Aura's finally explained (?)


by PIT2
Tags: aura, explained
PIT2
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#1
Mar17-06, 10:34 AM
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Could this be the explanation for aura's?

When emotions make you see colors

It's easy to dismiss such claims as pseudoscientific claptrap, yet there exist humans who, when presented with nonvisual stimuli such as tastes or smells, perceive visual imagery. I'm talking about the scientifically recognized condition, synesthesia.

Might it also be possible for a synesthete to associate emotions with visual images? British psychologist Jamie Ward believes he has found an individual (a nineteen-year-old woman whose initials are GW) with just such a condition. GW says she perceives "auras" around the faces of certain people, and when she sees or hears some words, she perceives colors (the same color always associated with the same word), which occupy her entire field of vision.

Ward points out that several other studies have shown a similar correspondence between color and emotion -- people tend to associate lighter and more saturated colors like yellow, green, and red with positive emotions, and darker and less saturated colors with negative emotions.

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedai...ou_see_col.php
And as a second possible explanation, perhaps for all the kyrlian stuff:

Human Hands Emit Light

Human hands glow, but fingernails release the most light, according to a recent study that found all parts of the hand emit detectable levels of light.

The findings support prior research that suggested most living things, including plants, release light. Since disease and illness appear to affect the strength and pattern of the glow, the discovery might lead to less-invasive ways of diagnosing patients.
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs...ght_print.html
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zoobyshoe
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#2
Mar17-06, 07:54 PM
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I don't have an explanation of auras, but I'm sure these two are not it. I saw one once, myself, after I'd been meditating more intently than usual for about a week. A tall young woman was crossing the street toward my side one afternoon. She was dressed very formally in business clothes and looked pretty stunning. As she got closer I percieved there was a kind of clear sphere around her which was only visible at the edges because of the way it reflected light. She noticed me watching her and smiled warmly at me. What went through my head was that she was aware I could see her aura.

Anyway, I don't think the synaesthesia thing explains what I saw, and the second link doesn't explain anything. The light it describes is just too weak to be picked up by anything but a light detector.
PIT2
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#3
Mar21-06, 10:35 AM
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So do u think there actually exists some kind of 'field' around some people, or do u think aura's are all in the mind of the beholder?

Btw i dont really understand why u dismiss synesthesia as an option for what u saw. Couldnt the meditation have triggered some form of this in ur brain?

siddharth
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#4
Mar21-06, 12:02 PM
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Aura's finally explained (?)


From the first article you quoted, I don't find any evidence of a 'field' which exists around people. It looks like that article just describes how a particular individual is able to associate names and faces to colours.

The second article again doesn't provide evidence for "visible" auras.

The light is invisible to the naked eye, so Hiramatsu and his team used a powerful photon counter to "see"it.
In fact, all objects emit a certain amount of black-body radiation as a function of their temperatures, so I don't think that is something new.


I don't have an explanation of auras, but I'm sure these two are not it. I saw one once, myself, after I'd been meditating more intently than usual for about a week. A tall young woman was crossing the street toward my side one afternoon. She was dressed very formally in business clothes and looked pretty stunning. As she got closer I percieved there was a kind of clear sphere around her which was only visible at the edges because of the way it reflected light. She noticed me watching her and smiled warmly at me. What went through my head was that she was aware I could see her aura.
Zooby, the assumption you are making is that auras exist. I think it's highly probable that what you saw, if it was not imagined, could be attributed to other phenomenon like scattering of light.
PIT2
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#5
Mar21-06, 12:18 PM
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Quote Quote by siddharth
From the first article you quoted, I don't find any evidence of a 'field' which exists around people. It looks like that article just describes how a particular individual is able to associate names and faces to colours.
Well there are certain 'fields' which exist around humans, such as:

-biophotons (as mentioned above)
-radiation
-infrared light
-electromagnetism
-feromones

In fact, all objects emit a certain amount of black-body radiation as a function of their temperatures, so I don't think that is something new.
Exactly, but perhaps aura's arent something new, but something mundane.
In combination with synesthesia maybe these fields can generate the aura.

The second article again doesn't provide evidence for "visible" auras.
What about kyrlian photography. Could the biophotons account for that?
zoobyshoe
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#6
Mar21-06, 12:57 PM
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Quote Quote by PIT2
So do u think there actually exists some kind of 'field' around some people, or do u think aura's are all in the mind of the beholder?
A field with a nice neat edge like I saw (a sphere) doesn't make physical sense so I tend toward thinking it's some kind of construction of the viewers brain.

Btw i dont really understand why u dismiss synesthesia as an option for what u saw. Couldnt the meditation have triggered some form of this in ur brain?
What I saw was different than the thing around people's heads descibed by the person in your article. If I were close enought that I only had this woman's head in my visual field I would have been too close to see the sphere. However, you're right: mine could have been synaesthesia involving somewhat different parts of the visual circuits.
zoobyshoe
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#7
Mar21-06, 01:19 PM
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Quote Quote by siddharth
Zooby, the assumption you are making is that auras exist. I think it's highly probable that what you saw, if it was not imagined, could be attributed to other phenomenon like scattering of light.
No, you are making an assumption about what I said. I wasn't offering my experience as some kind of testimony that the auras are real, only that the two suggested explanations offered don't explain what I saw. (Neither does your vague "scattering of light" as if I happened to be at some critical angle between her and the sun.)
PIT2
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#8
Mar21-06, 03:20 PM
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What u described, the sphere, doesnt really sound like the aura's ive heard about. As a kid i had a friend and one day we were going around the neighbourhood picking up old newspapers. We rang doorbells and got them from the ppl inside and later we got money in return when we brought them to the scrapheap ppl. After we just walked away from one house, my friend told me he had seen a blue glow around the guys head (i didnt see any glow). The person he saw it around was standing inside a house(in the dooropening) and it was quite dark there so no bright sunlight was involved. We were both around 8 then and didnt know what aura's were so i dont doubt he really saw what he said he saw. It made quite an impression on him because he reminded me of it years later.

Was there any color in the sphere u saw?

I typed aura in google and found this image - (source). Seems like the outer part matches ur description, while the inner part matches my friends description.
zoobyshoe
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#9
Mar21-06, 04:07 PM
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Quote Quote by PIT2
Was there any color in the sphere u saw?
No color at all.

I typed aura in google and found this image - (source). Seems like the outer part matches ur description, while the inner part matches my friends description.
This picture is vaguely like I have read them described: people say there are "layers" each with a different color. What I saw was nothing like that. It was most like a bubble around her - very large, and seeming to consist only of the one layer, which was made of something transparent, and it was distinctly round; spherical. It didn't remotely echo the shape of her body.

It could well be that most people who see auras are having some kind of synaesthetic experience ascribing colors to their emotional reactions to people, and what I experienced was a plain old, totally subjective hallucination whose content was idiosynchratic to me. This "bubble" had "force field" kind of quality about it, and at the same time struck me as a sort of representation of how healthy she was: like in perfect health. But that latter notion is probably one I picked up from reading Carlos Castaneda books.

Seeing her certainly was a surprise since she was exceptionally attractive, statuesque, and out of place in that particular neighborhood for the way she was dressed. It's a much more casual area. Very rare to see a woman in a skirt or dress, much less a designer-looking buisness suit.
TheStatutoryApe
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#10
Mar21-06, 06:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Zoob
It could well be that most people who see auras are having some kind of synaesthetic experience ascribing colors to their emotional reactions to people, and what I experienced was a plain old, totally subjective hallucination whose content was idiosynchratic to me. This "bubble" had "force field" kind of quality about it, and at the same time struck me as a sort of representation of how healthy she was: like in perfect health. But that latter notion is probably one I picked up from reading Carlos Castaneda books.
Did you see a node at the back, a perception point did he call it? or something similar?

I think that what you saw correlates somewhat to what I've been told about auras. An 'outer shell' with out colour is supposed to be common and the first thing that most people see when they begin to perceive auras. Perceiving colour in the aura is supposed to come later. I've personally seen what you have discribed a number of times (whether real or a product of my imagination I have no idea) and once did see an aura with colour but only vaguely and briefly but the colour did supposedly correspond with the emotional state of the individual. As for the field you saw being a sphere not closely related to the shape of the body from what I have been told people who are exuding confidence tend to have auras that radiate outwards instead of being compact near their form which seems to parallel your description of the woman. Also from what I have been told this 'outer shell' part of the aura it is supposed to represent the life and vitality of something which would also parallel your description.
siddharth
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#11
Mar21-06, 07:34 PM
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No, you are making an assumption about what I said. I wasn't offering my experience as some kind of testimony that the auras are real, only that the two suggested explanations offered don't explain what I saw.
Yeah, you're right. Sorry about that.

Look, from

I saw one once, myself, after I'd been meditating more intently than usual for about a week
that statement, It looks to me like you believe that meditation has something to do with viewing 'auras'. What I tried to tell is that, this need not be the case, and there might be other pheneomenon to describe what you saw.

Neither does your vague "scattering of light" as if I happened to be at some critical angle betweenher and the sun
I don't think it's vague and I think it's a more likely explanation than meditation as it has been well documented. For example, Rayleigh scattering is what makes the sky appear blue.

In fact, the refraction of light could be another real possibility, as the air immediatley around a person is generally hotter than the surrounding air. So it's refractive index will be less.
zoobyshoe
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#12
Mar21-06, 09:48 PM
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Quote Quote by TheStatutoryApe
Did you see a node at the back, a perception point did he call it? or something similar?
You mean the "assemblage point". No, I didn't see anything corresponding to that.

I think that what you saw correlates somewhat to what I've been told about auras. An 'outer shell' with out colour is supposed to be common and the first thing that most people see when they begin to perceive auras. Perceiving colour in the aura is supposed to come later. I've personally seen what you have discribed a number of times (whether real or a product of my imagination I have no idea) and once did see an aura with colour but only vaguely and briefly but the colour did supposedly correspond with the emotional state of the individual. As for the field you saw being a sphere not closely related to the shape of the body from what I have been told people who are exuding confidence tend to have auras that radiate outwards instead of being compact near their form which seems to parallel your description of the woman. Also from what I have been told this 'outer shell' part of the aura it is supposed to represent the life and vitality of something which would also parallel your description.
It strikes me as just about having to be a construct of the viewer's mind since no kind of energetic radiation just suddenly stops at a neat edge like that: everything continues outward attenuating according to the inverse square law. It also lacked the "apple" shape of a magnetic field which pulls in toward the poles and fans out the further away from the poles it is.

Why just about everyone's brain should have this tendency to construct similar "auras" around people when in the right state of mind must have something to do with elementary aspects of the visual processing system, in the same way people with visual migraine hallucinations all seem to construct geometric shapes.

I wasn't told anything about this woman by the "aura" that I couldn't also see with my plain vision: it was clear from everything about her that she was a very confident, and physically healthy person. So, the notion that it is a synaesthetic phenomenon of some sort makes sense if we allow for a kind of cross of emotional reaction with visual field, which is suggested in PIT's article. If alot of synaesthetes experience numbers as having a specific, inherent "color", which they do, then I suppose it is somehow neurologically wired into our visual processing systems to superimpose something "halo-like" around people, though I don't know why it should be. Maybe that's the way most people look to us when we're small infants just learning to see, or something.
SGT
#13
Mar22-06, 10:42 AM
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The Straight Dope about Kirlian photography.


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