The Quantum Phenomenon and the Staring Phenomenon


by SDetection
Tags: phenomenon, quantum, staring
SDetection
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#1
Nov12-09, 08:44 PM
P: 98
Hi, I'd like to know your thoughts on this topic from the Physics point of view:

Sheldrake, R. (2005). The Sense of Being Stared At Part 2: Its Implications for Theories of Vision Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12, No. 6, 2005, pp. 32–49
http://www.sheldrake.org/papers/Staring/JCSpaper2.pdf

Here is a summary of this article (49p):
For the purpose of this discussion, I am taking it for granted that the sense of
being stared at is real. The weight of available evidence seems to support its factual
existence, as discussed in my earlier article in this issue of the Journal of
Consciousness Studies. Some people will dispute this conclusion, and there is as
yet no universal consensus. But it is not necessary for everyone to agree that a
phenomenon exists before discussing its possible implications. A discussion of
the implications of evolution began long before everyone agreed that evolution
had occurred, and there are still people who deny its reality.
The sense of being stared at implies that looking at a person or animal can affect
that person or animal at a distance. An influence seems to pass from the observer to
the observed. The sense of being stared at does not seem to fit in with theories that
locate all perceptual activity inside the head. It seems more compatible with theories
of vision that involve both inward and outward movements of influence.
In order to see the present situation in perspective, it is helpful to look at the
history of the long-standing debate about the nature of vision. Inward or intromission
theories have always tended to regard vision as passive, emphasizing the
entry of light into the eye. Outward or extramission theories have always emphasized
that vision is active. Combined theories accept that vision has both active
and passive aspects.
I start with a brief overview of the history of theories of vision. I then discuss
how this debate is continuing today, and examine how the different theories
might relate to the sense of being stared at. I summarize my own hypothesis that
the sense of being stared at depends on perceptual fields that link the perceiver to
that which is perceived. These fields are rooted in the brain, but extend far
beyond it. I conclude by examining aspects of quantum theory that imply twoway
interconnections between observers and observed.



V: Interconnections Between the Observer and the Observed
in Quantum Physics


There are at least four ways in which quantum physics might be relevant to the
sense of being stared at.

The role of the observer
First, the observer and the observed are interconnected: ‘[Q]uantum physics
presents a picture of reality in which observer and observed are inextricably
interwoven in an intimate way’ (Davies and Gribben, 1991, p. 208). Or as the
quantum physicist Bernard D’Espagnat expressed it, ‘The doctrine that the
world is made up objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness
turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established
by experiment’ (D’Espagnat, 1979).



Photons moving backwards
Second, an interpretation of quantum physics promoted by Richard Feynman
emphasizes that there is no difference in nature between a photon moving
forwards or backwards in time, from the point of view of electrodynamics.
Feynman started from the classical electromagnetic equations of Maxwell,
which are symmetrical in relation to time. These equations always give two solutions
to describe the propagation of electromagnetic waves, one corresponding
to a wave moving forwards in time, and the other to a wave moving backwards in
time. Backward moving waves were simply ignored as non-physical until
Feynman began to take them seriously.



Quantum entanglement
The third relevant aspect of quantum mechanics is quantum non-locality or
entanglement. It is well established that when pairs of particles, such as photons,
are produced from a common source can show correlations in their behaviour
over large distances that are inexplicable on the basis of old-style physics. There
has been much debate about the significance of this process for macroscopic systems
such as ourselves, owing to the ‘decoherence’ of quantum states in large
systems such as brains. Yet some physicists believe that quantum entanglement
may be an essential aspect of the way minds work.



Quantum Darwinism
A team of physicists at Los Alamos has recently proposed a form of preferential
perception of quantum states that becomes habitual, in a way that sounds not
unlike the activity of habitual perceptual fields discussed above (Ollivier et al.,
2004).
A Nature news report in 2004 explained how this new hypothesis arose from
the question, ‘If, as quantum mechanics says, observing the world tends to
change it, how is it that we can agree on anything at all? Why doesn’t each person
leave a slightly different version of the world for the next person to find? ‘ The
answer is called quantum Darwinism:
[C]ertain special states of a systemare promoted above others by a quantum form of
natural selection…. Information about these states proliferates and gets imprinted
on the environment. So observers coming along and looking at the environment in
order to get a picture of the world tend to see the same ‘preferred’ states’.
Rather than decoherence being a problem for this view, it is an essential feature.
As Ollivier’s co-author Zurek put it, ‘Decoherence selects out of the quantum
“mush” those states that are stable.’ These stable states are called ‘pointer’
states. Through a ‘Darwin-like selection process’ these states proliferate as
many observers see the same thing. In Zurek’s words, ‘One might say that
pointer states are most ‘fit’. They survive monitoring by the environment to
leave ‘descendents’ that inherit their properties’ (Ball, 2004).

If a pointer state links an observer to someone she is looking at, such preferred
states of quantum decoherence might underlie the sense of being stared at.
Indeed a preferred habitual quantum state may be another way of talking about a
perceptual field.



VI: Conclusions
Speculations about quantum interconnectedness and about perceptual fields are
still vague. But at the same time the conventional idea of a representation or virtual
reality display inside the brain is also very vague; it gives no details of the
way in which the simulation is produced, the medium in which it occurs, or the
means by which is experienced subjectively. Nevertheless, the internal representation
theory does make at least one testable prediction: the sense of being stared
at should not exist. If vision is confined to the brain, the concentration of attention
on a person or an animal should have no effects at a distance, other than
those mediated by sound, vision or other recognized senses. The evidence goes
against this prediction.
If further research supports the reality of the sense of being stared at, then the
existence of this sense will favour theories of vision that involve an interaction
between the perceiver and the perceived, and go against theories that confine
vision to the inside of the head.
Other documents related to this phenomenon:

Coover, J.E. (1913), ‘“The feeling of being stared at”—experimental’, American Journal of Psychology, 24, pp. 570–5.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/1413454

Does anything leave the eye when we see? Extramission beliefs of children and adults, GA Winer, JE Cottrell – Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1996.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/20182415

Beliefs of children and adults about feeling stares of unseen others - ,JE Cottrell, GA Winer, MC Smith – Developmental Psychology, 1996.
http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=...ge=50&expand=1

The ability to detect unseen staring: A literature review and empirical tests, J Colwell, S Schroder, D Sladen – British Journal of Psychology, 2000
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...00001/art00005

Sheldrake, R. (2005). The Sense of Being Stared At Part 1: Is it Real or Illusory? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12, 10-31.
http://www.sheldrake.org/papers/Staring/JCSpaper1.pdf

Schmidt, S. (2005). Comments on Sheldrake's 'The Sense of Being Stared At'. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12,105-108.
http://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de/iuk...g_JCS_2005.pdf

The Non-Visual Detection of Staring - Response to Commentators Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12, No. 6, 2005, pp. 117–26
http://www.sheldrake.org/papers/Staring/JCSpaper3.pdf
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apeiron
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#2
Nov13-09, 04:14 AM
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The Wiseman/Schlitz series of studies would have a lot more credibility in psi research circles than anything Sheldrake might publish.

But this isn't philosophy anyway and ought to be shifted to
http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5

However, check.....
http://www.richardwiseman.com/resear...sychology.html

The remote detection of staring

Some parapsychologists have conducted psychophysiological studies in which participants seem able to psychically detect an unseen gaze. In 1995 and 1998 Prof Wiseman carried out joint studies in collaboration with Dr Marilyn Schlitz (Institute of Noetic Sciences), a parapsychologist who had carried out many of the most successful staring studies. The studies revealed evidence of an ‘experimenter effect’, with the sessions carried out by Prof Wiseman obtaining quite different results from those conducted by Dr Schlitz.

A third joint study, reported in 2005, has failed to replicate this experimenter effect.
SDetection
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Nov13-09, 05:30 AM
P: 98
Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
The Wiseman/Schlitz series of studies would have a lot more credibility in psi research circles than anything Sheldrake might publish.

But this isn't philosophy anyway and ought to be shifted to
http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5
It seems that you haven't read the quoted article:
For the purpose of this discussion, I am taking it for granted that the sense of
being stared at is real.
This thread is for discussing this phenomenon from the current science point of view, especially the Quantum Physics, as it's the closest thing. I mean does the Physics allow something like that to happen?, and if we assume that it's absolutely true what would be the scientific explanation?. A little philosophical don't you think?.
I've already discussed it from the scientific method point of view in the S&D forum, but it deserves a thread of its own which I'll start there later to discuss how it can be tested.

Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
However, check.....
http://www.richardwiseman.com/resear...sychology.html

The remote detection of staring

Some parapsychologists have conducted psychophysiological studies in which participants seem able to psychically detect an unseen gaze. In 1995 and 1998 Prof Wiseman carried out joint studies in collaboration with Dr Marilyn Schlitz (Institute of Noetic Sciences), a parapsychologist who had carried out many of the most successful staring studies. The studies revealed evidence of an ‘experimenter effect’, with the sessions carried out by Prof Wiseman obtaining quite different results from those conducted by Dr Schlitz.

A third joint study, reported in 2005, has failed to replicate this experimenter effect.
There is a strong logical evidence that this experimenter effect is the real phenomenon showing as a side effect. These experiments were conducted to test something that, according to the logic, can never be true, and which was actually mistaken for the real phenomenon because of a misunderstanding of the scientific method.

apeiron
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Nov13-09, 05:43 AM
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The Quantum Phenomenon and the Staring Phenomenon


There is neither convincing evidence that there is an effect, nor is there anything in QM and neuroscience that would suggest there should be. So really no story.
SDetection
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#5
Nov13-09, 07:09 AM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
...nor is there anything in QM and neuroscience that would suggest there should be...
Are you sure?. I mean, for example:
  • A person (receiver) is standing somewhere talking to his/her friends.
  • Another person (sender) is coming from a long distant behind the receiver.
  • There are other people that are scattered in between and around the sender and the receiver.
  • The sender notices the receiver and begins to stare at him/her.
  • After a while the receiver finds himself/herself suddenly gazing back in the direction of the sender as if he's/she's just sensed something.
  • The receiver can't remember sensing any auditory or visual stimulus that would make him/her behave this way.
  • At the moment of detection the sender suddenly looks away in an attempt to hide the staring intention.
  • The receiver is absolutely sure the sender was staring at him/her from behind at that exact moment.
  • Nor the friends of the receiver nor the people who were scattered in between and around the sender and the receiver reacted in any way to the sender.
  • The reason for the sender's staring, whether it's positive or negative, is irrelevant.
  • There is inexplicable correlation between the receiver's directional behavior and the staring intention of the sender.
Are you saying that, regardless of the interpretation of the Quantum Theory, there is absolute certainty that it would never allow something like that to happen?.
apeiron
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Nov13-09, 02:49 PM
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OK, forget the fact that the claimed effect has not been demonstrated reliably under controlled laboratory conditions, surely you see the conflict with physics?

What is the nature of the supposed entanglement between observer and observed? At best, it would be between the starer's eyeball and light reflecting off atoms on the back of the staree's head. There is no basis for a material "perceptual field", some entanglement of minds.
Ivan Seeking
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Nov13-09, 07:30 PM
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Speculation regarding a mechanism of action is not appropriate. The only qualified discussion is that of evidence.

Note also that almost by definition, if any ESP phenomena do exist, we have no accepted model to account for it. The only motivation for such a model would be evidence, so a discussion of any potential evidence is the only worthy discussion.

Note again that any data must come from papers published in applicable academic journals listed in the forum guidelines. Sources such as the Journal of Parapsychology, or the JSE, do not qualify.
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthr...39#post2269439
Ivan Seeking
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Nov13-09, 07:45 PM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
The Wiseman/Schlitz series of studies would have a lot more credibility in psi research circles than anything Sheldrake might publish.

But this isn't philosophy anyway and ought to be shifted to
http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5

However, check.....
http://www.richardwiseman.com/resear...sychology.html

The remote detection of staring

Some parapsychologists have conducted psychophysiological studies in which participants seem able to psychically detect an unseen gaze. In 1995 and 1998 Prof Wiseman carried out joint studies in collaboration with Dr Marilyn Schlitz (Institute of Noetic Sciences), a parapsychologist who had carried out many of the most successful staring studies. The studies revealed evidence of an ‘experimenter effect’, with the sessions carried out by Prof Wiseman obtaining quite different results from those conducted by Dr Schlitz.

A third joint study, reported in 2005, has failed to replicate this experimenter effect.
Were these studies published, and if so, where?

Credibility is based on published papers, not opinions.
apeiron
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Nov13-09, 07:52 PM
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As I say (and parapsychology is a field I know well) the state of the art on the detection of remote staring studies was published in the British Journal of Psychology (2006), 97, 313–322

http://penumbrae.info/documents/muse/skeptic.pdf

Long story short, as experimental design was tightened up, the claimed effect disappeared. So there is no evidence in demand of explaining.

Sheldrake does his "research" under very loosely controlled conditions and so people quite rightly don't begin to take it seriously.
SDetection
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#10
Nov13-09, 07:57 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Speculation regarding a mechanism of action is not appropriate. The only qualified discussion is that of evidence.

Note also that almost by definition, if any ESP phenomena do exist, we have no accepted model to account for it. The only motivation for such a model would be evidence, so a discussion of any potential evidence is the only worthy discussion.
I agree, maybe we should concentrate now on how to prove it beyond any doubt before trying to explain it. But one can't stop thinking how could this ever happen!.
SDetection
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#11
Nov14-09, 12:17 AM
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Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
OK, forget the fact that the claimed effect has not been demonstrated reliably under controlled laboratory conditions, surely you see the conflict with physics?
Be aware that our perception doesn't necessarily represent reality, our knowledge can mislead us. A claim that clearly violates the logic can never be true, but there is a logical possibilty that that claim is hiding a real mysterious phenomenon that fully complies with the logic.
Quote Quote by apeiron View Post
What is the nature of the supposed entanglement between observer and observed? At best, it would be between the starer's eyeball and light reflecting off atoms on the back of the staree's head. There is no basis for a material "perceptual field", some entanglement of minds.
This staring phenomenon has nothing to do directly with the eyes, vision, light or the back of our heads. The visual knowledge of the receiver is just the stimulus, it has no direct role. Any other stimulus that can put the sender in the same state would cause the same effect on the receiver. Even if there is a concrete wall between the sender and the receiver the effect can still happen, and that must be taken into consideration when testing this phenomenon.
BigFairy
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Nov14-09, 02:19 AM
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Thank you.
SDetection
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Nov14-09, 05:40 PM
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A logical question arises, how can the sender affect the intended receiver without affecting anything else?. A logical explanation would be:
As no more than one receiver can occupy the same space at the same time, the directional knowledge obtained from the visual knowledge of the receiver must have a role in selecting which receiver the effect is destined for.

Another logical question arises, if the sender has no direct visual knowledge of the receiver (the receiver is hidden in a box), how can the sender still affect the receiver?. A logical explanation would be:
The directional knowledge obtained from the visual knowledge of the confined space (the box) in which the receiver might be hidden can still tell the probabilities of where the receiver might be, and the effect would hit every point of that confined space. After all our brains are confined in a skull.

Any sender who has directional knowledge of where the receiver might be can affect the results of the experiment, even without/before looking at the receiver at all!!.
Ivan Seeking
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Nov14-09, 07:34 PM
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This is now too speculative to be allowed to continue.

No other threads on this subject will be tolerated. If a new paper is found or published, send me a pm with a link. Until then, since you are unwilling to abide by the guidelines, this subject is closed.


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