From:   Michael Persinger
To:   pehr.granqvist@psyk.uu.se
CC:   Dan.Larhammar@neuro.uu.se, sven.validn@klinfys.mas.lu.se, Linda St-Pierre, Erik.Borjesson@psyk.uu.se, andrea.hagenfeldt@psyk.uu.se, patrick.unge@psyk.uu.se, Mats.Fredrikson@psyk.uu.se, Rektor@rektor.lu.se, Marcus.Larsson@stemcell.lu.se, Bo.Sundqvist@uadm.uu.se
Date:   Friday - January 28, 2005 2:38 AM
Subject:   Re: Final response
 
Dear Pehr,

    We were disappointed by your email that requests we have no further collegial interaction. I am confident that both of our teams, working in concert, could solve the problem. This is of course your choice. We will respect your request. We would have preferred cooperation. However I will answer this email because it is difficult to assume your colleagues would agree with the tenor of your manner in this and previous correspondence.

    Your email was replete with errors and misstatements that might be consider libel by some readers. I would prefer to think the difficulty is with communication between speakers of different languages rather than a purposeful rudeness in your style or deviance in your motive. However it appears you misrepresented your purpose from the beginning. We lent you the equipment because you were supposed to complete a PET study. The primary discussion with Larsson and Larhammar involved discerning the effects of these fields upon PET profiles. You did NOT replicate our procedures.

    Your practise of evasiveness in answering simple questions and responding with accusations or oblique comments is concerning. In my email to you I asked you about your quote in the article in the Economist "that the participants (in the Laurentian studies) were frequently given an inkling of what was happening by being asked to fill out questionnaires designed to test their suggestibility to paranormal experiences before the trials were conducted". This of course is nonsense; we never did that and you know it.

    When I e-mailed you about this you said it was a misquote and referred to some other issue. However in your taped conversation to the writer of the Economist article you stated "the subjects (my subjects) are given questionnaires to complete before they are tested and these questions refer to odd or anomalous mental experiences. So presumably these questions actually act as a prime so the participants are offered a cue to what type of experiences they're expected to have". How do you explain the discrepancy between what you emailed me you said and your taped comments?

    Contrary to your statements in your email there are no distortions or selective quotations from e-mails in our WEB page. We will be posting the recent corresponsence as well. I find your statement professionally offensive and personally disappointing. In actual fact:

    1. When the group did visit on 2-3 November, 2000, they were not given a thorough demonstration of the procedure. (You did not visit our laboratory.) There was not even a hint you planned to replicate our procedure. The point of our demonstration was to familiarize Marcus and Dan with the equipment for a PET study. Common sense in experimental design indicates that measurements must be taken before and after each subject. If you did not verify the field than you don't have a clue what was happening. A double blind with no effective stimulus yields exactly what you obtained: no effect. During the last 30 years of research I have never encountered an experimental psychologist who, upon receiving equipment or procedures, did not complete a pilot study. Again, contrary to your comment, we have included in our publications that measurements were taken before and after each subject and that both experimenters and subjects were blind to the hypotheses. You continue to ignore and misrepresent these facts.

    2. The software for Complex 1.15 was designed for XTs and related computers, not Pentiums. Our specific parameters assumed you would have at least verified the fidelity of the field in terms of its temporal structure and timing.

    3. You have clearly misconstrued the intent of my suggestion about geomagnetic activity and your data. This would not be "post hoc measurements of geomagnetic fields in your psychology buildings". The correlations would be between global geomagnetic indices and the reported incidence of sensed presences. The double blind argument is irrelevant. A statistically significant correlation between daily aa (average antipodal) activity appropriate 3-hr k-values and the ratings of sensed presence in your study would have at least allowed us to discern if indeed what your subjects were calling "a presence" was similar to what our subjects were calling "a presence."
.
    4. We have not made repeated claims that we provided you with a device not intended to induce a sensed presence. What I have said is the parameters we suggested were intended for you to start with your PET study because that is what Marcus stated you were going to do. It is apparent that the equipment lent to you was not the helmet but our first attempts, as we stated, at miniaturizing the equipment. Again a simple pilot study would have been appropriate.

    5. For your information the dimensions of a chamber that is 2 m-sq, as specified in your article, would be 1.4 m x 1.4 m. Finally if the critical information is not included in your article (e.g., the subjects were blindfolded) how is the reader suppose to know?

    I do not wish to be offensive but in my four decades of research I have never encountered an experimenter such as you with such a blatant agenda. The understanding of the brain bases for the sensed presence is more important than the petty misunderstandings between people in laboratories. The future of the human species may be involved. We have more sophisticated equipment and software. If the Uppsala-Lund research team are interested we would be most happy to send them the equipment and specific details at no expense.


Sincerely,

Michael


>>> Pehr Granqvist <pehr.granqvist@psyk.uu.se> 01/05/05 3:34 AM >>>
Dear Michael,

We strongly believe that it is more appropriate to continue with this debate in
peer reviewed journals, such as Neuroscience Letters, where it is customary for
scientific debates to take place. That way, our correspondences will be made
public without any distortions or selective quotations from e-mails, as is now
the case on your webpage, where you only cite one of our letters to you.

However, let us still address the queries of yours that we have not responded to
as of yet. The Christmas break prevented that.

First, in response to your webpage rebuttal, the isolation chamber was about 2
square meters, as can be read in our paper, not 1.4 meters as claimed on your
webpage. Second, we used blindfolds, and regret that we failed to inform
readers of this in the paper. This means that participants were in complete
sensory deprivation during the session. Also, during our visit to your lab in
2000, we were given a thorough demonstration of your procedure. We never
noticed you measuring field presence pre- or post exposure. Nor have we been
given a priori instructions from you on this matter. Most important, though,
the procedure is not reflected in your published writings. However, we have had
the equipment checked for magnetic field generation pre and post study, with
satisfactory results (see our article for details).

Second, you asked about the instructions to the EXIT scale. The instructions
were literally translated to Swedish from the form provided by you at our visit
in 2000. In Swedish, they read as follows:

�Medan du satt p� stolen och hade �gonbilden p� gavs n�gra stimuli. F�r att
avg�ra om du m�rkte dem ber vi dig markera f�rekomsten av upplevelser under
experimentet genom att skriva in l�mpligt svarsalternativ. Anv�nd f�ljande
skala: 0 = aldrig; 1 = enstaka g�nger (eller �tminstone en g�ng); 2 = ofta�

Third, you have also asked repeatedly about the calibration and number of cycles
given. The calibration was done in accordance with the instruction manual of
Complex v. 1.15. The diode indicators on the DAC indicated timing in the
correct interval. The total number of cycles was set to 9000 (as instructed by
you). Exposure time was chosen from your recommendation. Time was measured with
a digital watch. After 15 minutes the program was halted by using
control-alt-delete, again according to your instruction. In the event that you
have forgotten these instructions, we attach them to this letter.

Fourth, as for allocating the source of discrepancy in results between our
research teams, a post-hoc assessment of geomagnetic field variations in the
psychology buildings is not attainable. Even if it were attainable, it would at
best give us a crude estimate of the discrepancies, as there was an important
experimental design difference between our studies (i.e., ours was truly double
blind, as this term is conventionally defined, whereas none of yours were).
Also, if fluctuating geomagnetic activity was an important issue to consider,
you should have informed us clearly before the study started.

Finally, we are not appreciative of your repeated claims that you would have
provided us with a device that was not intended to induce a sensed presence. It
is clear from your attached correspondence that the device indeed was supposed
to induce such phenomena.

Sincerely,
The Uppsala-Lund research team.




 

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