Columbia University to Study the Neuroanatomy of Psychic Abilities

June 30, 2021
Science Team

There is an ever-growing body of evidence that psychic abilities like telepathy, psychokinesis, astral projection, and channeling are not only real — they’re quite common. In fact, an overwhelming body of evidence suggests that humans can access information beyond conventional notions of time and space.

That begs the question: Can psi experiences be mapped to the structure of the brain?

IONS is joining forces with Spiro Pantazatos, PhD, of Columbia University in order to find answers. Dr. Pantazatos is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry and affiliated with the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is the head of My Brain and Me, a web interface that will allow participants to explore their brains through brain imaging and behavioral data.

Ultimately, the goal of My Brain and Me is to create a scalable, speedy approach to neuroimaging, consciousness, and mental health research, while simultaneously engaging and educating the general public by making neuroscience more accessible — and applicable — to our everyday lives.

All of this makes Dr. Pantazatos an ideal partner in our quest to understand how psi experiences are reflected in the human brain. Regardless of how frequently or intensely you have noetic experiences, please consider joining the study. By crowdsourcing brain imaging and determining whether specific experiences correlate with certain brain structure, we may be able to pinpoint any locations in the brain that are associated with psychic abilities.

Please note, the study has also received approval to include children above age 13 in the study. This is excellent because children are often more attuned to their noetic abilities than their adult counterparts. If you know a gifted child, please consider having them participate in this study.

Those that wish to participate in the study must simply:

  • Register for an account on the website with a valid email address and password
  • Confirm their email address, then log into their new account and complete a few questionnaires (about 10 minutes); and
  • Upload their structural brain imaging data from their computer, CD/USB, or patient portal.*

When a participant has uploaded their brain imaging data, they will have the unique opportunity to explore a 3D rendering of their brain. A brief walkthrough video demonstrating how to complete the study is available at the link below:

Participants may also chat live with a study recruiter using the purple chat bubble on the bottom right of the website if they experience any issues completing the study. They may also contact us or send an email if they would like to schedule a session with a study recruiter to facilitate the process.

Brain Imaging Correlates of Reported Psychic Abilities

The purpose of this study is to learn whether reported psychic abilities are associated with brain structure. If you are age 13 or above and have received a brain MRI scan, you may be able to participate. The study involves:

  1. Completing an online survey asking about questions related to personality traits, psychic ability, and mental health.
  2. Uploading the files of your brain scan from your computer, CD/USB , or patient portal

Study activities will take about 5-10 minutes. Participants who complete all study activities can explore a 3D model of their brain online.


* If you have not already had a structural brain imaging scan and are motivated to participate in the study, you may obtain one at a scan center near you. Examples of centers that will perform a structural brain imaging scan without a physician’s order include:

Express MRI
National MRI Scan

You can also search for one near you online. Typical costs for a scan can be as low as $150-200.

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