The Lady Vampire Episode of Paranormal State
The Lady Vampire episode of Paranormal States successfully used a Paranormal Shakti headset (referring to it as a "Shakti Helmet") to enhance their psychic's ability to connect with a ghost. There is some precedent for using this technology this way. It's predecessor, the Koren Helmet, was used in a case study with one individual who also was successful in feeling the presence of a ghost.
The paranormal state effort with this technology, though marred by criticisms that it was 'scripted', and wasn't really 'reality television', was interesting in that it was the first use of the technology for this purpose in the field.
This was the first use of this technology as a 'ghostbusting' tool, and it's success creates new possibilitites for the whole field of paranormal investigation. There is a system optimized for Paranormal Investigations, and paranormal investigators and ghostbusting crews
There was an error in the discussion during that episode. The crew mistakenly referred to the the Shakti System as working with EMF emissions. It's doesn't. It outputs magnetic fields.
Not only is this in error, but it's also ambiguous for non-technicians in that EMF has several meanings and connotations. (More information)
The Lady Vampire episode included their investigator retching after making contact with the entity, and some people who saw it prior to it's being broadcast drew a mistaken conclusion. Vomiting has happened with contact with negative spirits (whether they are from within the mind or not). It has not been associated with complex magnetic signal technology. Even coincidental incidents amount to about 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent). If we were talking about a single person in time instead of many people in space, it would be like you throwing up once every three and a half years. (Of course, this glosses over the difference between people with sensitive stomachs and others, but it makes the numbers a little easier for people with fewer math skills to understand)
"During the last 20 years of research involving more than an estimated 1,500 volunteers we have never had an episode of vomiting following or associated with DAC (The DAC is the first complex magnetic signal neural stimulation apparatus) procedures. It is highly unlikely given the EEG data we collected for Shakti that it could generate conditions that would encourage emesis." Dr. M.A. Persinger - Personal communication, 2008
The trailer for the Lady Vampire showed Ryan (the investigator who used Shakti) saying that Shakti was much more powerful that he expected. In all probability, the local environment contributed to his very powerful experience, as well as the quiet state of the geomagnetic field. (Geomagnetic quiet contributes to paranormal experiences, according to the Tectonic strain theory of unusual events. link)
The show's crew noted the geomagnetic level at the time of the session shown in the "Lady Vampire" episode, and reported it to Shakti tech support. The geomagnetic levels were low; one of the optimum conditions for effective use of complex magnetic signal technology in paranormal research. You can check the current Geomagnetic levels HERE.
In addition to making good use of the earth's magnetic field, the session was done between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., when melatonin levels are at their peak. If Ryan were having a normal night, he would have been asleep at that time. The chemical environment in his brain, following daily rhythms, would have predisposed him to altered states of consciousness. Dr. M.A. Persinger, who developed the first generation of complex magnetic signal technology, and pioneered the research into the brain's role in the experience of God, has done most of the laboratory sessions at night, though some studies, more related to mood, are done in the daytime.
The specific session design used in the Lady Vampire Episode consisted of a magnetic field whose shape changes every few milliseconds (by changing it's amplitude) to match the EEG (electroencephalogram) signature of burst-firing from the amygdala, a deep brain part with very social and emotional functions. In the Shakti software, the signal is simply called the "Amygdala Signal". In Dr. Persinger's research on paranormal (and other) themes, the signal is called "Burstx".
Dr. Persinger's research on paranormal themes has included "Visitor Experiences" (in which a person is visited by a seemingly non-physical being) and the experience of a 'sensed presence' (23 references).