ESP – Fact or Fiction?


ESP (extrasensory perception)
noun \ˌē-ˌes-ˈpē\ apparent power to perceive things that are not present to the senses

When we think about ESP, what are the terms that come to mind? Paranormal ability? Science fiction? Mystery? Sixth sense?

ESP, or extrasensory perception, is believed to be one of the right brain’s many abilities, hence ESP exercises are part of right brain training classes at Shichida and Heguru. Frankly speaking, I have always been skeptical of this aspect of right brain training. C’s class back then did not have any ESP exercises, so I had always listened to the testimonials of Shichida mummies with a tinge of disbelief. Photographic memory (another ability of the right brain), I can accept. Sensing colours through touch? Looking through cards? My scientifically-trained mind struggled with such concepts. Not logical, not possible.

Then G started Heguru. And proved me wrong. The rate at which he got the answers correct was too much of a coincidence.

In a bid to understand a little bit more on this “mysterious ability” and its connection to the right brain, I have bought and recently completed reading “Right Brain Education in Infancy” by Dr Makoto Shichida.

About Dr Makoto Shichida
For those who are not familiar with the name, he is the founder of the Shichida Method, one of the most famous and popular schools for right brain education in Japan and worldwide. His research in brain development and education has changed the way we approach learning in young children.

Dr Shichida’s theory
In his book, Dr Shichida explains some of his theories on the faculties of the right brain, which has not been fully understood. This includes the mysterious ability known as ESP.

Dr Shichida theorizes that the five senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste are controlled consciously by the left brain, but subconsciously by the right brain. Thus, in fact, the “sixth sense” should not be referred to as ESP, but rather the same five senses governed by the right brain on a different scale. Using the right brain, we are able to “see”, “hear”, “smell”, “feel” or “taste” hidden objects.

In quantum physics, scientists have succeeded in analysing objects at a subatomic level.  In their studies, they have discovered that the most fundamental particles vibrate. In other words, all objects on earth emit energy waves (think x-ray, MRI or CT scans, which make use of this theory to perform medical analysis). To explain the ESP ability in humans, Dr Shichida states that the human cells are in fact receptacles of such resonance, and by tuning our senses to interpret these frequencies, we are able to perceive what was previously unknown.


5 categories of ESP
ESP can be broken down into 5 categories: telepathy, clairvoyance, tactility, precognition and telekinesis.

  • Telepathy is the transmission of information from one person to another without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interaction.
  • Clairvoyance refers to the ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses.
  • Tactility refers to the ability to guess the letter or symbol on the card by touch.
  • Precognition is also known as the ability to foretell the future.
  • Telekinesis is the ability to cause something physical to happen by willing it.

Heguru class includes exercises for all of the above except telekinesis. Some examples of activities:

  • Telepathy: The teacher tells the students that she will be sending them an image of a shape. Given a few different cards, the students are supposed to pick the correct one based on the image they receive in their mind.
  • Clairvoyance: A card is placed face-down on the board. By concentrating on the card, the students attempt to “see” through the card.
  • Tactility: The students are given two objects in an opaque bag, e.g. a blue spoon and an orange spoon. They are told that when they touch the blue spoon, they will taste water, and orange will give the taste of orange juice. The students need to guess the correct colour of the object by touch, and “tasting” the object.
  • Precognition: The teacher gives a few cards with different coloured squares. The student is to guess the colour facing up on a cube thrown by the teacher (there are different colours on each side of the cube).

Why ESP?
I had wondered why G had to do ESP exercises – I was not looking to train him to become a mindreader when I sent him for right brain classes. In his book, Dr Shichida explains that children below the age of 3 are naturally predisposed to use their right brain, and ESP exercises also help to train their visualisation ability.

By being able to visualise clearly the images formed in their brain, the children can memorise large amounts of information rapidly (photographic memory) and also form creative images in their minds (when asked to write a story, the children are able to visualise clearly the characters and hence simply need to describe what they “see” in their brain).

Children move from right brain predominance to left brain predominance by age 6, so by training the right brain when young, it helps to maintain this balance of right vs left brain predominance even when they grow older.

My Thoughts
After reading the book, I had a better understanding of Dr Shichida’s theories, and why some of the activities were carried out in class. The parts regarding wave theory actually made some sense to me (it also explains why some people insist that talking to their plants made them grow better – same theory!). Although I may never experience the same ESP as perhaps G is experiencing, I think that this ability might really exist (especially in very young children).

If you are interested in trying some simple ESP exercises with your child, here’s a simple document I’ve prepared that you can try at home ==> ESP exercises

Do you believe in ESP? Have you experienced any ESP-related events?


14 thoughts on “ESP – Fact or Fiction?

  1. Zee

    This is a really interesting topic. Actually all the reading on your blog about right brain training is getting me really interested in the topic. I saw the heguru booth at the smart kids Asia expo fair and enquired about it. Most classes are full though! May call them up again and see if I can start Aly on that after she’s done with her current music program.

      1. Zee

        She’s with music studio now (former kindermusik). She loves music and instruments so I thought I’ll let her try that out! Yup will definitely provide you with my feedback if she joins heguru.

  2. Christie Silver

    I hadn’t realized there was a developmental application – I’ve been meaning to come back and comment but you know how time flies! We messed around with those cards as kids and I did score high. I think my friend got the idea from Ghost Busters.

  3. Valerie

    Wow, I had no idea they taught children skills to strengthen their ESP abilities!
    I wonder if you can be predisposed to learning things like that based on heredity. I have a photographic memory; I can “see” words CLEARLY after having seen and/or studied them (I used this to do well on tests in school), and the shapes of images stay vividly in my mind long after seeing them. My daughter can see words AND color this way! She can remember the colors of someone’s outfit from YEARS before (like, if we went out to lunch with friends two years ago, she knows what everyone was wearing that day). It is incredible. I used that ability to teach her when she was young. 🙂 I would use colorful maps to teach locations, and I would write words in Bible verses different colors so they would stand out to her and she could easily memorize them. We are both very strong spellers too. So, because she and I both are this way, I wonder if we inherited it. ?? My husband and son do not share these abilities at all, btw. But they can take things apart and put them back together with ease! ha
    It’s amazing how our minds work!

    1. mummyshymz Post author

      Wow! I’ve not met anyone with true photographic memory. I used to be able to recall whole pages and turn them in my head during exams, but now this ability seems to have faded somewhat. It must be amazing to be able to do perfect recall without effort.
      It is believed that the young child is able to sense his mother’s thoughts. Try it with Samuel! 🙂

      1. Valerie

        Do you see words when you spell them? I do, and I see words when I even THINK them! 🙄 My daughter is doing high school level spelling – it’s crazy.
        You were able to recall and turn pages?! That’s really incredible!! Textbooks never worked for me, it has to be something that stands out; either I have written it myself (grocery list, to-do list, etc) or something that I have read that really engaged me (like blog posts). Strangely, I cannot see/remember numbers! 😛
        How would I try it with Sam exactly?

      2. mummyshymz Post author

        It seems that you are highly visual! Hmm… I’ve not really thought about it. I think I see the whole page as a picture, not as words. I also “hear” words so I remember how the passage sounds.

        For photographic memory, you can try one of the exercises from my “Home Practice Materials” page. The simplest would be the dragon dance, where you show him one of the coloured pictures (e.g blue dragon) for 1-2s. Then show him 2 pictures – one blue, one orange. Ask him to choose which one he saw. Another exercise would be to ask him to rearrange the pictures shown in the correct order. For ESP, try sending him a mental image (eg a white circle). Then show him a picture of a white circle and a white square. Ask him which image he saw in his brain. Do it when there is no distraction. Sounds a little like hocus pocus, but Samuel might surprise you!

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