Our Bodies Can Predict The Future!

People’s bodies know a big event is coming just before it happens, at least according to a new study.

If true, the research, published Oct. 17 in the journal Frontiers of Perception, suggests something fundamental about the laws of nature has yet to be discovered.

“The claim is that events can be predicted without any cues,” said Julia Mossbridge, a Northwestern University neuroscientist who co-authored the study. “This evidence suggests the effect is real but small. So the question is: How does it work?”

Other scientists are skeptical of this interpretation, however. They suggest some bias in which studies get published could play a role in seeing an effect where there is none.

Real effect?

Many studies have shown that physical responses including heart rate, pupil dilation and brain activity change between one and 10 seconds before people see a scary image (like a slithering snake). In most of these experiments, frightening pictures were randomly interspersed with more-neutral ones, so that in theory participants didn’t have any clues about which photo would pop up next. But because the finding seemed so unnatural, those studies were understandably met with skepticism.

To see whether the effect was real, Mossbridge and her team analyzed over two dozen of these studies. As part of the analysis, they threw out any experiments in which they saw bias or flaws.

They still found a “presentiment” effect, in which measures of physiological excitement changed seconds before an event. The finding suggests that people’s bodies subconsciously sense the future when something important is about to happen, even if the people don’t know it.

For instance, if you were a day-trader betting lots of money on one stock, “10 seconds beforehand you might predict your stock tanking,” Mossbridge told LiveScience.

The paper doesn’t claim that people are psychic or have supernatural or paranormal powers. Instead, the authors believe presentiment is a real, physical effect that obeys natural laws — just ones that nobody understands, Mossbridge said. [Infographic: Belief in the Paranormal]

Researchers skeptical

But others doubt presentiment exists at all.

While the statistical methods used in the study are sound, that doesn’t mean presentiment is real, said Rufin VanRullen, a cognitive scientist at the Center for Research on the Brain and Cognition, in an email.

“All it means is that there is a statistical trend for scientists who search for these so-called presentiment effects to actually find them,” wrote VanRullen, who was not involved in the study.

Instead, it’s more likely that the experiments are biased, perhaps unintentionally, in a way the study authors missed, Kyle Elliott Mathewson, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said via email.

It’s also possible that scores of researchers looked for this result, failed to find it and forgot all about it, added Mathewson, who like VanRullen wasn’t involved in the study. Those studies would never be published, he said, so the overall effect in the published studies would be biased.

According to the researchers, in order for such bias to explain their results, at least 87 other unpublished studies would need to show no effect.

“Between psychology labs and parapsychology investigations, I can imagine this many failed experiments that go unreported easily,” Mathewson wrote.



  • This is weird because I have predicted that a fire alarm would go off whilst on holiday without having any cue that it would. It was just a feeling which at the time i dismissed as me being daft, that was until the fire alarm went off the next morning.

  • I actuly practice this sometimes, and 90% of the time my ‘guess’ wat right!

  • No kidding. Does this have anything to do with me waking up exactly a minute before my morning alarm goes off?

  • I “felt” my boyfriend was going to dump me a month before it happened, does it count? Lol

  • I honestly have no clue… XD

  • Can’t be true. Most drivers would have stopped or slowed down just before an accident.

    • They are saying the body is predicting something is about to happen. You don’t consciously know anything nor did the people in the studies. The body reacted ahead of time and the you never even noticed. Like how cats and dogs who never go out all of a sudden get scared or hide when something bad is about to happen. Maybe they are more in tune with their bodily functions where as we don’t notice these tiny things. So a drivers body might tense up and pupils start to dilate but the driver would not notice a damn thing.

  • You know that sense when you feel someone approaches to you,it happens to me all the time and its very weird,at least i never get scared like that

  • I belive that there is something behind this. My theory is that the electric neuro receptors in our brains subconciously detect radiation from everyday devices such as a mobile phone. Thus time to time, making us randomly pick up our phones for no paticular reason and seconds later recive a call or a text. But its only just a theory

  • This doesn’t surprise me, you know. Great to see it validated, though entirely believable.

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