A meta-analysis came out recently:
- Julia Mossbridge, Patrizio Tressoldi and Jessica Utts, Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: a meta-analysis, Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 3, 2012, DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00390.
It was authored and reviewed by researchers from reputable universities and the consensus appears to be that premonition to randomized stimuli is possible and reproducible.
This meta-analysis of 26 reports published between 1978 and 2010 tests an unusual hypothesis: for stimuli of two or more types that are presented in an order designed to be unpredictable and that produce different post-stimulus physiological activity, the direction of pre-stimulus physiological activity reflects the direction of post-stimulus physiological activity, resulting in an unexplained anticipatory effect
This is of interest because it goes counter to standard conceptions of cause and effect. The question is, where is the problem with this paper? Or must we take this as evidence of a novel phenomenon?
The best explanation I have come up with is that when there are various unreported biases and errors in studies of this type they tend to accumulate in favor of the appearance of predictive prestimulus effects. I am interested whether a more satisfactory explanation is possible however since this is not a very satisfying refutation and could easily be erroneous.