How does NeuroPhone work?
Allen L. Barker
alb at datafilter.com
Sun Jan 11 21:39:04 EST 2004
Doktor DynaSoar wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 14:09:58 GMT, "Allen L. Barker"
> <alb at datafilter.com> wrote:
> } Doktor DynaSoar wrote:
> } > On 9 Jan 2004 14:13:56 -0800, curious11112001 at yahoo.com (Curious)
> } > wrote:
> } >
> } > } Invented by Patrick Flanagan. It is said to directly stimulate parts
> } > } of the brain's auditory cortex to produce sound perception. Is this
> } > } too good to be true?
> } > }
> } > } Thanks in advance.
> } >
> } > It definitely doesn't stimulate the auditory cortex to create sound
> } > perception. It modulates sound into an FM radio signal. The auditory
> } > cortex does not process sound, whether modulated into another
> } > frequency or not. It processes neural impulses.
> } It can modulate the sound of an FM radio *onto* its ultrasonic signal,
> } but it does not modulate the sound *into* an FM radio signal. And
> } apparently the ultrasonic signal is amplitude modulated rather than
> } frequency modulated.
> } See my earlier article in the thread and the links there for much more
> } info.
> I have. I originally read the design in Flanagan's book, 30 years ago.
> The 50 kHz signal generator is for setting the spacings in the
> constant amplitude square wave. It's more akin to sampling while
> ignoring the amplitude of the original signal. Saying it is
> "ultrasonic" is as incorrect as applying that word to a 44.1 kHz
> sampling CD.
You seem to be referring to information in Flanagan's 1968 patent,
3,647,970. This patent describes a "method and system for simplifying
speech waveforms." The idea there is to greatly simplify a speech
wavefore but to retain enough properties so that it remains intelligible.
The system essentially removes the amplitude information from the speech
signal and retains the frequency information in essentially on/off
transitions between fixed signal levels. That is, it is basically a
square wave where the times between the transitions are modulated. Each
band of a multiple bandpass vocoder-like device apparently gets the
treatment and the signals are combined (compare with the Sharp and Grove
method of modulating voice onto pulsed microwaves). This patent, then,
is essentially for a *preprocessing* of the audio signal to make it
more intelligible when sent by other methods -- including presumably
by on/off transitions of an ultrasonic carrier signal rather than using
full amplitude modulation.
Flanagan claims the simplified speech waveform can be transmitted through
the earth or water as pressure waves and still be understood. Talk
about possible mind control and harassment applications; what all could
you modulate with a basic square wave carrying intelligible speech?
Ground vibrations? Pressure in water pipes? The power lines? RF noise?
It is something to consider, and surely the psyop guys have been all
over it for years. What sort of influencing could be subtly and deniably
applied to groups, over a wide area? A criminal state could even try to
deniably torture its dissidents to death with such things, under the
cover of psychiatry.
The original 1962 neurophone patent (3,393,279) describes the actual
sending of the signals to the person. The patent does talk about
RF and modulating "electromagnetic signals," with a preferred embodiment
being a pair of insulated electrodes for skin contact. The modulated
RF signal is sent to the pair of insulated electrodes. The patent
also claims that both amplitude and frequency modulation may be used.
(One of the figures shows a neurophone built into the back of a
I wouldn't be surprised if there *were* some way to send audible
speech via direct nerve-coupled RF, but to show it you would have to
rule out transduction to acoustic waves (ultrasonic or otherwise),
including any thermoacoustic effects such as the microwave hearing
effect. Here is what Flanagan recently wrote about his original
patent and invention, in a 1996 "Neurophone News!" newsletter:
Dr. Flanagan's original Neurophone patent number 3,393,279 issued
on 7/16/1968 consisted of a 30 - 50 kHz amplitude modulated
ultrasonic oscillator that generated approximately 3,000 volts
peak to peak across two mylar plastic insulated electrodes that
were placed in contact with the skin. When an audio signal such
as music was fed into the device, the music could be heard by a
person wearing the electrodes on their skin. The Neurophone
hearing sensation feels like the sound is at the center of the
head. Tests at Tufts University showed that the skin under the
electrodes was caused to vibrate by the energy field. When a
stethoscope was placed on the skin next to the electrodes, the
audio vibration could easily be heard.
The stethoscope result is kind of interesting, as it suggests that
there is also a transduction to ordinary, audible frequencies at the
skin's surface. But both ordinary bone conduction and ultrasonic hearing
pathways seem to exist, since certain groups of deaf people can hear one
and not the other. Lenhardt et al. used an amplitude-modulated
piezoelectric vibrator running at ultrasonic frequencies. Later models
of the Neurophone apparently do, too.
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