Dr. Leanna Standish (2003) : Evidence of Correlated fMRI Signals between Human Brains

Evidence of Correlated Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Signals between Distant Human Brains

Leanna J. Standish, ND, PhD, L. Clark Johnson, PhD, Leila Kozak, MS, Todd Richards, PhD

(published in Alternative Therapies, Volume 9, Number 1, January 2003)


Jeanna J. Standish, Senior Research Scientist, Bastyr University
Leila Kozak, Research Project Manager, Bastyr University
L. Clark Johnson, Research Associate Professor, University of Washington
Todd Richards, Professor of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle



The hypothesis that signals travel between the nervous systems of organisms that are not in physical contact has been posited but never fully tested.

The first known report in the scientific literature of correlated signals between distant brains (“neural energy transfer”) appeared in Science in 1965. Duane and Behrendt studied pairs of monozygotic human twins and reported that EEG alpha rhythms were elicited in 1 member of the pair as a result of evoking these rhythms in the other member, who was separated by 6 meters in a different room. They reported that “extrasensory induction,” as they called it, occurred in 2 out of 15 pairs of twins tested.

In 1994 Grinberg-Zylberbaum et al reported that visually evoked potentials in a human brain produced by photostimulation to 1 member of a pair can induce similar evoked potentials in the occiput of another person located 14.5 meters away in an electrically shielded room. These authors claimed that the “transferred potential” was observed only after the pair, previously unknown to each other, had spent 20 minutes together in meditative silence to induce a sense of “connectedness.”

The Bastyr University/University of Washington Consciousness Science Laboratory research group developed sophisticated electroencephalographic (EEG) technology and statistical signal detection methods to replicate these findings. We previously reported that correlated EEG signals were recorded from the occiput of 5 of 60 healthy subjects tested in pairs when 1 member of the pair received visual stimulation while the other member, located in a separate chamber 10 meters away, did not receive visual stimulation. The next step in our research was to determine if similar results could be attained using functional MRI (fMRI) technology. We report here on the first results of our fMRI study of correlated metabolic brain signals detected between 2 human subjects separated from each other by 10 meters.

Excerpt from the conclusions of this publication:

To our knowledge, this is the first fMRI demonstration of correlated-event–related signals between 2 human brains at a distance. The regions of activation shown in this paper (area 18 and 19) are similar to the brain regions that are activated when a subject is directly stimulated with checkerboard reversal stimulation (In this case test subject 1 was stimulated but the pattern appeared in the brain of test subject 2 in the next room).

Download: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/StandishfMRI2003.pdf