Current Studies

Title of Study: ESP and Motor Automatisms

Our aim in this study is to explore ESP in dissociated states of consciousness. The word “dissociation” is often linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), but all of us experience milder versions of it in everyday life. A simple example is keeping your car on the road while talking to the person sitting next to you. It is this more normal type of dissociation that we are interested in for the study.

What we are seeking to do is split participants’ consciousness into rational and intuitive components. The idea is to have the intuitive mind take the ESP test while the rational mind is kept from getting in the way. We will employ two procedures to accomplish this. The first (a version of a technique popular with Spiritualist trance mediums) is to distract the rational mind by having it read a series of quotations while the intuitive mind takes the ESP test. The second is to blank the rational mind while the intuitive mind takes the ESP test. Participants will be asked to apply one of these procedures based on random assignment. We also aim to facilitate the dissociation by inducing a meditation-like altered state of consciousness. We will accomplish this by having participants listen to a recorded progressive relaxation exercise.

The ESP task will consist of moving a pen around a grid divided into squares like a checkerboard. For each trial, the idea is that the intuitive mind will guide the participant’s hand to the square randomly selected by the computer as the target for the trial. There will be 36 trials in all. This type of performance is referred to in parapsychology as “motor automatism” because your body makes the guesses unaided (or, as I would put it, unhindered) by conscious thoughts or images. In parapsychology, the best example we have of a motor automatism is the “automatic writing” displayed with great success by the famous trance mediums of the late 19th and early 20th Century. A modern example is the Ouija board. Note, however, that the ESP test will in no way involve conjuring spirits.

What's Happening at the Rhine Lab?

A panel presentation by Jim Carpenter, Bill Joines, John Palmer and Christine Simmonds-Moore moderated by John Kruth recorded on December 3rd, 2010 at the Stedman Auditorium.

Are you interested in participating in Research at the Rhine Center?

Please sign up to be a member of the Rhine Research Center's participant pool. The Rhine Center will be running at least two research studies in the coming months. By registering as a research volunteer, your details will be forwarded to the research team, who will contact you when studies are about to commence. At this time, they will send you more details about the study, and if you are interested and available, arrange a convenient time for you to take part. Studies will take place at the Rhine Research Center, and can be organized around your schedule.










Mind Over Matter Study: Unexplained Physical Events Related to Crisis and Death, by Sally Rhine Feather, Ph.D., Christine Simmonds-Moore, Ph.D., and Jean Hamilton, M.D.

“Psychokinesis” (PK) was first studied in the early years of the Duke Parapsychology Lab when participants attempted to influence the outcome of falling dice by mental intention. Studies of PK have continued with more modern techniques at the Rhine Center and other laboratories around the world. However, except for the occasional poltergeist investigation, there has been little attention directed to PK experiences that occur spontaneously in everyday life.

Our present study is designed to learn more about the broad general range of possible spontaneous PK experiences. In the current phase of this study, our focus is on those unexplained physical events that seem to occur specifically around the time of crisis, death or near-death. Typical reports in our collection include the falling or breaking of objects, unusual noises, unexplained behavior of animals, or the malfunctioning of electronic equipment that occur around the time of a crisis, near-death, or death of a family member or loved one.

*** Research Participation Opportunity!*** If you have noted this type of unexplained physical event, we would very much appreciate hearing about your experiences by email or postal mail. All reports are confidential.  Please send your experiences to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by postal mail to:

Sally Rhine Feather, Ph.D. 
Rhine Research Center 
2741 Campus Walk Avenue,
Building 500 
Durham, NC 27705

Thank you for your help. 

Edd EdwardsDonations to the Bioenergy Research Lab (BRL) will allow the continued study of healers like Edd Edwards of Georgia with whom an unusual light emission pattern has been detected in preliminary tests. Over a period of many years Drs. Steve Baumann and Bill Joines of the Rhine Research Center have tested dozens of reported healers and control subjects, but Edd Edwards is only the third person found to show the emission of light within the ultra-violet and visible range of electromagnetic energy. Your donations to this project will enable further testing that may lead to a better understanding of the relationship between healing energy and light emissions.

To make a donation to support this project, please contact the Rhine Research Center by phone at (919) 309-4600 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and reference number 123. All donations should be addressed to:

Bioenergy Research Lab (BRL),
Rhine Research Center,
2741 Campus Walk Ave.,
Durham, NC 27705.

Donations addressed only to Edd Edwards or the Rhine Research Center may not be used solely for this project, so please use the correct address or reference number. Your assistance in this research is greatly appreciated.

A Study of Human Biofields by Bill Joines, Ph.D.

A variety of detectors, including those that can measure charge accumulation and electromagnetic emissions, are being used to study bio-energy healers, meditators and people who claim unusual effects on electrical equipment. This is a continuation of work originally begun at Duke University that is now being performed at The Rhine Center. It is funded by a grant from the Bial Foundation to  Bill Joines, Ph.D. Notices will be posted on the Rhine Center website when there is a need for research participants.

Implicit PSI: A Study on the Hidden Part That Extrasensory Processes Play in Everyday Experiences by Jim Carpenter, Ph.D.

What unconscious processes affect our esthetic preferences? This study examines how both extrasensory and subliminal influences act upon our experience of liking or disliking things, and looks at how these two sources of potential influence work together in the unconscious mind. This study will present participants with both types of unconscious material and at the same time evoke a heightened interest in the material in some cases. Certain dimensions of personality will also be assessed, as they are expected to affect both types of unconscious influence. The expectations of the study are drawn from the author's First Sight model of psi functioning, and represent an attempt to elaborate that model empirically. This research is conducted by Jim Carpenter, Ph.D. and supported by the BIAL Foundation. Notices will be posted on the Rhine Center website when there is a need for research participants.