Research

Over the past few decades, the field of mind-body medicine has moved beyond the counter culture and into the mainstream. The scientific focus has shifted from the reductionistic view of health as a process based on discrete biological systems to a complex network of dynamic and interrelated systems. It involves the integration of the nervous, immune and endocrine systems, with insights from psychology and emotions research.  This field, that has become known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), was informed by the pioneering work of revolutionary scientists. Among them, pharmacologist Candace Pert helped add vital new perspectives on the model of health based...

What does it mean to be part of a greater whole? How does our worldview, or model of reality, impact what we understand about who we are and how we relate to others? And how can we become more aware of all the ways we are part of an interrelated, global community? Recently my colleagues and I explored these questions in a report titled “Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness” for the Journal of Consciousness Studies (Schlitz, Vieten, and Miller; 17, no. 7–8 (2010): 18–36). Based on decades of research on consciousness transformation, IONS researchers have developed a theoretical framework for...

An important unresolved question in scientific research in general, and in psi research in particular, is the effect that the expectancy of the experimenter has on experiment outcomes. I am pleased to report that two distinguished colleagues and I have received funding to conduct a new experiment to test the hypothesis that the expectancy of the experimenter will have an impact on the outcome of a psi task. We are now recruiting teachers to help us recruit student experimenters. Here is a brief history of this field of investigation to give a sense of what we're investigating. I'll conclude with...

I just returned from an exciting conference held at the biotech company, Promega. The meeting was entitled Final Passages: Research on Near Death & the Experience of Dying. This eleventh in a series of bioethics forums was held in Madison, WI, April 26–27, 2012, and focused on scientific research into social and ethical issues around dying and near-death experiences. A stellar lineup of global experts addressed a wide range of topics as well as the implications of current research for understanding consciousness. The conference was introduced and chaired by Bill Linton, the founder and CEO of Promega. In his opening remarks, Linton...

The world is changing before our eyes. As we dip our toes into the 21st century, you and I are watching a full tidal shift in world order. The old order that built civilizations, industrialized nations, and developed world economies, is faced with perplexing challenges – those economies collapsing, those industries capsizing, populations exploding, and increasingly severe problems with health care and the environment. Clearly we have moved on to a new experience of the world. As Francis Cholle, the intuitive intelligence expert, said, “In times of evolution, we can either resist change or we can assist change.” In our business of “assisting...

As the legendary philosopher John Locke once said: “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.” What limits our desire and capacity to take in new ideas – even when we hold an intention to transform and grow? How can we shift a paradigm that we see as flawed and incomplete without understanding the barriers to changing our minds and behaviors? And how can we develop habits that allow us to explore and reveal our own biases and intolerance of ideas that refute our prevailing beliefs and opinions? These are...