I’m not the biggest believer in the paranormal. I think most esoteric topics are interesting — time travel and witchcraft seem to be my current favorites — but I also think they usually have a rational, scientific explanation. That doesn’t mean weird things don’t happen.
Take the “sixth sense,” for example. I have no doubt people are occasionally able to sense or feel things they logically shouldn’t. Some would argue it’s just chance or selective memory, but I’m not so sure.
Case in point: A new analysis covering 26 studies, published in Frontiers In Perception Science, seems to confirm that humans possess an uncanny ability to “sense the future.”
It’s called presentiment, an intuitive feeling of the near future.
“Test subjects in the studies exhibited significant changes in cardio and brain waves as well as electrical measurements in their skin up to 10 seconds prior to experiencing randomly chosen stimuli…suggesting that the subjects somehow anticipated they were about to see something that would provoke a sensory response.”
This doesn’t mean people are psychic, of course. It could be related to perfectly normal biological processes, another form of instinct.
I’ve also read theories that humans, and other living creatures, may experience a kind of sensory latency, in which we don’t actually experience the universe in “real time.” This would mean there’s a slight delay between physical actions and our ability to sense the world on a conscious level — our instinct knows before we do. That’d open a whole pandora’s box involving the existence of free will, though, and I have absolutely nothing to back that up with.
But it’s something to consider. You can read the full study here.