The

Science

Intuition as a measure of Mindfulness

The world seems to be more than ever on track to be ruled by AI, with rationality as the basis for decision making. Rationality is anchored in the past and present. Intuition on the other hand is a unique human skill that help human see ahead of time, help us be innovative and to some extend predict and prepare for the future. Would AI have been able to produce a Steve Job? an Albert Einstein? Einstein believe that intuition was everything. We believe that too. 

 

 

Mindfulness cannot be measured:

Mindfulness is mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment. Mindfulness is being fully conscious of our thoughts and our bodily sensations. The ability to detect subtle changes in bodily systems, including muscles, skin, joints, and viscera is call Interoception. A mindful state is only attainable with a fully functional interoceptive system. Yet there is no direct measure of mindfulness. Recent research have focused on intuition a measure of mindfulness. Gut feeling or the ability to “sense the future” or “pre-sentiment” has been termed Predictive Anticipatory Activity or PAA. PAA is specifically an unconscious process, more exactly an unconscious physiological reactions to a future event and as such it cannot be consciously sensed. The main characteristic PAA is that the anticipation of future events is fundamentally based on the ability to detect minute subconscious bodily reactions. While measuring Mindfulness is impossible, PAA or Intuition is an observable variable and therefore is scientifically measurable.

 

Intuition as a measure of Mindfulness:

There have been over 40 scientific experiments – most of them statistically conclusive, investigating PAA in humans over the past 39 years (Mossbridge, 2012). Predictive Anticipatory Activity is detected by measuring the autonomic body reaction ahead of time of an event.

Intuitive people are Mindful people:

Most of the time emotions act in the background, undetected, and impact our cognitive process without us being aware. In fact, our attention, engagement, memory and actions are constantly sway by even very small emotions. In a Mindful state we are fully conscious of our emotion and more able to feel minute subconscious signals, such as subconscious bodily reaction linked to PAA. Hence the more mindful the more intuitive we are. 

How does IntuitionPro work?:

The app uses a selection of images from the Nencki Affective Picture System (NAPS). Each image induces a specific emotional states. The app simulates a series of choices in the form of quizzes. Four emotion inducing images are displayed for 10 seconds. An algorithm select an image at random and displays it for 5 further seconds. The device scientifically measures, monitors and records GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) levels – a measure of subconscious body reactions. The devices is highly sensitive and can record different emotional levels linked to the outcome of the quiz. A right answer will show a higher galvanic (emotional) level than a wrong answer - or the other way around according to how you are 'wired". Some people will have stronger emotional reaction to a right answer, some to a wrong answer. Interestingly these levels are also very much identical in the "intuitive zone" that is the 10 second when we have to make the decision. This confirmed that our subconscious has already anticipated the event. The difference between the right or wrong level in the intuitive zone is the intuition score. The higher this number the more likely you are to be able to feel the difference between a right or a wrong choice. Gradually you will be able to consciously feel these level and choose the right answer. As you gain in mindfulness, your intuition score should improve, and hence your predictive anticipatory skills. 

 

Mindfulness, Intuition and Decision making:

A study by a multidisciplinary team from Cambridge Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, University College London and Cardiff University used a simple guessing game to show that people with better interoceptive skills had much higher predictive ability than people with lower interoceptive ability. In the game participants were shown one card and asked to choose one deck out of four decks of cards and guessed if their card would be the same color as the upturned card or would be a different colour. Participants more in tune with their bodily reaction were found to be better at guessing a seemingly random future event. The authors suggested that knowing when to trust and when to disregard such “gut feelings” may be linked to how some of us make optimal choices at key crossroad in life. 

 PRODUCTS 

THE EXISTENCE OF PREDICTIVE ANTICIPATORY ACTIVITY (PAA)

Tressoldi, P. E., Martinelli, M., Zaccaria, E., & Massaccessi, S. (2009). Implicit intuition: how the heart rate can contribute to prediction of future events. Journal of the Society for psychical research, 73(894), 1.

Tressoldi, P. E., Martinelli, M., Zaccaria, E., & Massaccessi, S. (2009). Implicit intuition: how the heart rate can contribute to prediction of future events. Journal of the Society for psychical research, 73(894), 1.

Tressoldi, P. E., Martinelli, M., Zaccaria, E., & Massaccessi, S. (2009). Implicit intuition: how the heart rate can contribute to prediction of future events. Journal of the Society for psychical research, 73(894), 1.

Bem, D. J. (2011). Feeling the future: experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect. Journal of personal and social psychology, 100(3), 407.

Tressoldi, P. E., Martinelli, M., Zaccaria, E., & Massaccessi, S. (2009). Implicit intuition: how the heart rate can contribute to prediction of future events. Journal of the Society for psychical research, 73(894), 1.

Radin, D. I. (1997). Unconscious perception of future emotions: An experience in presentiment. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11(2), 163- 180.

PREDICTIVE ANTICIPATORY ACTIVITY CAN BE IMPROVED!

McCraty, R.,& Atkinson, M. (2014). Electrophysiology of intuition: pre-stimulus responses in group and individual participants using a Roulette paradigm. Global advances in health and medicine, 3(2), 16- 27.

" Findings also suggest that if participants had been able to become more attuned to their internal physiological responses, they would have performed much better on the betting choices they made."

Why are humans equipped with such predictive ability? 

 

Not much is known on the why nor the how of PAA but a potential explanation is that unconscious processes are much faster processes than conscious processes. In his book “thinking fast and slow Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics laureate Daniel Kahneman explains as human we have two modes of thought: "System 1" is fast, instinctive and emotional while "System 2" is slower, deliberative and rational. Such ability to quickly scan and sense the environment ahead of time may have developed as a lifesaving skill at a time when the world was much more unpredictable. Knutson, B. and Bossaerts findings (2007) suggests that humans may use the same neural machinery to surf the stock exchange that they once used to rummage the savannah (Olds and Fobes, 1981; Schultz et al., 1997). Although ancient, that mechanism has survived evolution and deliver fast, flexible, finely tuned, and fundamental input to our daily decisions.​ ​

 

Can PAA be explained scientifically?
​The answer is that to date there are only attempts, but still no proven scientific explanation of the phenomenon. Einstein’ special theory of relativity posits that “past” and “future” are observer-dependent and that there is no order of events (Einstein, 1920). Surfing on this theory Mossbridge postulates that  “ some physiological processes, which are often not conscious, have access to events that seem to our conscious awareness to occur in the “future” (Mossbridge et al. 2012; Mossbridge et al. 2014).

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