A terrific writeup on an interview with Dr Garry Nolan plus the interview itself: “In this 2-hour interview, Garry Nolan talks about the very significant physiological and genetic peculiarities found in subjects who claim to have experienced, among other things, UAP encounters”

Unfortunately, the video has been taken down, no reason given. The writeup below still conveys most of the information, which I found very interesting because it provides a link between an actual brain structure and “paranormal” experience. ABN

[Everything below this is taken from a post that can be found here: Paraphrased notes from Dr. Garry Nolan’s Interview on Phenomenon Radio with Linda Moulton Howe and John Burroughs (March 14th, 2019). Nolan himself in the comments says: “A very accurate summary of what I said. Very much appreciated. I will use this to point people towards when they ask me about my thoughts on these subject areas. signed… Garry Nolan, Stanford University School of Medicine.”] ABN

In this 2-hour interview, Garry Nolan talks about the very significant physiological and genetic peculiarities found in subjects who claim to have experienced, among other things, UAP encounters.


  • Garry Nolan got involved in this research through his interactions with Kit Green. The research focuses specifically on the region of the caudate and putamen in the brain, which is the seat of intuition, and how anomalous cognition might “line up with the intuitive processes in the brain.”
  • Dr. Nolan warns that the data is still preliminary; nothing has been published or peer-reviewed yet. The evidence so far is however enough to put forward a hypothesis and design protocols to test it.
  • Nolan and Green had a cohort of patients that had “encountered something.” Some of them were military/intelligence witnesses to anomalous events, others were civilians commonly referred to as “experiencers.”
  • Subjects’ medical history and accounts of what they experienced were collected. For many of them, there were MRIs of their bodies, MRIs of their brains, or both.
  • There was particular interest in the brain scans because the individuals displayed features that deviated from the norm. At first, this was interpreted as damage, however, through discussions, it turned out to be additional fibers between the caudate and putamen.
  • He points out that he’s used the word “connections” before, however the more correct way to refer to it is a fiber density, what appears to be nerve bundles (or white matter tracts) that connect the caudate and putamen areas.
  • Garry Nolan reminds us that the anomaly is present in people that claimed anomalous cognition, however the claims themselves were not validated for the purposes of the study.
  • Having said that, although he won’t go further than saying the subjects experienced “events,” some of the claims of anomalous events are backed up by testimony from multiple witnesses.
  • The density of the nerve bundles in those individuals was much greater than a random sample of 100 MRIs pulled from a database.
  • The anomaly is found in people with common claims, however the medical literature has never pointed out the anomaly in that context. It’s not typically found in the general population.
  • Kit Green and another neurologist did a double blind study on the cohort to estimate the density of the nerve bundles vs. that of normal subjects.
  • At this point, they’re looking to get in touch with the participants in the study to request their consent to continue participating, or to continue using their data.
  • They are currently working with an expanded group of biotechnologists. The goal is to create a further objective (computerized) analysis to automatically map the density regions and to ensure that the data is sound and not inadvertently biased.
  • A more formal paper will be submitted for peer review, however it will not make any claims about anomalous cognition; it’ll establish that statistically significant differences between individuals exist as a first step, opening up the possibility of more research by others.
  • He refers back to the presentation he gave recently, where he first exposed all the facts, and only spoke about anomalous cognition at the very end. He waited until the audience, made up of scientists, believed what they were hearing, before he told them where the cohort came from.
  • The concept of anomalous cognition was defined using different possibilities; either it’s enhanced intuition, or perhaps people are receiving information from beyond their normal senses, but he also left open the possibility that it could simply be an indicator of craziness — perceptions of non-reality.
  • After blog posts were put out about Dr. Nolan’s presentation, he started receiving e-mails from noted scientists “from all over the world” who expressed interest in the research.
  • He explains that 15 years ago, we generally associated the caudate-putamen region with motor coordination, but it’s now known to be downstream of the executive functions of the brain. It receives a variety of inputs and enacts decisions based on them. If you wanted to pinpoint where quick decisions are made with sparse data, this would be a logical place to look. If anomalous information enters the brain, then it would likely be digested by the region that is exactly where the additional fibers were found in the cohort.
  • All the people in the cohort also have something in common: they’re “high functioning” from an intellectual standpoint. So another possibility is that we just have a group of smart people with unique ability to make snap decisions.
  • The big question is: if anomalous information does enter the brain, where and how does it enter, and how does it become perception? If it reaches the proteins of the cells and becomes electrical signals, then some apparatus is receiving and processing the information in those individuals.
  • He then talks about possible mechanisms to look into; perhaps, through a phenomenon broadly defined as quantum entanglement, proteins that alter their structure based on an anomalous signal.
  • From a genetic standpoint, there may exist markers; genes or groups of genes that control the production of a protein that makes up an antenna, possibly one that is more efficient than in other individuals.
  • Genetic markers mean possible heredity of the trait; in other words, it would run in families.
  • A number of participants in the study went and requested their family members’ brain scans, and sure enough, a hereditary link was established. It did not appear to be a sex-linked trait. Parents were likely to pass it on to their offspring, meaning the genes involved could potentially be fairly compact and close together.
  • One surprising result is that husband and wife pairs were significantly more likely to both have the trait, as if something was somehow bringing these people together. There may be very good reasons why this is happening, such as a population bias — people with the feature end up on similar paths and are more likely to meet, or smart people just happen to like other smart people.
  • In essence, you’re seeing a segregation of the population, a group segregating from another.
  • John Burroughs cuts in and asks about a DNA study done on his son, his son’s mother and himself. He wants to know if they fit those criteria. A mitochondrial allele test was performed. One peculiar thing is that the sequence for John had never been seen in the database before, meaning it was quite rare. His son’s mother also had a rare, but different sequence. His son had the same sequence as the mother’s (mitochondrial DNA is typically inherited from the mother).
  • Although one might be quick to imagine a supernatural/telepathic reason why people are being brought together this way, Dr. Nolan reminds us that the actual data doesn’t allow us to go that far just yet. He evokes the example of tests done for the compatibility of skin grafts and how they tend to correlate (in mice) with attraction or repulsion based on olfactory perceptions (sense of smell) and genetics. It’s important not to forget about the multitude of known and unknown subconscious factors that may be at play, other than unconventional explanations.
  • Dr. Nolan is being deliberately careful because it’s important not to arm the ‘pathological skeptics’ by making assumptions.
  • Going back to the rarity of JB’s genetics; he confirms that his lineage was not “broadly successful,” meaning the women in his lineage, as well as his son’s mother’s lineage, can be traced back to a relatively tight population. These two rare genealogies somehow found their way to each other, however the mechanism remains open to interpretation.


  • On the topic of whether the ‘antennas’ (and associated genetic traits) are pre-existing (meaning, what came first, the UAP or the antenna?), Dr. Nolan says there has been no observed change over time of the presence or absence of the characteristic nerve bundles. In other words, the physical markers are there throughout the individual’s life.
  • On whether they are “activated,” he evokes some theories that people have put forward, like the idea that there’s a learning effect where experiencing anomalous cognition once could lead to a newfound ability to process anomalous information afterwards. You could compare it to finding a volume knob. A traumatic event, or a kundalini event, or some type of encounter, could trigger a process whereby nerves that are not usually used, suddenly are.
  • Whether or not this actually happens cannot be confirmed definitively until more research is done.
  • He confirms that a very statistically significant portion of his cohort of experiencers displays the characteristic trait (nerve bundles). A portion of those individuals claim to have had contact with UAP. Although it’s impossible to validate most claims, the majority of the people were members of the military who experienced “verifiable incidents.”
  • Dr. Nolan was originally brought in to look at the immunological facet; they would find markers of inflammatory response in people who had recently experienced an event. For most of the subjects, however, it had been too long since the event to detect anything. There were not enough numbers to come up with an immunological signature of UAP encounters.
  • Dr. Nolan’s goal is to show that this area of connectivity between the caudate and putamen is associated with intuition, the ability to make snap decisions with limited input, and with high intelligence. We may have a physical signature with observable genetic commonalities, which could allow us to identify the pathway or pathways responsible for this.
  • He talks about the fact that astronauts, people who are selected for being highly intelligent and having a high capacity to make snap decisions with minimal data, are more likely to have the trait than the general population. This brings an ethical dilemma: who should you send to space? You might be inadvertendly sending only highly intuitive people to Mars and keeping the rest of the population on Earth, causing a split. “There’s many other things than ‘smart’ that are needed to keep humanity whole.”
  • On the topic of hybrids, out of the millions of people that have had their entire genome sequenced and analyzed, if there were any signficant hybridization in the traditional sense (two distinct species successfully producing an offspring), it would have been detected. There is zero evidence of hybridization with another species. If there was a phenomenon of hybridization as is claimed by some, then it would probably be much more subtle. He cites epigenetics, for example, where additional information is encoded in the structure and shape of DNA, on top of the genetic code. This information can change through an organism’s lifetime and can differ between cells of the same individual. That’s the only ‘out’ he can offer to people who are making claims about hybrids.
  • When John Burroughs asked if some of the Special Ops people that were known to have experiences at Skinwalker Ranch were studied and had similar results, Dr. Nolan said he cannot comment. “Talk to Kit!”
  • He says he’s been contacted by colleagues who remarked that the observed brain difference was characteristic of people with schizophrenia; people who “see things or hear things.” Some of them have to be medicated or hospitalized. What if they’re experiencing an objective reality?
  • John Burroughs asks if it would be fair to say that some people are able to perceive things others cannot, assuming there is some kind of interdimensional interaction happening. Dr. Nolan answers that if he were to have a martini or 3 and talk about his science fiction dreams, then he would be correct.
  • On the topic of whether we could bring people with the feature to an area that has a reputation for strange happenings in order to study what happens, and see if there are differences with individuals who do not have the trait, Dr. Nolan answers he doesn’t know of any such study, or it was never discussed in any meeting he was a part of. He says someone like Dean Radin should probably be called in to design a study, but warns that there’s a psychological component to consider, which could make it difficult to come up with an adequate test or measurable result.
  • Something that makes results difficult to reproduce (with “spider sense” studies and remote viewing studies) is that it’s typically the initial “flash of inspiration” that’s of interest; as soon as you add overlays of thinking and interpretation, you get further away from the signal. If we could somehow capture the signal as it occurs, it would be possible to ensure better reproducibility.
  • On the topic of whether the trait is a good thing to have, Dr. Nolan says implying that it’s a good thing might be a mistake. He’s not sure that “brainy scientists running the show” would ultimately be a good thing for humanity. Additionally, there is something called co-segregation, meaning segregation caused by one trait also causes segregation of populations with commonly associated traits (for example, affinity for mathematics associated with affinity for music). To characterize genetic changes as good or more desirable can pull us towards eugenics, hence why we should be wary.
  • Dr. Nolan mentions that his approach to creativity in his field of work is a process; he puts down all the information and states his intention to find answers to problems, and over the course of a few days, the answers just come to him, as if they were solved subconsciously in his sleep. But what creative artistic types tend to report is receiving answers to questions they never asked. So the main motivation for him to look into possibly unconventional explanations is to answer the question, if this information somehow appeared out of nowhere, where did it in fact come from?


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