I'd wager that most people have been doing something at work, at school, or at home that they weren't really supposed to be doing. Suddenly, you get a feeling that the thing you're not supposed to be doing is going to get you in trouble, and you quit doing it only seconds before your boss or parents walk into the room. Some believe that is premonition or the anticipation of an event before you have a conscious reason to know about it.
Researchers at Northwestern University claim that they have found evidence that premonition may actually exist. The researchers looked at the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010. The team of researchers acknowledges that the subconscious human mind sometimes knows more about the situation or environment than the conscious mind.
Lead author of the study Julia Mossbridge, a research associate in the Visual Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at the University, said that it remained unclear whether humans have the ability to predict future important events without clues as to what might be happening. The researchers used the example of a worker playing a video game at work.
In the example, the worker is able to shut down his video game and get back to work only seconds before his boss walks into the room. Mossbridge specifically says that she and her collaborators are not 100% confident that people are actually sensing the future. She says that she prefers to call the phenomenon "anomalous anticipatory activity."
"Our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your video game,” Mossbridge said. “You might even have a chance to open that spreadsheet you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room.”
“I like to call the phenomenon ‘anomalous anticipatory activity,’” she said. “The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can’t explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It’s anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it’s an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems.”