Herb Mertz is a consciousness researcher who provided consulting for the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory. He co-founded Psyleron, which until 2020 designed and marketed random-event generator devices for mind-matter research. He is the author of The Selection Effect (2020), which describes a long-term micro-psychokinesis self-study using a random event generator.
Herb Mertz obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University in 1976. Three years later, Professor Robert J Jahn, dean of the engineering school, founded the PEAR laboratory. Mertz was involved with aspects of its work until its closure in 2007.
In 2003 Mertz, together with PEAR lab intern John Valentino, started Psyleron, Inc. with the objective of developing consciousness-related technologies and making them available to researchers.
Since 2005, Mertz has explored his own psychokinetic abilities using random number generators. This work has been described in academic conferences, a 2020 book The Selection Effect, and a 2022 published research paper in the Journal of Consciousness Studies.1
Psyleron developed and sold quantum-based devices to enable research and personal exploration of mind-matter effects. These included
- a portable random number generator with USB interface and associated software
- a colour-changing ‘Mind Lamp’ linked to a RNG that can potentially show the influence of human attention and intention
- a cellphone-based service, through which a RNG sends out customizable text messages to subscribers, with the idea that unconscious desires will drive synchronicities between the output and simultaneous events
Mertz has stated that the products were designed to be provocative and experiential for people who already have some degree of belief and want to put them to some kind of practical use.2 In 2020, Psyleron stopped selling its products to end users in order to focus on new research and development.
Long-Term Self Study
In The Selection Effect,3 Mertz reports on a longitudinal study in which he acted as experimenter and subject, attempting to influence the output of a random number generator. Over an eleven-year period, Mertz conducted four formal studies that comprise 5.7 million trials with an effect size of 0.1% (one bit in 1,000 influenced by psychokinesis, p = 6 x 10-7). He also journalled over 2,000 pages on aspects of the experience. In his book he describes how certain states-of-mind are associated with repeatable patterns of random number generator output and discusses how others can conduct their own personal mind-matter interaction projects.
Mertz describes the discovery that certain states-of-mind are associated with repeatable patterns of REG output. He first worked with the machine for some six months without achieving any effect. Then, he writes,
…unexpectly and without warning, I knew with certainty that the line on the REG chart was about to shoot upwards. … And sure enough, immediately thereafter, I began hitting a multitude of greens, and the line on the chart shot upwards dramatically. … The feeling was so intense and strikingly clear that I could not deny it.4
At first the experience unnerved him and he found that he was mentally blocking the effect from repeating. Over time, however, he found patterns starting to emerge.
Surges of feeling would well up inside me that felt like waves pushing me forward. At those times, the REG output invariably responded in a positive direction. That period would be followed by a period of cresting and running out of steam, in the expectation that the REG output would slide back down. And the results complied, heading back downward just as I predicted.5
Mertz named this the ‘rubber band effect’, in which a period of high scoring snapped back as soon as he noticed it – and which he found is generally experienced by other people experimenting with REGs.
The Human Mind as Models and Moments. 36th Annual meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration. June 2017, Yale University, Connecticut.
A First-Person Account of Mind-Matter Interaction Using Quantum Event Generators. IGPP Colloquium. 20th July 2021.
Mertz, H. (2020). The Selection Effect: How Consciousness Shapes Reality. Penn Wolcott Press.
Mertz, H. (2022). Random Event Generators and a First-Person Account of Mind-Matter Interaction. Journal of Consciousness Studies 29, 5-6, 102-29.