Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 13: Winter 1981

Issue Contents

Other pages











A Mentally Created Reality

M. Schatzman, an American psychiatrist, has conducted extensive psychological experiments with a subject named Ruth. Ruth is perfectly sane but is apparently able to create vivid hallucinations at will. Neither the experimenters nor photographic film detect these apparitions, but they are very real to Ruth. Just how real was determined by tests during which Ruth was instructed to create the image of her daughter between herself and a TV screen. The TV screen displayed a reversing checkerboard pattern that normally shows up very distinctly on a subject's electroencephalogram (EEG) -- the so-called visual evoked response. Ruth's EEG did not show the visual evoked response when the apparition of her daughter was in the way, although it was normal when she was not hallucinating.

Ruth also had the talent for age regression during memory trances. The Stroop Test, administered when Ruth had regressed to the age of three, confirmed that she had lost the ability to read under these conditions.

(Schatzman, Morton; "Evocations of Unreality," New Scientist, 87:935, 1980.)

Comment. This apparent ability of Ruth to distort her own reality has an occult flavor, but perhaps through experiments such as these scientists can get a handle on UFOs, Bigfoot, and similar phenomena. Incidentally, the Stroop Test evokes an involuntary response, making it impossible for the subject being tested to fake a lack of reading ability.

From Science Frontiers #13, Winter 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss