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Reassessment of an independent verification of psychophysical interactions with a double-slit interference pattern

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In an independent analysis of data from a double-slit experiment designed to investigate von Neumann-like psychophysical interactions, Baer [Phys. Essays 28, 47 (2015)] concluded that shifts in interference pattern minima showed a small but consistent effect in alignment with what we had previously reported. But because the standard deviation of those measurements was large compared with the mean, Baer concluded that the optical system was not sufficiently sensitive to provide convincing evidence of a psychophysical effect. However, this type of assessment should rely on standard error, not standard deviation. When the proper statistic is employed, Baer's calculations show a modest but statistically significant deviation of the central minima in data contributed by human observers (p = 0.05, one-tail), but not in sessions contributed by robot “observers” (p = 0.26, one-tail). In addition, when considering the central minimum along with eight other minima, the human-observed grand mean was significantly larger than the robot-observed grand mean (p = 0.008). Thus, Baer's independent analysis confirmed that the optical apparatus used in this experiment was indeed sensitive enough to provide evidence for a psychophysical effect.
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Keywords: Consciousness; Double-Slit Experiment; Quantum Measurement Problem; von Neumann

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 10, 2015

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  • Physics Essays has been established as an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in Physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of Physics. The Journal's mandate is to publish rigorous and methodological examinations of past, current, and advanced concepts, methods and results in physics research. Physics Essays dedicates itself to the publication of stimulating exploratory, and original papers in a variety of physics disciplines, such as spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, particle physics, electromagnetic theory, astrophysics, space physics, mathematical methods in physics, plasma physics, philosophical aspects of physics, chemical physics, and relativity.
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