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stimulation of "in situ" brain cells

kyan1 at vaxc.hofstra.edu kyan1 at vaxc.hofstra.edu
Sun Jul 19 18:44:09 EST 1998

re: feeding information into the brain..

flefever at ix.netcom.com(F. Frank LeFever) wrote:
> Mant years ago, the New York Neuropsychology Group had either Cracco or
> Macabee (Downstate Med Ctr, Broooklyn) speak on their then vry new
> magnetic stimulation work.  Since then there have been MAN, MANY
> studies employing this technique; it seems to me with some acceleration
> in the rate of use over the past 3-4 years.
> How local?  Well, in the early applications, movement of (e.g.) one
> thumb was the goal.  Subsequent targets have been more interesting
> (looking more at cognitve/perceptual questions), but this gives you an
> idea of the focus which is easily obtained.  (Haven't followed it, so
> don't knoow how fine the focus can get.)

thanks for the information:)  Ive heard of recent developments
in TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) being able to trigger
laughter in 1 patient.  She doesnt know whats happening &, when
asked, tries to explain the laughing from her surroundings.

> NOT a good way for "feeding information" into brains; better suited to
> interfering with activity in a given area, with inferences about
> localization (perhaps even timing) based on interruption of information
> processing...

exactly.  It is already quite amazing that they can achieve that
much focus with magnetic stimulation.

> There is also direct electrical cortical stimulation, from Penfield
> (over half a century ago) to (e.g.) Ojemann, currently.  Much the same
> comments apply.  This is, however quite invasive.

actually I think this approach is more promising, if the goal
is to input "information" to the brain, not just to trigger
some response only.  I believe that with micro elctrodes it
is possible to stimulate single neurons without affecting those
nearby.  Thats why Im looking for more research results in this
area.  Ive also heard that stimulation of the visual cortex
has successfully caused blind people to see some vague images,
(eg an "I" shape)...

> As an undergrad philosophy major, I of course studied metaphysics.  My
> impression is that this is not what gets labeled metaphysics in popular
> forums (i.e. neither science nor philosophy).  Probably would not be
> interested.
> F. LeFever
hm... pls cf the other thread.    Yan King Yin

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