IONS is excited to announce the publication of a paper on mediumship by two of our scientists, Arnaud Delorme, PhD, and Dean Radin, PhD in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. The paper, titled “Intuitive Assessment of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics: Behavioral, Electrocortical, and Machine Learning Analyses” investigates whether some individuals can intuitively gauge whether a person is alive or not, based solely upon a quick glance of the person in a photograph. While studies have shown that various characteristics of the human face can indicate a wealth of information about health status, most of that research focuses on understanding connections between health status and history with certain facial characteristics.
This study asked 12 people who claimed to have intuitive abilities to determine if a person was alive or dead by briefly examining his/her photo. All of the photos used were of the individuals when they were living. The pictures were edited to be as uniform as possible, such as counterbalancing people in the photos across gender, age, gaze direction, glasses, head position, smile, hair color, grayscale level and image resolution, to minimize the differences in the pictures of alive versus deceased individuals.
The study participants examined about 400 photographs displayed on a computer monitor, one at a time. While the photos were all of the individuals when they were living, at the time of the experiment, half of the individuals in the photos were deceased, and half were alive. Participants were asked to indicate if they thought the person in each photo was living or deceased by pressing certain keys on the computer keyboard. IONS scientists also collected electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings to track electrical activity in the brains of the study participants. They found that 5 of the 12 participants demonstrated statistically significant accuracy when indicating whether the individuals in the photos were alive or deceased. They also found differences in the EEG pointing to potential differences in early visual processing. Their results suggest that some individuals can intuitively assess mortality based on some as-yet unknown features of the face.
If you would like to learn more about this research study or read the paper published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, please visit:
Delorme, A., et al. (2018). “Intuitive Assessment of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics: Behavioral, Electrocortical, and Machine Learning Analyses.” Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing 14(4): 262-267.