From: The Advertiser 1988, July 16, p. 1
Ghostly visions 'are all in the mind'
BRISBANE — A
Brisbane study has found that people do see ghosts — but it's more
likely to be their minds playing tricks than evidence of the
The study, by
neurological researcher Dr Thomas Mayze, found that ghost sightings
were normal hallucinations produced as a result of prolonged
concentration or sensory deprivation.
Dr Mayze is a consulting psychiatrist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Brisbane's south side.
His team recently completed a study of 24 ghost sightings by Brisbane people, a hospital statement said.
"We were not concerned with the question of whether ghosts existed.
"Rather we were
looking at the circumstances surrounding the sightings and we found
that there was a high correlation between the processes under which
ghosts are seen and other perceptual experiences," Dr Mayse said.
people often have hallucinations when they have been concentrating on
something for a long time. Students working at their books might
register a movement on the floor, glance up and be sure they saw a
mouse scurrying for cover."
"That's a normal hallucination," he said.
Dr Mayze said a person's mind would choose the image of a ghost if the subconscious encouraged it.
He said people
also had hallucinations when their minds experienced sensory
deprivation because their mind was starved of stimulation for long
periods — citing desert mirages as an example.
The fact that
ghosts were usually seen in human form and clothed, but often without
legs or feet and floating around above the ground, could be the mind
revealing memories of our earliest experiences, such as seeing humans
leaning over us as babies in our cots or cribs.