate sets of the targets used in the study; no judge was sent the actual target that had been used because it might have been possible that a smudge or written note on the picture would have cued the judge that someone had been concentrating upon that particular item. The averages of the judges' evaluations were used as data for statistical analysis.
In 1985, Child published a meta-analysis of the Maimonides studies. He found that the only form in which the data were available for all series of sessions was a count of "hits" and "misses." If the actual target was ranked or rated in the upper half of the target pool for similarity to the dreams and the post-sleep interview, the outcome was considered a hit. If the actual target was placed in the lower half of the pool, the outcome was considered a miss. Parapsychological experiments are often criticized on the grounds that the evidence they provide for psi phenomena is gleaned from very small effects detectable only when large bodies of data are amassed. Child pointed out that the Maimonides experiments are exempt from this criticism; significant results from some studies are attributable to just 8 data points each, that is, a total of 16 dream transcripts. All told, the Maimonides data were statistically significant to the extent that there was only one chance in 1,000 that coincidence could have accounted for the results.
Various types of criticism have been leveled against the Maimonides experiments from the time of our first publications in scientific journals. The most serious problem is that several other laboratories have not been able to replicate our effects when they followed our basic design. In one psychology text, Neher (1980) stated:
A. . .series of studies of great interest are the dream-telepathy tests
done at the Maimonides Medical Center in New York, in which, it is
claimed, dreams are influenced telepathically. However, some other investigators
have failed to obtain similar results. One unsuccessful replication
used a subject who was "successful" in the Maimonides studies;
another was conducted by the Maimonides investigators themselves. (p.
145) It is certainly the case that some of our own replication attempts failed and that an independent attempt to replicate our work with Van de Castle did not support the psi hypothesis (Belvedere & Foulkes, 1971).
Nevertheless, our dream studies at Maimonides played a small but vital role in parapsychological inquiry and the search for knowledge. Perhaps our data base and our research protocols will be a continuing source of material for serious researchers who are attempting to encompass the study of anomalous phenomena within the scientific enterprise. If so, future investigators will recognize the vital role played by Charles Honorton in bringing these studies to fruition.
Psychokinesis and Sensory Deprivation
Although our laboratory was best known for its work in ESP and dreams (Krippner, 1991), Honorton initiated some provocative PK studies. Honorton and Barksdale (1972) tested their subjects with a random number generator (RNG), comparing conditions of muscular tension versus relaxation, and also active concentration versus passive attention to the target. Honorton conducted the first series in which the six subjects worked as a group to influence the RNG. Before one half of the runs, they were given suggestions to induce relaxation; before the other half, suggestions were given for sustained muscular tension. Relaxed-state scores were nonsignificant, but the tension scores were highly significant, especially in those trials that combined muscle tension with passive attention to the task.
In the second series, which Barksdale conducted, 10 subjects tried individually to influence the RNG under the same conditions; their scores were nonsignificant. Barksdale then served as experimenter for a third series in which Honorton served as the subject. The score for each condition was highly significant, that for tension being positive and that for relaxation almost equally negative. In commenting on this experiment, Rush (1977) says that "Honorton's remarkable success in the third series raises the most vexing ambiguity of all, the covert role of the experimenter" (p. 64).
Ullman and I had both visited parapsychologists in the Soviet Union, and were delighted when a friend offered to show our staff a film featuring alleged PK in that country. Felicia Parise observed the film and was inspired to undertake several weeks of persistent practice, eventually seeming to move small objects and rotate a compass needle. Ullman and I observed some of these feats under informal conditions, but Honorton (1974a) made a careful investigation of the phenomena, eventually taking Parise to the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, his former place of employment. According to the researchers in Durham (Watkins & Watkins, 1974), Parise deflected a compass needle, altered the signal from a metal detector, and produced anomalous effects on photographic film.
The directors of the Foundation for Mind Research had constructed a "witches' cradle" which was based on medieval sensory deprivation devices. There are historical accounts of cradle-like contraptions in which so-called witches suspended themselves from trees. Upon being covered with a sheath and after ingesting (or being coated with) belladonna, thorn apple, or some other mind-altering substance, the adept would have out-of-body experiences and other unusual adventures. The modern version of this cradle is a metal swing in which the subject stands upright, supported by broad bands of canvas. He or she wears earplugs to eliminate outside sound, and opaque goggles to eliminate visual stimuli. The swing acts as a pendulum, carrying the subject from side to side and rotating in response to involuntary movements.
Harry Hermon, a psychiatrist practicing at Maimonides, lent us his cradle for our study (Honorton, Drucker, & Hermon, 1973). Thirty percipients participated in the study; they were told that a transmitter in a distant room would view an art print during the last 10 minutes of the session. They were also taught the self-report scale that Honorton had devised to quickly evaluate alterations in consciousness. About 63% of the percipients in the study obtained "hits," a result that is not quite statistically significant. However, the subjects with high self-reports obtained a significant number of "hits." Further, the average shift in self-reports from the first 10 minutes to the last 10 minutes was higher for those making "hits" than for those making "misses."
This difference supported Gardner Murphy's (1966) hypothesis that shifts in consciousness are favorable to the emergence of psi. Murphy was pleased to hear the news. He had procured the original funding for the Dream Laboratory from the Ittleson and Scaife Foundations and had recommended me to Ullman once the laboratory needed a director. Murphy's hypothesis on shifts of consciousness was among several factors that stimulated Honorton's continued interest in partial sensory deprivation as one of many conditions that could produce a psi-conducive state characterized by a withdrawal of attention from the external world and a shift toward internal thoughts and images. After reading about a study of thought patterns and imagery during sleep onset (Vogel, Foulkes, & Trosman, 1966) and after recalling that stilling the mind, or reducing the internal noise level, is the object of self-regulated concentration in Patanjali's system of Raja yoga, Honorton developed an innovative procedure known as the ganzfeld, a German term denoting a "uniform visual field."
In this procedure, research percipients were asked to relax in a soundproof room with halved pingpong balls fastened over their eyes. A colored light was placed 6 inches in front of their face, and a recording of seashore sounds was played through headphones. This method had been used earlier by Bertini, Lewis, and Witkin (1972) in an attempt to study the effect of emotional-involving films on hypnagogic imagery--in which the incorporated material was found to be more direct and less symbolic (Bertini, Lewis, & Witkin, 1972). The major procedural difference made in Honorton's study was that, rather than a presleep stimulus, a transmitter in a distant room was concentrating on randomly selected target material.
Following the session, Honorton's percipients inspected a duplicate set of four possible target materials, choosing the one they felt corresponded most closely to their thoughts and images. They ranked the other three as well, allowing all data to be categorized on a "hit" or "miss" basis. As there was a different target pool and a different percipient for each session, the problem of independence in judging was virtually eliminated. Since Honorton's (Honorton & Harper, 1974) original report, successful ganzfeld experiments have been reported from a number of different laboratories. Between 50% and 60% of these ganzfeld studies have produced significant data (Stanford, 1984)--a result that fulfills the promise of the high psi yield in the "twilight states" investigated at Maimonides.
The ganzfeld work will stand as Charles Honorton's most important contribution to parapsychological research. However, there were many other parts of the Honorton legacy, both in the laboratory, in the research literature, and in the politics of responding to critics of psi research. When Honorton arrived at Maimonides, I (Krippner, 1975) referred to him as "Just about the most capable experimenter in the field" (p. 59). I have never regretted my enthusiastic evaluation; indeed, it has been reinforced over the years. I will miss him as a colleague and as a friend. And where will parapsychology find another of his stature?
Belvedere, E., & Foulkes, D. (1971). Telepathy and dreams: A failure to replicate. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 33, 783-789. Bertini, M., Lewis, H. B., & Witkin, H. A. (1972). Some preliminary observations with an experimental procedure for the study of hypnagogic and related phenomena. In C. T. Tart (Ed.), Altered states of consciousness (2nd ed., pp. 95-114). Garden City, NY: Anchor Books. Breger, L., Hunter, L., & Lane, R. (1971). Effects of stress on dreams. Psychological Issues, 7 (3, Monograph 27). Child, I. (1985). Psychology and anomalous observations: The question of ESP in dreams. American Psychologist, 40, 1,219-1,230. Foulkes, D., Belvedere, E., Masters, R. E. L., Houston, J., Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). Long distance "sensory bombardment" ESP in dreams: A failure to replicate. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35, 731-734. Hall, C. S., & Van de Castle, R. L. (1966). Content analysis of dreams. New York: Appelton-Century-Crofts. Honorton, C. (1964). Separation of high- and low-scoring ESP subjects through hypnotic preparation. Journal of Parapsychology, 28, 251-257. Honorton, C. (1967). Creativity and precognition scoring level. Journal of Parapsychology, 31, 29-42. Honorton, C. (1969). Relationship between EEG alpha activity and ESP card-guessing performance. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 63, 365-374. Honorton, C. (1970). Effects of feedback on discrimination between correct and incorrect ESP responses. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 64, 404-410. Honorton, C. (1971b). Automated forced-choice precognition tests with a sensitive." Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 476-481. Honorton, C. (1972a). Reported frequency of dream recall and ESP. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 369-374. Honorton, C. (1972b). Significant factors in hypnotically-induced clairvoyant dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 86-102. Honorton, C. (1974a). Apparent psychokinesis on static objects by a "gifted" subject. In W. G. Roll, R. L. Morris, & J. D. Morris (Eds.), Research in parapsychology 1973.(pp. 128-132). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow. Honorton, C. (1974b) Psi-conducive state of awareness. In J. White (Ed.), Psychic exploration: A challenge for science (pp. 616-638). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Honorton, C. (1975). ESP and altered states of consciousness. In J. Beloff (Ed.), Current directions in parapsychology (pp. 38-59). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow. Honorton, C. (1977). Psi and internal attention states. In B. B. Wolman (Ed.), Handbook of parapsychology (pp. 435-472). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Honorton, C., & Barksdale, W. (1972). PK performance with waking suggestions for muscle tension versus relaxation. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 208-214. Honorton, D., Davidson, R., & Bindler, P. (1971). Feedback-augmented EEG alpha, shifts in subjective state, and ESP card-guessing performance. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 308-324. Honorton, C., Drucker, S. A., & Hermon, H. (1973). Shifts in subjective state and ESP under conditions of partial sensory deprivation: A preliminary study. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 67, 191-196. Honorton, C., & Harper, S. (1974). Psi-mediated imagery and ideation in an experimental procedure for regulating perceptual input. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 68, 156- 168. Honorton, C., & Kripper, S. (1969). Hypnosis and ESP performance: A review of the experimental literature. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 63, 214-252. Honorton, C., Kripper, S., & Ullman, M. (1971). Telepathic transmission of art prints under two conditions. Proceedings of the 80th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, pp. 319-320. Honorton, C., Ullman, M., & Kripper, S. (1975). Comparison of extrasensory and presleep influences on dreams: A preliminary report. In J. D. Morris, W. G. Roll, & R. L. Morris (Eds.), Research in parapsychology 1974 (pp. 82-84). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow. Huxley, A. (1963). The doors of perception and Heaven and hell. New York: Harper & Row. Kripper, S. (1975). Song of the siren: A parapsychological odyssey. New York: Harper & Row. Kripper, S. (1991). An experimental approach to the anomalous dream. In J. Gackenbach & A. A. Sheikh (Eds.), Dream images: A call to mental arms (pp. 31-54). Amityville, NY: Baywood. Kripper, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1973). A long-distance ESP dream study with the "Grateful Dead." Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 20, 468-475. Kripper, S., Honorton, C., Ullman, M., Masters, R., & Houston, J. (1971). A long-distance "sensory bombardment" study of ESP in dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 468-475. Kripper, S., & Ullman, M. (1970). Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electroencephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 151, 394-403. Kripper, S., Ullman, M., & Honorton, C. (1971). A precognitive dream study with a single subject. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 192-203. Kripper, S., Ullman, M., & Honorton, C. (1972). A second precognitive dream study with Malcolm Bessent. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 269-279. Murphy, G. (1966). Research in creativeness: What can it tell us about extrasensory perception? Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 60, 8-22. Neher, A. (1980). The psychology of transcendence. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Palmer, J. (1978). Extrasensory perception: Research findings. In S. Krippner (Ed.). Advances in parapsychological research (vol. 2, pp. 59-243). New York: Plenum. Rush, J. H. (1977). Problems and methods in psychokinesis research. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in parapsychological research (vol. 1, pp. 15-78). New York: Plenum. Stanford, R. G. (1984). Recent Ganzfeld-ESP research: A survey and critical analysis. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in parapsychological research (vol. 4, pp. 83-111). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Ullman, M., & Kripper, S. (1970). Dream studies and telepathy; An experimental approach. New York: Parapsychology Foundation. Ullman, M., Kripper, S., & Feldstein, S. (1966). Experimentally induced telepathic dreams: Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring. International Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 2, 420-437. Ullman, M., & Kripper, S., with Vaughan, A. (1989). Dream telepathy: Experiments in noctural ESP (2nd ed.). jefferson, NC: McFarland. Van de Castle, R. L. (1977). Sleep and dreams. In B. B. Wolman (Ed.). Handbook of parapsychology (pp. 473-499). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Vogel, G., Foulkes, D., & Trosman, H. (1966). Ego functions and dreaming during sleep onset. Archives of General Psychiatry, 14, 238-248. Watkins, G. K., & Watkins, A. M. (1974). Apparent psychokinesis on static objects by a "gifted" subject: A laboratory demonstration. In W. G. Roll, R. L. Morris, & J. D. Morris (Eds.), Research in parapsychology 1973 (pp. 132-134). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow. Witkin, H., & Lewis, H. (1967). Experimental studies of dreaming. New York: Random House. Zusne, L., & Jones, W. H. (1982). Anomalistic psychology: A study of extraordinaly phenomena of behavior and experience. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|