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process whereby facts or impressions about a person or thing are received through contact with an object associated with the subject of the impressions. Rings, photographs, and similar tokens are often used, but sometimes the physical presence of a person may bring about images or visions in the psychometrist's mind that correspond to real facts (sometimes still in the future) in the life of the subject. A degree of lowered consciousness (that is, a state sometimes approaching trance) is thought to improve psychometric "readings." Psychometric visions are usually too haphazard to be of much practical value. The parapsychological institute of the Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht, The Netherlands, was one of the first to perform experiments using psychometry in finding lost persons or things and in solving crimes.