ON THE POSSIBILITY OF DIRECTLY ACCESSING EVERY HU-
ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION OF FUNDAMENTAL ALGO-
This was published in 1995. What is the current state of the art now ?
MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 65 V E R I C O M M / MindNet "Quid veritas est?"
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This statement in the following paper says it all:
"Within the last two decades (Persinger, Ludwig, & Ossenkopp,
1973) a potential has emerged which was improbable but which isnow marginally feasible. This potential is the technicalcapability to influence directly the major portion of theapproximately six billion brains of the human species withoutmediation through classical sensory modalities by generatingneural information within a physical medium within which allmembers of the species are immersed."
The medium he is referring to is the atmosphere of this planet.
ON THE POSSIBILITY OF DIRECTLY ACCESSING EVERY HU-
ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION OF FUNDAMENTAL ALGO-
Perceptual and Motor Skills, June 1995, 80, 791-799.
(c) Perceptual and Motor Skills, ISSN 0031-5125
Summary -- Contemporary neuroscience suggests the existenceof fundamental algorithms by which all sensory transduction istranslated into the intrinsic, brain-specific code. Directstimulation of these codes within the human temporal or limbiccortices by applied electromagnetic patterns may require energylevels which are within the range of both geomagnetic activityand contemporary communication networks. A process which iscoupled to the narrow band of brain temperature could allow allnormal human brains to be affected by a subharmonic whosefrequency range at about 10 Hz would only vary by 0.1 Hz.
The pursuit of the basic algorithms by which all human brains
operate can be considered a central theme of modern neuroscience.
Although individual differences are expected to accommodate most
of the variance in any specific neurobehavioral measure, thereshould exist basic patterns of information and structure withinbrain space. They would be determined by the human genome, i.e.,be species-specific, and would contribute to or would serve asthe substrate upon which all phenomena that affectneurobehavioral measures are superimposed.
One logical extrapolation to a neurophysical basis ofconsciousness is that all experiences must exist as correlatesof complex but determined sequences of electromagnetic matrices.
They would control the theme for the format of cognition and
affect while the myriad of possible serial collections of randomvariations of "noise" within the matrices could potentiallydifferentiate between individual brains. Identification of thesesequences could also allow direct access to the most complexneurocognitive processes associated with the sense of self, humanconsciousness and the aggregate of experiential representations(episodic memory) that define the individual within the brain(Squire, 1987).
The existence of fundamental commonalities between all human
brains by which a similar physical stimulus can affect them isnot a new concept. It is demonstrated daily by the similar shiftsin qualitative functions that are evoked by psychotropic drugs.
Classes of chemical structures, crudely classified asantidepressant, antipsychotic, or anxiolytic compounds, producegeneral attenuations of lowered mood, extreme eccentric thinking,or extreme vigilance. The characteristics of these changes arevery similar within millions of different human brains regardlessof their cultural or genetic history. The idiosyncraticexperiences such as the specific thoughts and images whichreflect each person's continuing process of adaptation aresuperimposed upon these general functions. When translated intothe language of neuroelectrical domains, the unique componentsof individual consciousness would be both embedded within andinteracting with the species-invariant patterns.
We have been studying the phenomenological consequences of
exposure to complex electromagnetic fields whose temporalstructures have been derived from the most recently observedneuroelectrical profiles such as burst-firing or long-termpotentiating sequences (Brown, Chapman, Kairiss, & Keenan, 1988)which can be considered the prototypical basis of a major domainof brain activity. These temporal patterns of potential codes foraccessing and influencing neuronal aggregates have been appliedacross the two cerebral hemispheres (through the regions of thetemporoparietal lobes or within the region of thehippocampal-amygdaloid complex) of the brain as weakelectromagnetic fields whose intensities are usually less than10 milligauss (1 microT). The purpose of this research, assuggested by both E.R. John (1967) and Sommerhoff (1974), isto identify the basic codes for the language of therepresentational systems within the human brain.
In the tradition of Johannes Mueller, we have assumed thatthe normal transduction of stimuli by sensors into afferent,graded potentials and the subsequent translation into digitalpatterns of action potentials (which are more likely to behavefunctionally as a composite of pixels within a neural field) canbe circumvented by _direct_ introduction of this informationwithin the brain. Induction of complex information would requiresimulation of the resonance patterns which would normally betransiently created by sensory afferents. The basic premise isthat synthetic duplication of the neuroelectrical correlatesgenerated by sensors to an actual stimulus should produceidentical experiences without the presence of that stimulus.
We have focused upon the polymodal and most labile portions of
the parahippocampal (Van Hoesen, 1982) and entorhinal cortices(Vinagradova, 1975) and the anterior superior gyrus of thetemporal cortices (Bancaud, Brunet-Bourgin, Chauvel, & Halgren,1994) as the region within which circumvention would be mostprobable. Extraction and translation of neural patterns fromdifferent sensory inputs into common codes occur within theseregions before they are consciously perceived (Edelman, 1989).
That central codes are present was shown by E.R. John (1967, pp.
348-349) who reported an immediate transference of the operantcontrol of a response from a pulsatile auditory stimulus to apulsatile visual stimulus if its _temporal_pattern_ wasidentical to the previous (acoustic) stimulus.
We (Fleming, Persinger, & Koren, 1994) reported that whole
brain exposure of rats to a 5-microT burst-firing magnetic fieldfor 1 sec. every 4 sec. evoked an analgesic response that wassimilar to that elicited by the application of more noxious,tactile simulation for 1 sec. every 4 sec. directly to thefootpads. Direct electrical stimulation of the limbic structureswhich simulate episodic, systemic application of muscarinic(cholinergic) agents can evoke electrical kindling (Cain, 1989).
More recently, direct induction of chaotic electrical sequenceswithin the labile CA1 region of the hippocampus has been showneither to promote and attenuate paroxysmal discharges (Schiff,Jerger, Duong, Chang, Spano, & Ditto, 1994).
These results strongly indicate that imitation of the temporal
pattern of sensory transmission directly within the brain by anynonbiogenic stimuli can evoke changes which are just as effectiveas (and perhaps require less energy than) classical transduction.
As stated more recently and succinctly by E.R. John (1990), the
fundamental operation of brain electrical activity suggests thatsome form of frequency encoding may play a significant role ininformational transactions within and between brain structures.
Consciousness would be associated with an electromagnetic patterngenerated by a neural aggregate with invariant statisticalfeatures which are independent of the cells contributing to eachfeature (John 1990, p. 53).
The effects of applied time-varying magnetic fields upon brain
activity have been considered minimal or within the range ofnormal biological limits unless the intensity of the fieldexceeded natural endogenous or exogenous (ambient) levels byseveral orders of magnitude. Until very recently, almost all ofthe studies from which this conclusion was derived involvedhighly redundant stimuli such as 60 Hz fields or repetitivepulses. A simple illustration presents the problem: only 1 min.
of a 60-Hz sine-wave field exposes a neural net to 3,600presentations (60 sec. x 60 cycles per sec.) of the _same_redundant information. Even general estimates of habituation(Persinger, 1979) such as the equation H=IRT2/Rt(IRT=interresponse time, Rt=duration of response) indicate thathabituation to the stimulus would have occurred long before itstermination after 1 min. Although the burst-firing frequencies(100 to 200 Hz) of the hippocampal neurons, for example, exceedthis pattern, they are not temporally symmetrical and exhibit avariability of interstimulus intervals that would containdifferent information and would attenuate habituation.
The apparent dependence of organismic responses upon the
intensity of the applied electromagnetic field, the
"intensity-dependent response curve," could simply be an
artifact of the absence of biorelevant information within thewave pattern. If the temporal structure of the appliedelectromagnetic field contained detailed and biorelevantinformation (Richards, Persinger, & Koren, 1993), then theintensity of the field required to elicit a response could beseveral orders of magnitude below the values which have beenpreviously found to elicit changes. For example, Sandyk (1992)and Jacobson (1994) have found that complex magnetic fields withvariable interstimulus pulse durations could evoke unprecedentedchanges in melatonin levels even with intensities within thenanoT range.
The classical counterargument that "very strong" magnetic
fields must be present "to exceed or to compensate for theelectromagnetic noise associated with intrinsic (Boltzmann)thermal energies" is based upon equations and calculations forthe quantitative indices of aggregates of molecular activity andnot upon the _pattern_ of their interaction. There are other
possibilities. For example, Weaver and Astumian (1990) have shownmathematically that detection of very weak (microV/cm) fields canoccur if the response is exhibited within a narrow band offrequencies; the detection is a function of both thermallyinduced fluctuations in membrane potential and the maximumincrement of change in the membrane potential which is evoked bythe applied magnetic field. The ion-cyclotron-resonance modelwhich was initiated by the research of Blackman, Bename,Rabinowitz, House, and Joines (1985) and supported by Lerchl,Reiter, Howes, Honaka, and Stokkan (1991) indicates that, when analternating magnetic field at a distance (resonance) frequency issuperimposed upon a steady-state magnetic field, the movement ofcalcium and other ions can be facilitated with very smallenergies. More than 25 years ago, Ludwig (1968) developed acompelling (but hereto ignored) mathematical argument whichdescribed the absorption of atmospherics within the brain.
Above these minimal thresholds, the information content of the
wave structure becomes essential. The simplest analogy would bethe response of a complex neural network such as a human being tosonic energy. If only a 1000-Hz (sine wave) tone were presented,the intensity required to evoke a response could well exceed 90db; in this instance the avoidant response would be overt andcrude. However, if the structure of the sonic field was modifiedto exhibit the complex pattern which was equivalent tobiorelevant information such as "help me, I am dying," fieldstrengths several orders of magnitude weaker, e.g., 30 db, couldbe sufficient. This single, brief but information-rich stimuluswould evoke a response which could recruit every major cognitivedomain.
If the information within the structure of the appliedmagnetic field is a major source of its neurobehavioral effect,then the "intensity-dependent" responses which are interpreted assupport for experimental hypotheses of biomagnetic interactioncould be both epiphenomenal and artifactual. Such amplificationof electromagnetic-field strengths would also increase theintensity of the extremely subtle and almost always ignoredsubharmonics, ripples, and other temporal anomalies which aresuperimposed upon or within the primary frequency. These subtleanomalies would be due to the artifacts within the differentelectronic circuits and components whose similarities are basedupon the fidelity of the endpoint (the primary frequency) despitethe different geometries employed to produce the endpoint.
If information rather than intensity is important forinteraction with the neural network (Jahn & Dunne, 1987), then_these_ unspecified "background" patterns may be the source ofboth the experimental effects and the failures ofinterlaboratory replications. A concrete example of this problemexists within the putative association between exposure to power(60 Hz) frequency magnetic fields and certain types of cancer.
The existence of these transients, often superimposed upon the
fundamental 60-Hz frequency, is still the least considered factorin the attempts to specify the characteristics of the fields
which promote aberrant mitosis (Wilson, Stevens, & Anderson,1990).
Within the last five years, several researchers have reported
that direct and significant effects upon specific neuropatternscan be evoked by extremely weak magnetic fields whose intensitiesare within the range of normal geomagnetic variations. Sandyk(1992) has discerned significant changes in vulnerable subjectssuch as patients who were diagnosed with neurological disordersfollowing exposure of short durations to magnetic fields whosestrengths are within the pT to nT range but whose spatialapplications are multifocal (a fasces-type structure) anddesigned to introduce heterogeneous patterns within a verylocalized brain space. The effective components of the field(which are assumed to be discrete temporal patterns due to themodulation of the frequency and intensity of the electromagneticfields) are not always obvious; however, the power levels forthese amplitudes are similar to those associated with the signals(generated globally by radio and communication systems) withinwhich most human beings are exposed constantly.
The most parsimonious process by which all human brains could
be affected would require (1) the immersion of all theapproximately 6 billion brains of the human species within thesame medium or (2) a coercive interaction because there wasfacilitation of a very narrow-band window of vulnerability withineach brain. For the first option, the steady-state or "permanent"component of the earth's magnetic field meets the criterion. Thepossibility that masses of susceptible people could be influencedduring critical conditions by extremely small variations (lessthan 1%) of the steady-state amplitude (50,000 nT) of the earth'smagnetic field such as during geomagnetic storms (50 to 500 nT)has been discussed elsewhere (Persinger, 1983). Recentexperimental evidence which has shown a threshold in geomagneticactivity of about 20 nT to 30 nT for the report of vestibularexperiences in human beings and the facilitation of limbicseizures in rodents is consistent with this hypothesis.
The potential for the creation of an aggregate process with
gestalt-like properties which reflect the averagecharacteristics of the brains that are maintained with thisfield and that generate the aggregate has also been developed(Persinger & Lafreniere, 1977) and has been labelled the
"geopsyche." This phenomenon would be analogous to the vectorial
characteristics of an electromagnetic field which is induced bycurrent moving through billions of elements such as wirescontained within a relative small volume compared to the source.
Such gestalts, like fields in general, also affect the elementswhich contribute to the matrix (Freeman, 1990).
The second option would require access to a very narrow limit
of physical properties within which all brains are maintained togenerate consciousness and the experience of self-awareness.
This factor would be primarily loaded by the variable of brain
temperature. Although the relationship between absolutetemperature and wavelength is generally clear [an example whichcan be described by Wien's law and is well documented in
astrophysics (Wyatt, 1965)], the implications for access tobrain activity have not been explored. The fragileneurocognitive processes that maintain consciousness and thesense of self normally exist between 308[degrees]K and312[degrees]K (35[degrees]C and 39[degrees]C). The fundamentalwavelength associated with this emission is about 10 micrometerswhich is well within the long infrared wavelength.
However, the ratio of this normal range divided by theabsolute temperature for normal brain activity which maintainsneurocognitive processes is only about 0.013(4[degrees]K/312[degrees]K) or 1.3%. If there were a subharmonicpattern in naturally occurring or technically generated magneticfields which also reflected this ratio, then all brains whichwere operative within this temperature range could be affectedby the harmonic. For example, if 11.3 Hz were one of thesesubharmonic electromagnetic frequencies, variations of only 1.3%of this mean, i.e., 11.3 Hz +/- [plus or minus] 0.1 Hz, wouldhypothetically be sufficient to affect the operations of allnormal brains. If this "major carrier frequency" containedbiorelevant information by being modulated in a meaningful way,then the effective intensities could well be within the naturalrange for background radiation (microwatts/cm2) and could behidden as chaotic components within the electromagnetic noiseassociated with power generation and use.
One of the major direct prophylactics to the effects of thesefields would require alterations in core (brain) temperaturesuch as deep but reversible hypothermia. However, this conditionwould disrupt the biochemical process upon which neuronalactivity and hence consciousness depends. Treatments whichprecipitate alterations in neural activity, similar to thosewhich are associated with crude hypothermia, would be lessdisruptive. Specific candidates which affect multiple receptorsystems such as clozepine (Clozaril) and acepromazine could bepossible pharmacological interventions.
The characteristics of the algorithm for euthermic
individuals are likely to be conspicuous (once isolated) butshould now be hidden within the synchronous activity which is(1) modified and filtered by aggregates of neurons and (2)modulated by sensory inputs and intrinsic oscillations (Kepler,Marder, & Abbott, 1990) before they are crudely measured byelectrodes. Because the fundamental algorithm would beessentially a stable parameter of body temperature, mostelectrode montages (including monopolar to a nonbrain reference,e.g., ear) would cancel or attenuate this index. Effectively,the algorithm would be expressed in a manner similar todescriptors for other aggregate phenomena as a physical constantor as a limited set of these constants. This suggestion iscommensurate with the observation that the underlying neuronalnetworks which coordinate millions of neurons manifest theproperties of a (mathematical) strange attractor with a verylimited number of degrees of freedom (Lopes, Da Silva, Kamphuis,
The physical chemical evidence for a fundamental process,
driven by a narrow limit of biological temperature, has beenaccumulating. Fixed, oscillatory electromagnetic variations havebeen shown _in_vitro_ for enzymes of the glycolytic pathway(Higgins, Frenkel, Hulme, Lucas, & Rangazas, 1973) whose narrowband of temperature sensitivity (around 37[degrees]C) is wellknown. Although these oscillations are often measured as periods(2.5-min. cycles), Ruegg (1973) reported a clear temperaturedependence of these oscillations within a range of 1 to 20 Hzbetween 20[degrees]C and 35[degrees]C in invertebrate muscle.
The most probable brain source which might serve as the
primary modulatory of these biochemical oscillators wouldinvolve structures within the thalamus (Steriade & Deschenes,1984). Neuronal aggregates with surprisingly fixed (within0.1-Hz) oscillations are found within this structure and dependprimarily upon neurons that require gamma amino butyric acid orGABA (von Krosigk, Bal, & McCormick, 1993). This inhibitoryamino acid is specially derived from the normal,temperature-sensitive degradation of glucose by the GABA shunt(Delorey & Olsen, 1994).
Within the last two decades (Persinger, Ludwig, & Ossenkopp,
1973) a potential has emerged which was improbable but which isnow marginally feasible. This potential is the technicalcapability to influence directly the major portion of theapproximately six billion brains of the human species withoutmediation through classical sensory modalities by generatingneural information within a physical medium within which allmembers of the species are immersed. The historical emergenceof such possibilities, which have ranged from gunpowder toatomic fission, have resulted in major changes in the socialevolution that occurred inordinately quickly after theimplementation. Reduction of the risk of the inappropriateapplication of these technologies requires the continued andopen discussion of their _realistic_ feasibility andimplications within the scientific and public domain.
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Please send reprint requests and correspondence to Dr. M.A.
Persinger, Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory, Laurentian,Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, Ontario P3E 2C6, Canada.
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