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Title: The electrophysiological processing of remote staring detection
Author: Baker, Ian Scott
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis represents the first piece of research to examine the potential electrocortical processing associated with remote staring detection and its potential relationship to face perception in general. Three experiments were conducted using several different measures of electrocortical activity (Event-Related Potentials, Global Field Power, Frequency, etc), skin conductance, and questionnaire data. 20 participants for each experiment were isolated, and an automated, double-blind, randomised and counterbalanced protocol was employed. The first experiment found that the addition of a remote stare had no effect on the processing of a blank screen, but significantly reduced the peak amplitude associated with he global processing of faces. The second experiment found the reverse effect, namely that the addition of a remote stare significantly increased the peak amplitude associated with the global processing of both faces and objects. The third experiment replicated the findings of the second experiment concerning the addition of a remote stare having a similar increase in the peak global processing associated with the viewing of faces. However, in a randomised and counterbalanced split-half design, the removal of the starer from the experiment did not change the electrocortical reactions of the stare to the presence of a ‘remote stare’, leading to further exploration of alternative explanations of the effect. A subsequent photodiode experiment revealed that there were small and rapid luminance shifts in the initial presentation of the images on the staree’s screen for the different conditions which, although extremely small, may have been responsible for the apparent effect of remote staring detection. The findings of the thesis are then finally discussed in terms of their potential implications for psychophysics and event-related potential studies in general, and for parapsychology as a whole and research on remote staring detection in particular.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available