Psychic Animals

Something from the vaults: it is: Dogs are not psychic. Ohh well I kinda thought they had a chance. Here's the originial report (scanned pdf) from the Army, it's pretty interesting actually. And here's a summary from the webpage:

In the early 1950s, Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine, based at Duke University, was the foremost researcher in the field of parapsychology, or, using the term he coined: "extrasensory perception." The Army hired Rhine and his Parapsychology Laboratory to research the possibility of using dogs and other animals to detect buried landmines.

The final report for one such contract with Duke University, dated 10 July 1953, remained classified as Confidential for more than 50 years, until it was recently declassified after a long, laborious process. It took ten separate offices five years to clear this short report for release.

The narrative report describes a series of experiments involving German shepherds trying to locate buried landmines. The results appeared promising but also suggested that at least some of the positive results were attributable to the dogs' remarkable sense of smell. The report also examines the possibility of ESP in cats and pigeons.

Rhine was the first to attempt a scientific investigation of paranormal phenomena of this type, and many of his experimental results have been attacked as being the result of a general lack of stringent experimental controls and the possible falsification of records by his laboratory assistants.

There are a number of other sites on psychic dogs around, a bbc report, some stuff about Jim the psychic dog, etc etc

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While much of the work in the Parapsychology Department at Duke and elsewhere went nowhere (or even debunked the claims), some of the funding went to pioneering studies in circadian rhythms, celestial navigation and animal magnetoreception which are now "normal" kinds of research in Biology departments.

I mentioned that here:

The male-centered culture ensured that best and brightest male students got into the biggest, most popular labs, leaving the female candidates with remnants - working with some semi-crazy professor in the basement who is doing some weird semi-scientific stuff. It is a big risk, but if that crazy professor is onto something revolutionary, the final payback can be huge. Until the 1960s, chronobiology was regarded as weird stuff. Gustav Kramer was partially funded by Duke University Department of Parapsychology! It was as far in the left field as you could get in science. It was the daring loners who did the best of the earliest stuff, not the thousands of mainstream scientists involved in doing regular science of the day in big laboratories.

I asked my dog to read my mind as test.

He looked at me with a blank stare and said nothing.

Definitve empirical test for sure.

How about the English researcher who video taped the owner's trip to town and her dog's behavior, simultaneously. The owner did not follow any routine or plan, and spontaneously decided to leave town and return home after being out for several hours. At the exact moment of getting up from the restaurant table to return home, the dog got up and went to the front door and waited there ubtil the owner walked into the house. Verified in several experiments.

By Arthur M Wells (not verified) on 05 Jan 2007 #permalink

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Millionaire Richard Quick, Esq.