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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)

versão impressa ISSN 0101-6083


MOREIRA-ALMEIDA, Alexander. Scientific research on mediumship and mind-brain relationship: reviewing the evidence. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2013, vol.40, n.6, pp.233-240. ISSN 0101-6083.

BACKGROUND: Mediumship, an experience widespread throughout human history, can be defined as an experience in which an individual (the so-called medium) purports to be in communication with, or under the control of, a deceased personality or other non-material being. Since the 19th Century there is a substantial, but neglected tradition of scientific research about mediumship and its implications for the nature of mind. OBJECTIVE: To discuss the historical and current importance of mediumship to the mind-brain problem, focusing on studies investigating the origins, the sources of mediumistic communications. METHODS This paper starts discussing what would be evidence for personal identity and its persistence beyond the brain, then empirical evidence provided by studies on mediumship are presented and analyzed, including a more detailed analysis of two very productive mediums: Mrs. Leonora Piper and Chico Xavier. RESULTS: Old and recent well controlled studies suggest that mediums can exhibit skills and knowledge unlikely to have been acquired by ordinary means and compatible with deceased personalities. DISCUSSION: Applying contemporary research methods to mediumistic experiences may provide a badly needed broadening and diversification of the empirical basis needed to advance our understanding of the mind-body problem.

Palavras-chave : Mediumship; spiritual experiences; religion and psychology; mind-brain relationships; psychophysiology; consciousness.

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