Isn't it lucky?

Michael Hucka hucka at
Fri Jan 10 16:39:19 EST 1997

>>>>> On 9 Jan 1997, mbrisbane at (Martin Brisbane) wrote:

  mbrisbane> But where you say "subtle changes in various aspects of brain
  mbrisbane> and behavior", I think you have a shade of meaning in mind that
  mbrisbane> is at odds with our topic. Do you mean something like the way
  mbrisbane> that sodium pentathol makes you talkative, and from a
  mbrisbane> neuroscientist's point of view that "sure is a subtle change in
  mbrisbane> function"?

Well, you didn't mention anything at all about dictators in your original
posting (though I see the implication in the very last sentence of that
article), so it's hard to guess what's at odds with your topic.

Some examples of subtle changes in behavior that I had in mind might be:

 * increased alertness resulting from intake of caffeine
 * reduction in pain sensitivity resulting from intake of aspirin

  mbrisbane> By the way, I'm curious as to why you say there are "many" ways
  mbrisbane> to do it without going through the 5 senses. Chemicals I grant
  mbrisbane> you, surgery we dismissed for unsubtlety, and the only other way
  mbrisbane> I can think of (TCMS) requires very prominent, powerful magnets
  mbrisbane> and therefore can also be dismissed as being too unsubtle.

Some other examples:

 * Very low frequency sound waves (in the range of 10-30 Hz, if I remember
   correctly) that are below the threshold of human hearing can cause nausea
   and other discomfort in people.  Assuming such vibrations are not so
   strong that a person feels them on their body, then, since they are below
   the threshold of hearing, this would not be going through the 5 senses.

 * It turns out people are sensitive to the amount of daylight that they
   receive in a diurnal cycle.  During the winter season, many people
   experience depression because of the reduced amount of daylight.  This is
   not a good example because it relies on light sensitivity (i.e., vision),
   but it's not a direct perceptual manipulation, and it effectuates a subtle
   change in behavior.

I'm sure there must be others.  Again, these may not be the kind of thing
you meant in your original posting.

Mike Hucka     hucka at     <URL:>
 Ph.D. candidate, computational models of human visual processing, U-M AI Lab
     UNIX admin & programmer/analyst, EECS Dept., University of Michigan

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