onsdag 17 mars 2010

Geomagnetism and senses. Brain modelling III. A.

A. The environmental matrix of experience inducing fields.

From the perspective of modern neuroscience all behaviors and all experiences are created by a dynamic matrix of chemical and electromagnetic events within the human brain. How could then the impact of infrasound and nuclear decay, and the hallucinatory sensory experiences that follow, be explained? How can extrasensory experiences (ESP) be explained? Can hallucinations be induced in susceptible people by suitable ambient magnetic fields, as laboratory research say? What will make the difference between a normal human and a sensitive human?

From the earlier discussion we saw that animals have this capacity indeed in a higher degree than humans. But they cannot speak of what they experience, it is only behaviour that talks. So, I must assume it is not belief that dictate. What is it then?

We shall look at the chemical side of the phenomen too. Are there always molecules that dictate? Does the path always go through the chemical train or can there be directly induced effects without molecules?

Experience inducing fields (EIFs) and event-related fields (ERFs).
Often geomagnetism is linked with the occurrence of paranormal and anomalous phenomena, mostly from weak, complex and time-varying magnetic fields. The general term Experience-Inducing Fields, or EIFs relates to all, or any, fields that could have experience-inducing properties.

This distinction is helpful for a number of reasons.
1) not all magnetic anomalies will have implications for experience, some will influence equipment (which could be interpreted as paranormal) but will not alter the operation of the brain in any way. Those fields could be characterised as Event-Related Fields (ERFs) as they pertain to a tangible physical event.
2) it focuses the researcher theoretically on the potential relevance such fields might have. EIFs are varying magnetic fields with low frequency (approx 0.1 to 30 Hz, and certainly under 50Hz) and a moderate intensity (from 100 to 5000 nT) or amplitude (or, more correctly, flux density).

EIFs are most likely to overlay whatever ambient static magnetic field is present in the area, usually be the geomagnetic field itself. Confusion often arises here because the geomagnetic field is usually described as being ‘static’ (ie. does not change over time), whereas, in fact, it does change over time, but very slowly (over hours). Other local permanent distortions to the local magnetic field are important too, as the presence of magnetite in the geological strata below the site, etc. At present, such permanent static fields are NOT considered important to inducing hallucinations.

Therefore, EIFs, if present, would most likely appear as fluctuations on top of the local static field. Another important factor enhances greatly the chance of hallucinations: field complexity.

Repetitive pulse or chaotic fields.
Such overall variance could involve any, or all, of the major field variables: amplitude, frequency and direction. Laboratory studies have used amplitude-modulated, frequency-modulated and complex pulse-patterned sequences with great success. The time period over which fields need to vary is probably (from experiments) in the millisecond to multiple minute region. Simple continuous waveforms, like sine waves, are not at all as effective. The reason for this is that such simple fields are considered not to ‘contain’ the complex information profile that a brain would accept as sensory information.

The geomagnetic field. Maurice Townsend 2006
The geomagnetic field is around 50,000 nT overall. It is caused by a dynamo effect in the core of our planet, and produces a highly stable field, like that of a bar magnet, but the field is constantly changing, primarily due to the effects of the solar wind. +Diurnal variations, depending on sun-side / moon-side.

Geomagnetic variations do cause auroras etc. and can even bring down electrical regional power supplies (as in North America 2003) by induction, overall field changes are generally far from dramatic. A large geomagnetic storm produces a reduction of around 0.5% in the overall field. This change is spread over many hours. Most storms are far less intense than that. Thus, local field variations are not hugely dramatic at all. Geomagnetic storms can bring larger amplitude changes in the geomagnetic field. A storm is defined as a period (usually of several days) when there is a large reduction in the horizontal component (parallel to the ground) of the geomagnetic field. On average, one big geomagnetic storm per year might bring a field reduction of around 250 nT, but most will be much less (maybe 10 per year bringing about 50 nT reduction).

Fluctuating fields.
There are certain geomagnetic variables that change at frequencies required for EIFs. These variables, though they have relevant frequencies, are far too weak to produce EIFs. There are some geomagnetic variations that are in the right frequency range to induce hallucinations:

a) Pc1 pulsations (caused by variations in the Earth's magnetosphere) and they have a frequency range of 0.2 to 5 Hz. However, they are too weak (typically 0.1nT) to produce hallucinations. Even the Pc1 pulsation component of the geomagnetic field, which has the correct frequency, varies only by a maximum amplitude of a few tenths of one nT. In summary, there are no natural variations of the geomagnetic field that provide both the amplitude and frequency together to be classed as EIFs, even during geomagnetic storms. Indeed, most of us live in an environment where such natural magnetic variations are entirely swamped by more powerful local artificial sources. So the geomagnetic field can be dismissed as a likely source of EIFs. There are still effects linked to the moon phases that can belong here.

b) 'Schumann Resonances' which are caused by lightning, solar wind etc. resonating around the world. Though they also have suitable frequencies (7.8, 14, 20, 26Hz) they are too weak at 0.05 nT. Hospitals see these highened frequencies as a higher mortal rate, a higher sickness level. Sensitive people can feel the effects, but it is more interesting as a natural regulator of life, maybe. It would be natural to try to separate the electrical field from the magnetic impacts.

c) Intrasound has also been implicated in giving people ghostly hallucinatory experiences. Infrasound is sound at too low a frequency for people to hear (generally below 20 (16) Hz). Interestingly, infrasound shares a frequency range with EIFs. In addition, some potential sources of EIFs could also produce infrasound. In particular, moving HMPs could, potentially, produce infrasound at the same time and at the same frequency as EIFs. So an electric motor, for instance, might produce infrasound and/or EIFs. It is therefore important to check for EIFs if you find strong infrasound sources in a haunted location. The laboratory evidence for infrasound producing ghostly hallucinations is not as clear-cut as that for EIFs. Therefore, to establish a case for infrasound alone producing ghostly experiences, EIFs must first be eliminated. The problem is the long waves, over 17 m. This makes a focusing very difficult. They are also extremengly powerful and cannot be shealded.

d) The Tectonic Strain Theory (TST). Friedemann Freund has suggested that electric charges could be induced to flow by applying unusual pressure (through tectonic stress) to igneous rocks (normally insulators), turning them temporarily into semi-conductors. He has done experiments, crushing rocks, to demonstrate this effect. When the rocks are turned temporarily into semiconductors, holes (positively charged discontinuities) can flow rapidly through the rocks and might even reach the surface. The charges are conducted underground both by rocks, in their semi-conductor state, and by water.
Such moving charges would generate magnetic fields,that can be low-frequency fields, though there is no prediction, as yet, concerning exact intensity or frequency. This idea is also used by the Persinger group.

The whole idea is still very new, but it could possibly result in natural EIFs near tectonically strained areas around geological faults. The strengths of the theory are that the electric charges are not cancelled out and that they move around (unlike the piezoelectric theory), so producing magnetic fields. This can also very easily be linked to the radon hypothesis and plasmoids.

e) Gravity. According to NASA, about 2/3 of the astronauts experience motor sickness shortly after entry to the orbit because of the loss of gravitational field. Within the Earth's gravitational field, vestibular system in the inner ear senses the direction of the force and uses the information, along with the visual and other inputs, to interpret the head and body position. The reason is embedded in our dependence on gravity for perceptual information.
However in a zero-gravitational field, vestibular system cannot feel the gravity and sends the brain different signals from visual and other sensory inputs. This set of different sensory inputs does not match with any of the previously stored neural patterns, and the brain interprets this mistracking as the effects of neurotoxins. Consequently, the brain triggers vomiting as a defense mechanism to expel the poisons from the stomach, into which the toxins have possibly entered with food.

f) Time and exposure sum or potence. Only around 20 - 30% of the population show a substantially increased susceptibility, due to increased neuronal instability in specific brain regions. Secondly, susceptible people need to be subjected continuously to the EIFs for a significant time, say 20 to 30 minutes, before hallucinations are reported. This applies if the person is static.

g) Individual differences in sensitivity. This is known for the motor sickness as instance. This last factor say there are individual differences in neuronal stability. What could make that difference?

It is the network stability, and one factor that shelter the neurones is myeline. There can also be differences in the chemical constitution of branes, as serotonin-level seen in migraine, stress etc. From earlier we saw that iron is interesting. Let's explore this more.

I add a ref. from the NIEHS-report 2001, that is quite typical.

When male volunteers were exposed to simulated industrial infrasound of 5 and 10 Hz and levels of 100 and 135 dB for 15 minutes, feeling of fatigue, apathy, and depression, pressure in the ears, loss of concentration, drowsiness, and vibration of internal organs were reported. In addition, effects were found in the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system. Synchronization phenomena were enhanced in the left hemisphere. Visual motor responses to stimuli were prolonged, and the strength of effector response was reduced. Heart rate was increased during the initial minutes of exposure. Depression of the encephalic hemodynamics with decreased venous flow from the skull cavity and was observed. Heart muscle contraction strength was reduced. Respiration rate was significantly reduced after the first minute of exposure.

Townsend also showed that low and high GMF activity can act very differently on different hallucinatory characters. As instance dream bizarrness and ESP accurancy grow in low activity more, and psychokinesis was enhanced by high activity. The different capacities must be held apart.

Artificial man-made EM-fields needs also attention. The so called EM-allergy is a fact (histamine production). These fields are also linked to Alzheimers, Schizophrenia etc. Also to self-healing capacities.

Maurice Townsend, 2006: Magnetic fields causing ghosts? Magnetic Hallucinations. ASSAP website. http://www.assap.org/newsite/articles/Magnetic%20ghosts.html

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), 2001: Infrasound. Brief Review of Toxicological Literature. Infrasound Toxicological Summary November 2001http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/Chem_Background/ExSumPdf/Infrasound.pdf
Karpova, N.I., S.V. Alekseev, V.N. Erokhin, E.N. Kadyskina, and O.V. Reutov. 1970. Early response of the organism to low-frequency acoustic oscillations. Noise Vib. Bull. 11(65):100-103. NIOSHTIC record 1997:59793. (Ref. No. 29)

Ronald J. White, 1998: Weightlessness and the Human Body. Sci.Am. sept1998: 58-63

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