Mind-Matter Interactions and the Frontal Lobes of the Brain
Morris Freedman*1,2,3, Malcolm Binns3,4, Stephen Strother3,15, Fuqiang Gao8 , Antonino Vallesi6 , Stanley Jeffers14, Claude Alain3,5, Peter Whitehouse12, Austyn Roseborough8 , Melissa Holmes8 , Jennifer Ryan3,5,11, Robert Chen1,13, Michael Cusimano9,10 & Sandra Black1,3,7,8

1. Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto
2. Baycrest Health Sciences
3. Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre
4. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
5. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
6. Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova
7. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
8. LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit and Hurvitz Brain Science Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
9. Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto
10. St. Michael’s Hospital
11. Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
12. Case Western Reserve University
13. Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network
14. Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University
15. Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto

Introduction: Our work is based on a novel neurobiological model of psi suggesting that frontal brain systems related to self-awareness may inhibit this phenomenon. Evolutionary benefits for inhibiting psi may be to prevent constant bombardment with irrelevant stimuli that divert attention away from environmental events critical for survival. Thus humans may have innate psi abilities that are suppressed by the frontal lobes. In support of this concept, we previously reported significant mind-matter interactions in a participant with left frontal damage that may have released psi abilities. The task was to influence output of a Random Event Generator (REG) translated into movement of an arrow on a computer screen to right or left. The participant showed a significant effect in moving the arrow to the right, i.e., opposite to the side of his brain damage, but not to the left or in the baseline condition in which he was instructed not to concentrate on moving a bar on the screen. His damage was most extensive in the left medial middle frontal region, an area prominently related to self-awareness. 24 59th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association & 35th Society for Scientific Exploration Annual Conference Abstracts Continued Methods: To expand previous findings, we studied mind-matter interactions using the same methodology in a participant with fronto temporal dementia, a disorder associated with bilateral frontal lobe damage and reduced self-awareness. Control REG data was collected immediately after each experimental run. Brain MRI was analyzed to determine frontal volume loss. We also examined mind-matter interactions in healthy volunteers with low (n=2) vs high (n=2) self-awareness based on the Self-Consciousness Scale-Revised. Results: Frontal Brain Disorder Planned comparisons showed a significant effect for intention to move the arrow to the right compared to control data (p=0.03) but not to the left (p=0.22). There was no significant effect on the baseline condition (p=0.95). On volumetric brain MRI analysis, regions showing significant volume loss compared to a normative sample included left (p=0.0006) and right (p=0.007) medial middle frontal areas after a Benjamini-Hochberg procedure for multiple comparisons. Effect sizes (zcc) for brain volume loss were 3.8 in left and 2.9 in right medial middle frontal regions, suggesting that right-sided damage may have been insufficiently extensive to significantly influence arrow movement to the left. Healthy Participants: For low self-awareness participants, effect sizes for influencing REG output were larger, although not statistically significant, for left intention in both cases and right intention in one. Effects were in direction of intention for right intention in both cases and left intention in one. Effect sizes (right, left) were (0.004, 0.012), (0.02, -0.01) (positive=direction of intention). Effect sizes for high self-awareness participants were (0.006, 0.003), (0.002, -0.005). Conclusions: Our findings support the concept that the frontal lobes inhibit mind-matter interactions, perhaps better termed “brain-matter interactions” and that the inhibitory mechanisms may relate to self-awareness. Critical psi inhibitory brain regions may include the left medial middle frontal lobe. Studying patients with medial middle frontal brain lesions, and normal volunteers with relatively reduced self awareness, may facilitate psi research through selection of psi-enriched populations, and may maximize likelihood of detecting psi effects under well-controlled experimental conditions.