Alternative auditory pathways to the brain
John Michael Williams
jwill at AstraGate.net
Fri Apr 25 20:34:15 EST 2003
Very interesting post!
Some comment below.
"Allen L. Barker" <alb at datafilter.com> wrote in message news:<b8bq67$hu8$1 at slb3.atl.mindspring.net>...
> Alternative auditory pathways to the brain
> The page below describes some experiments conducted by Colin Keay, a
> pioneer in geophysical electrophonics (defined as "the production of
> audible noises of various kinds through direct conversion by
> transduction of very low frequency electromagnetic energy generated by
> a number of geophysical phenomena").
Keay seems mostly to be concerned with the ionizing trail left by
a meteor (bolide) as possible source of the auditory sensations
claimed by witnesses. It would be interesting if these objects were
metallic iron in composition: They might concentrate lines of force
from the Earth's magnetic field; then, there might be density
(=conductivity) modulations as the meteoroid penetrated different
layers (features) of atmosphere, causing kHz RF in turn detected
auditorally. I think these objects arrive at speeds around 40,000
> Dr. Lenhardt further states that audio perceptual threshold tests
> run on young, elderly and profoundly deaf people show that bone
> conduction ultrasonic perception thresholds are essentially the
> same in all three groups. This leads researchers to conclude that
> there is an alternate hearing mechanism for receiving direct
> contact ultrasonic signals. This study shows that profoundly deaf
> people, can apparently hear sounds in the ultrasonic frequency
> range when the sound is conducted directly into the body by
> vibratory means. Up until this discovery, only dolphins, bats and
> some other animals were known to be capable of hearing in the
> ultrasonic frequency band.
Include dogs: dog-whistles emit mostly ultrasonic sound. I think up
to around 30 kHz.
> Finally, the sorts of acoustic pulses believed to be responsible for
> microwave hearing can be induced by mechanisms other than microwaves.
> (And what about ultrasonic thermoacoustic waves?) Below is a quote
> from a survey article, "Human Auditory Perception of Pulsed
> Radiofrequency Energy," J.A. Elder and C. K. Chou, Motorola Florida
> Research Laboratories. Do note the source, though, and phrases like,
> "Human perception of pulses of RF radiation is a well-established
> phenomenon that is not an adverse effect."
Right: Tinnitus is the perception of
hissing, buzzing, or sizzling because of cochlear damage. It
is a debilitating disease symptom requiring therapy in
many cases. Anything causing similar sensations would be similarly
debilitating, especially if the cause was not identified so
that the victim had to bear it without knowing how to
> The hypothesis of Foster and Finch (1974) predicts that the RF
> hearing effect is related to thermoelastically induced mechanical
> vibrations in the head. Vibrations of this type can be produced
> by other means, such as by a laser pulse or by a pulsed
> piezoelectric crystal in contact with the skull (Chou et al.,
This hypothesis can be shown wrong, or at least seriously inconsistent
with the known mammalian sensitivity to RF. Some of the criticism may be
found in my posting at http://arXiv.org/pdf/physics/0102007
I am working on a more thorough study of microwave hearing, but
it is not published or posted yet. The microwave hearing
effect in the literature almost certainly is a direct EM effect
on the cochlea. My guess is the hair cells themselves; in any
case some anatomical feature common to all mammals, because the
threshold for microwave hearing is the same in all species
within about a factor of two. Thermoelastic effects depend
linearly on the size of the skull (and the thermal expansion
coefficient(s) of the skull and head tissues). If it were
the only correct effect, the threshold would be much higher for
rats than humans--it is about the same.
> ... We're not just talking random electropollution here.
> See this _US News_ article by Douglas Pasternak, for example,
The Marines here complain about having to shoot people rather than
blind them with lasers. But, that's the way the law works:
Poison gas is forbidden, as well as tear gas (by military, not
by police), because it is gas. Blinding is forbidden, because it
is blinding, regardless of the alternatives (bullets).
Poisoning and infection with disease is forbidden, even if
the victim would be expected to recover. This prevents
greater abuse by forbidding all abuse.
> By using very low frequency electromagnetic radiation -- the
> waves way below radio frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum
> -- he [Eldon Byrd] found he could induce the brain to release
> behavior-regulating chemicals. ...
I agree that such effects are possible; I am not sure
how selective, though. It takes a relatively low frequency to
penetrate the human skull or other part of the body; high
frequencies, say over 10 GHz, won't penetrate much, although they
would for a small animal such as a rat. Low frequencies mean long
wavelengths, which can't be concentrated very well in small areas.
Thus, selectivity for different parts of the brain I think would have
to be by resonance, not spatial focussing of a beam.
RF causes rotation of dipoles in cell membranes, creating
a time-averaged depolarization and thus interfering with
normal function of nerves and muscles, at least, if
not also glands.
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