To be fair, the answer to this one is not entirely clear. However, while it seems a little suspicious that so many researchers would think that an intelligence experiment could even be done in “real” life, there are a few reasons to think so.
First of all, some experiments have involved asking individuals to take on a role within a real or virtual environment, but the reason for this is not always clear. While it is difficult if not impossible to determine whether a person’s mind has any control over his actions, there are two reasons why we might think that it did:
1) First of all, when it comes to our experience with the physical world, we might have a hard time distinguishing our experiences from those of a robot or a computer. This might in fact be true.
2) The ability of a human mind might be enhanced by what is called “cognitive control.” Our brain is capable of taking in much more inputs than it can process. For this reason, we might, as a result, experience a sense of control over our actions.
Even more to the point: A simple experiment that has been done involving a few people using their minds to move a virtual object would be much more likely to allow us to make the correct action in the virtual game. However, as noted previously, it is much easier to just ask a person to think about the task at hand. This is called “experimenter blinding.”
In this experiment, each participant was given an actual wooden box on which they could place a moving object, such as an arm. They also got the instructions that the box could be moved from its resting position using only their mind. To their surprise, none of the participants were able to move the box by their mind. Yet, they couldn’t even move it using their mind!
Interestingly enough, only 9 out of 19 persons could move the box successfully, and only by their mind, despite all the instructions that instructed them to move the box. This is what I mean when I say that I think the ability of people to move things with their minds does not prove brain-to-brain communication. The real question is where the information that went into allowing a person to physically move the object comes from.
This experiment was not about a person’s mental activity, but about a real physical motion and a moving object. A mind does not need to understand how to move something with physical force.
Nowadays, we use computers or robots