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 supernatural.

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.

"Fore example, 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.