A new study reports that presentiment without any external clues may exist. Researchers from Northwestern University analyzed the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010 to figure out if the human body could prepare itself for future events.
The scientists published their findings in the journal Frontiers of Perception Science. Subconscious minds sometimes “know” more than conscious minds. Physiological measures of subconscious arousal tend to show up before it develops into a conscious state of awareness.
What isn’t clear is whether humans have the intrinsic ability to predict important future events without any clues to what might happen, states Julia Mossbridge, lead author and research associate at Northwestern University.
A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones wouldn’t be able to hear or see his or her boss coming but the analysis suggests that if this person were in tune with his or her body, they might be able to detect anticipatory changes between two and ten seconds before the occurrence of the actual event. This feeling is called presentiment as in sensing the future.
“I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” said Mossbridge. “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.”
Reference: “Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: a meta-analysis” by Julia Mossbridge, Patrizio Tressoldi and Jessica Utts, 17 October 2012, Frontiers of Perception Science.