Syncing up

From “The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life” by Lisa Miller, PhD

Beginning in 1987, Dr. Jacobo Grinberg, a neuropsychologist at the University of Mexico, ran a series of experiments that began the same way: Two people would sit in a room together and meditate for twenty minutes, intentionally focusing on establishing a strong bond. Then they were sent to separate, electromagnetically shielded rooms where Grinberg took different measurements of their brain activity. For example, he examined EEG readouts and found that after the participants had intentionally bonded, their brain-wave patterns would begin to sync up even though they were in separate rooms with no way to communicate. In another version of the experiment, once the meditators were in separate, shielded rooms, the lab tech flashed a bright light in one participant’s eyes. The one hundred random flashes of light were visible on the EEG readout as sudden spikes or shocks.

Fascinatingly, when Grinberg compared the two EEGs – one from the participant who had been exposed to the flashes of light and one from the participant in the separate, shielded room – he discovered that the brain-wave shocks correlated 25 percent of the time. The participant who had not been exposed to the flashes of light still mentally registered a quarter of the time the flashes that were physically registered by the other participant. It appeared that the electrical activity of one brain was passing simultaneously into the other brain with no electrical connection or conventional signal being passed between the two. The overlap was much too significant to be explained merely by chance. By what mechanism was information being shared between the two brains? It was as though the two brains were in some way one brain – simultaneously separate and united.