Characteristic Alpha Reflects Predictive Anticipatory Activity (PAA) in an Auditory-Visual Task

  • Julia A. MossbridgeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10284)


Several lines of evidence suggest that humans can predict events that seem to be unpredictable through ordinary sensory means. After reviewing the literature in this controversial field, I present an exploratory EEG study that addresses this hypothesis. I used a pattern classification algorithm drawing on EEG data prior to stimulus presentation to successfully predict upcoming motor responses that were constrained by the upcoming stimulus. Both the phase of peak alpha activity and overall amplitude at ~550 ms prior to the presentation of the stimulus were useful in predicting the upcoming motor response. Although these results support the idea that brain activity may reflect precognitive processes in certain situations, due to the exploratory nature of this study, additional pre-registered confirmatory experiments are required before the results can be considered solid. Implications for creating a closed-loop predictive system based on human physiology are discussed.


Predictive anticipatory activity Presentiment Precognition Prospection EEG Alpha Auditory-visual 



Bial Foundation Bursary 141/10 supported this work. Also, thank you to Kyle Matthewson for creating and modifying the Matlab script to calculate alpha phase, and Satoru Suzuki, Marcia Grabowecky, and Ken Paller for office space, lab space, and financial support related to the completion of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Noetic SciencesPetalumaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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