Consciousness and the anomalous organization of random events: The role of absorption

Lonnie A. Nelson, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Research has documented that intention can be associated with deviations in an electronic Random Event Generator (REG). The present set of five experiments examined correlates of changes in the REG with two aspects of absorption, perceived depth (depth) and distortions of time perception (time) in a single subject (the first author). In the initial exploratory experiment, the subject collected 59 experimental runs in which various meditative practices were performed, and 42 control runs. Ratings of depth and time were each significantly correlated with magnitude of deviation in the REG. These findings were replicated in a confirmatory experiment with 60 experimental runs that included deliberate "daydream" runs, and 43 control runs. The third experiment manipulated "absorbed/daydream" runs (A) and control (non-absorbed) runs (B) using 20 sets of ABAB runs. The main effect of A versus B was significant. The fourth experiment tested the possibility that the results were due to some electromagnetic effect produced by body movement and consisted of 20 hand motion runs and 20 "absorbed" runs. The results suggested that absorption, and not movement, was the main factor of importance. The fifth experiment was intended to confirm the findings suggested in experiment four. A total of 40 runs were collected at two distances from the REG, and ratings of absorption were taken for all runs. Significant results were found for absorption, not distance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that states of absorption associated with changes in perception of time and experience of trance-like awareness are associated with replicable alterations in an electromagnetically shielded REG device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-544
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Scientific Exploration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Absorption
  • Consciousness
  • Depth of trance
  • Mind-machine interaction
  • REG
  • Time perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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