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Can the human body influence electronics?

  1. Jun 11, 2006 #1
    I've never been to this forum before but I was googling the hutchison effect and also info about radio waves and the human body and that's how I found this place.
    I've read a topic dating back to 2004 and made me wonder if the human body can influence electronics like causing interference and stuff like that. I myself experienced this a couple times, at a certain spot and by raising my hand in the direction of my TV antenna I could cause interference at will from moderate to even make the TV go totally black without reception, all this by just willing the TV to get interference. Now the thing is, how does this stuff works? does the human body emanates radio waves too? and why does it work only in certain days?
     
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  3. Jun 11, 2006 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    This is the important part

    This has nothing to do with it.

    The human body makes a really good antenna. In fact there are little TV's that can be hung from the neck that use the body as the antenna.

    Radio waves can interfere with each other in complex ways, and yes, standing near a TV and antenna can affect the signal received.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  4. Jun 11, 2006 #3

    DaveC426913

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    If my radio is not tuned to a station perfectly, my mere presence can cause it to go on-station or off-station.

    (And in a particualrly irritating fashion - if I'm ten feet away, I just get static. I go to adjust it, and the moment I get close, it clears up. How do you tune it when it sounds fine?)
     
  5. Jun 11, 2006 #4
    Sometimes I try to will my computer to not lock up. Experiments are unsuccessful as of yet.
     
  6. Jun 12, 2006 #5
    If the original question is whether one can consciously affect electronic circuits. Then, you might want to take a look at the work done at Princeton. The folks at Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (http://www.princeton.edu/~pear) say that an individual can, through mental influence, change the output of electronic random event generators. You might want to pick up a copy of Margins of Reality by Robert Jahn (Professor of Aerospace Science and Dean, Emeritus) which summarizes the first 20 years of their research. From an outsider’s perspective, it looks like real science.
     
  7. Jun 12, 2006 #6

    Evo

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    It would appear that the data was "skewed" by a "participant".

    "McCrone has done the calculations and found that 'If [operator 10's] figures are taken out of the data pool, scoring in the "low intention" condition falls to chance while "high intention" scoring drops close to the .05 boundary considered weakly significant in scientific results."

    http://skepdic.com/pear.html

    This was the subject of another thread.
     
  8. Jun 12, 2006 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    However, if they exist, the affects are very small and only seen after many many trials; and from what I know, only by using meta-analysis, which is currently debated as a credible/not credible in some applications such as these.
    http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=561537082
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  9. Jun 12, 2006 #8

    dlgoff

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    "...the affects are very small..."

    Sounds like an amplifier would help.
     
  10. Jun 12, 2006 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    It doesn't work that way. It is a matter of finding trends in what should be random sequences of numbers.
     
  11. Jun 13, 2006 #10
    Ivan Seeking wrote: "...only by using meta-analysis, which is currently debated as a credible/not credible in some applications such as these..."

    I suppose the PEAR results could be viewed as a meta-analysis. X number of independent trials statistically concantenated to produce a P-value. Though typically meta-analysis, as it has been used in parapsychology, refers to combining different but similar experiments across a number of laboratories.

    My current bathroom reading material includes parapsychogist, Dean Radin's new book. He's a big fan of meta-analysis. According to Radin's meta-analyses:

    direct mental actions with living systems:
    40 studies
    odds against chance 1000 to 1

    dream psi studies:
    47 studies
    odds against chance 22 billion to 1

    Ganzfield psi studies:
    88 studies
    odds against chance 29 quintillion to 1

    Random number generator studies:
    490 studies
    odds against chance 3051 to 1

    You can see that the power of the technique. Lots of small effect sizes translate into huge odds against chance. Radin wants to use the technique to prove the validity of psi studies.

    Those big numbers either prove psi or perhaps as you suggest, demonstrate an inappropriate use of the meta-analysis technique.
     
  12. Jun 13, 2006 #11
    Evo wrote: "It would appear that the data was "skewed" by a "participant".

    I pulled up the John McCrone article (New Scientist, Nov. 94) that Evo referenced. My intent was not to rebut. I hadn’t read the article and was interested. Relevant paragraphs follow:

    "One subject - known as operator 10 - was by far the best performer, and this trend has continued. On most recently available figures, operator 10 has been involved in only 15 percent of the 14 million trials but contributed a full half of the total "successes". If this person's figures are taken out of the data pool, scoring in the "low intention" condition falls to chance while "high intention" scoring drops close to the .05 probability boundary considered weakly significant in scientific results."

    and

    "Jahn admits that operator 10 - whom he insists must remain anonymous - has been responsible for a large portion of the significant findings. But he makes two points. First, at least four or five other of the 100 subjects show a more powerful effect that operator 10. What is different is that they have been involved in far fewer trials. Jahn says if these better performers had been able to do as many runs as operator 10 - and if the strength of their effects persisted - then operator 10's results would have dropped away into the background."

    and

    "His second point is that when the contributions of all the operators are plotted, they form a smooth continuum. Just as there are a few high performers like operator 10 at one end of the spectrum, so there are an equal number of poor performers – even psi-missers - at the other end who drag the overall numbers down. With over 100 subjects, statistically speaking there would have to be a few high-end scorers like operator 10, so no sinister conclusions should be drawn from that fact alone."

    Personally, I’m neutral on the validity of PEAR's results. 6 years ago I purchased a couple of the PEAR patented Random Event Generators and ran my own trials. Apparently, I’m about as psychic as a rock. I eventually changed the protocol to include music and copious amounts of beer. No effect, but it made staring at a dumb box a bit less tedious.
     
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