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The winner of the sixth annual Charles T. and Judith A. Tart Student Incentive Award for Parapsychological Research is Luis Espinoza Paul.

Luis Espinoza PaulThe 2008 recipient of the Tart Student Incentive Award is Luis Espinoza Paul, a post-graduate student at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima, Peru. Mr. Espinoza Paul has been active in parapsychology since his undergraduate days and has contributed to parapsychology conferences in both Brazil and Argentina, as well as to Alejandro Parra’s E-Boletín PSI. He is interested in hypnosis, drug dependence and hallucinations and their relationship to psi, as well as in the development of scientific parapsychology in Peru.

The project the Tart Award will fund is called “Effects of Ayahuasca on Psi Phenomena Production: A Psychological and Parapsychological Study.” An exploratory project, Espinoza’s main goal is to discover whether “ayahuasca,” a psychoactive beverage that results from the trituration and cooking of two plants, Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis, can enhance psi performance on a GESP free-response task. Twenty participants will be included, 10 of whom will be in the “Ayahuasca Group,” completing their psi task in shamanic sessions under the influnce of Ayahuasca, and the remaining 10 will be members of the all-volunteer, non-shamanic “Control Group.” All participants will complete the following instruments: Betts Vividness of Imagery Scale, Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale, Barrett’s Hallucinations Questionnaire, Dissociation Experiences Scale, Tellegen Absorption Scale, Creative Experiences Questionnaire, Eysenck Personality Inventory, Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire, and a Paranormal Experiences scale. The psi task will be a double-blind, free-response General Extrasensory Perception (GESP) test using the Ganzfeld technique and a “pool” of 400 randomized color photographs as targets. The purpose of the experiment will be to determine whether any individual obtained significant results and to compare the results obtained by the experimental group to the control group. Psychological and parapsychological instruments will be analyzed both to establish the psychological profiles of each group and to determine whether any relationship exists between the scale scores and the scores on the psi task.

The Parapsychology Foundation congratulates Mr. Espinoza Paul!

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