In 1977, the philosopher Nelson Goodman asked psychologists Paul Kolers and Michael von Grunau what would happen if, in the PHI phenomenon, the two illuminated spots were of different colours. This was so simple but revolutionary that the two psychologists immediately set up an experiment. They had a good idea of what to expect; either that two flashing spots would replace the single spot, or an illusory spot would change from one colour to another working its way through all the hues between. What actually happened was astounding. Two different coloured spots were illuminated for 150 milliseconds each (with a 50-millisecond interval); the first spot seemed to begin moving and then change colour abruptly in the middle of its illusory passage toward the second location. Goodman wondered:
How are we able to fill in the spot at the intervening place-times along a path running from the first and second flash before the second flash occurs?
For Daniel Dennett the mind somehow holds back the full perception of this experience until it is fully understood. The colour change is experienced by consciousness after the exercise has been completed. Dennett says:
Suppose the first spot is red and the second, displaced, spot is green. Unless there is ‘precognition’ in the brain (an extravagant hypothesis we will postpone indefinitely), the illusory content, red switching to-green-in-midcourse cannot be created until after some identification of the second, green spot occurs in the brain. But if the second spot is already ‘in conscious experience’ would it not be too late to interpose the illusory content between the conscious experience of the red spot and the conscious experience of the green spot? How does the brain accommodate this sleight of hand?
I suggest that this proof that the brain 'buffers', and therefore by implication, 'records' sensory information before it is presented to consciousness. In this way I believe that I show how it can be that at the point of death a full recording of ones life can be re-shown as the 'Panoramic Life Review' as it is termed by NDE researchers.
On-line is a fascinating example of how the PHI phenomenon actually works. Follow this link and check it out:
Let me know what you think.