IONS is pleased to announce the inaugural winners of the Linda G. O’Bryant Noetic Sciences Research Prize! The $100,000 award was shared equally amongst the following three winners, listed alphabetically by author:

Seeing Without Eyes

Alex Gomez-Marin

The prevailing scientific belief is that the mind arises solely from brain activity, ignoring anomalous  phenomena like ‘extra-ocular vision’ (EOV) – the ability to see without physical eyes. This research proposal sets out to defy conventional wisdom through meticulously designed experiments seeking to demonstrate and quantify EOV, particularly in individuals who are blind. Drawing inspiration from Jamesian theories of brain function, which posit that the brain facilitates consciousness rather than produces it, this study endeavors to unveil the profound depth of human existence beyond the confines of the brain. By shedding light on the enigmatic connection between mind and matter, the proposal aims to unveil the pivotal role the brain plays in bridging these realms, unraveling the true essence of what it means to be human.

Conscious Agents and the Subatomic World

Donald David Hoffman, Chetan Prakash, and Benjamin Knepper

The boundaries of our understanding are expanding, challenging traditional notions of reality. Mathematical structures like amplituhedra and decorated permutations have emerged as potentially more significant than the traditional concept of spacetime. In this model, consciousness takes center stage as fundamental, with conscious agents interacting through Markovian dynamics, shaping spacetime as a dynamic interface. To validate this bold hypothesis, a computational experiment is proposed, aiming to demonstrate how the dynamics of these conscious agents can predict the intricate distribution and behavior of quarks and gluons across diverse spatial and temporal scales. This paradigm-shifting proposal opens new doors to unravel the mysteries of our universe and invites us to reevaluate our place within it.

Detecting Deviations from Random Activity as Indications of Consciousness Beyond the Brain

Dr. Wolfhardt Janu, Dr. Vasileios Basios, Dr. Pier Francesco Moretti, Dr. Peter Merry, Dr. Annette Grathoff, and Professor Vicente Arraez

These researchers propose that consciousness extends beyond the brain, interacting with the physical world beyond spacetime. Using Organized Random Event Generators (OREGs), they detect measurable disturbances known as non-local synchronicities. The “Ritual series” experiment explores ritual-related patterns, while the “ICU/Hospice series” connects OREGs to patient rooms, expecting synchronized data with significant events. This proposal provides insightful perspectives on the profound relationship between consciousness and the physical world, reshaping our understanding of existence.