Can your body sense future events without any external clue?

October 22, 2012, Northwestern University

Wouldn't it be amazing if our bodies prepared us for future events that could be very important to us, even if there's no clue about what those events will be?

Presentiment without any external clues may, in fact, exist, according to new Northwestern University research that analyzes the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010.

Researchers already know that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. Physiological measures of subconscious arousal, for instance, tend to show up before that a deck of cards is stacked against us.

"What hasn't been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen," said Julia Mossbridge, lead author of the study and research associate in the , Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern.

A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones, for example, can't hear when his or her boss is coming around the corner.

"But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your ," Mossbridge said. "You might even have a chance to open that you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room."

This is sometimes called "presentiment," as in "sensing the future," but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future.

"I like to call the phenomenon 'anomalous anticipatory activity,'" she said. "The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can't explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It's anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it's an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems."

Explore further: Research reveals power of the subconscious in human fear

More information: The study, "Predictive Physiological Anticipation Preceding Seemingly Unpredictable Stimuli: A Meta-Analysis," is in the current edition of Frontiers in Perception Science.

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11 comments

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Noumenal
1 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2012
Urm, what?
tadchem
5 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2012
"...whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen"
As long as casinos and lotteries continue to make a profit from the gullible who play 'hunches', I would have to say the answer to this is an unqualified "No."
Rencell
5 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2012
I would assume some subconscious sensory input is being processed and producing a "intuitive" response. People get way too excited about psychics.
TheKnowItAll
5 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2012
First of all it is impossible to stop sound from reaching the eardrums even if you were to plug the ears air tight, sound will still make its way through the body. Camouflaging it with other noises does not get rid of the ambient noises either. Plus we have other cues to help us anticipate the future such as vibrations, shadows, scents, temperature fluctuations, moving air etc... We might not realize it but after being in an environment for a while we start to take into account subtle things such and reflections off a wall and particular vibrations that a person with habits will produce while moving.
I have not worn a watch for over 20 years and as long as I have a little bit of outside light coming in I can tell you what time it is and be off by less than 5 minutes. People always get amazed by it but there is very little to it.
When people start looking at explanations that make no sense it's because they're missing information. 'Anomalous conclusion' is more likely. lol
Ojorf
3 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2012
Second that.

I found:

Julia Mossbridge's tag cloud on smashwords.com:
create a better life create creation destiny purpose of life create future create success creating miracles creating wealth creativity purpose purpose coaching purpose driven life purpose for life purpose revealed self actualisation self actualization self coaching soul evolution soul growth soul guidance soul healing soul identity soul journey soul repair spiritual advice transformation
gwrede
5 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2012
Let's just say, if PhysOrg publishes this kind of articles, then they have no right to frown upon the adherents of the Electric Universe or Dense Ether whatever, or the favorite theories of the (about five stupidest) writers on this forum.

As an individual with some capability of Rational Thinking, I find it extraordinaly offensive that I have to read this kind of stuff here. Were I entertained by pathetic crap, I'd be at AWT and I'd be so embarrassed that my eyes would drop out.

Sheesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
gwrede
3 / 5 (2) Oct 22, 2012
OMG, if an article begins with the words "In AWT this phenomena", do you think one needs to read more? -- But I bet the AWT-believers don't even know what my problem here is.
wealthychef
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2012
Continuing in the proud tradition, the wise man says, "If the title of an article is a question, the answer to that question is usually NO."
Dug
1 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2012
The field of psychology is given far too much scientific credibility given a general lack of reproducibility - perhaps just entirely too much credibility in general.
Judgeking
1 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2012
It's called Spidey Sense.
Judgeking
2 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2012
Seriously though, if there's anything to this, we're probably just subconsciously sensing small sounds or vibrations, changes in lighting, etc.

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