Technology And The Brain... ( Was The Utter Failure Of The Public Schools )

Haunter Haunter at castles.com
Sun Jun 17 15:27:42 EST 2001

On Sun, 17 Jun 2001 15:39:47 -0400, "Marcus S. Turner"
<msharpet at bellsouth.net> wrote:

>Okay ( Sorry for the top post but it seems to be a bit clearer in this
>Looking over a few threads in the bionet.neuroscience, the idea being
>bantered back and forth appears to be related to the current research in the
>mapping of the mind, i.e. where does the part of the brain that anger
>reside?  Hope?  Joy?
>There were several back and forth conversations regarding the current state
>of technology.  The common consensus was that while we are starting to
>determine general areas of emotional response, we are nowhere near the
>ability to determine something as mundane as "state of mind."  Good day,
>bad day.
>The discussions did make a guess at what might happen with this research in
>the future, given advances in scientific understand and technological
>innovation.  Some folks believe that the technology might one day exist that
>will enable us to "read minds" or at least obtain a better understanding of
>what is happening in our own head.  It is an interesting discussion on
>I did not find any thing to suggest that this ability could be used by
>others without the technology.  But I may have missed something.  And
>biology is not one of my strong points.
>Having said that, I will make a small comment about the accusations going
>back and forth between Mark and Dan Pressnell in a different part of this
>thread.  It appears that it is based on a couple of misunderstandings.
>Mark appears to be using a different definition of ESP than the one
>paranormals and skeptics use.  Technology usually isn't a part of the common
>use of  ESP.  Perhaps we may be able to "read minds" with technology in the
>future.  But I don't consider that to be ESP, a paranormal ability.  Perhaps
>that not what you meant but that is how it appeared.
>Dan appears to believe that Mark's comments were in direct support of the
>Teacher / Students anecdote that appeared earlier.  I don't believe Mark is
>supporting the story but his reference is a bit obscured by the story and
>the unspecified reference to another newsgroup.  Tho' Dan's reaction to the
>post does seem to be a bit over the top.  But given the number of trolls
>that appear any time ESP is mentioned, it is understandable.
>I think both you have valid points but they are not totally appropriate to
>the topic at hand.
>And since you both so shy and retiring, Please let me know if I am
>Marcus Turner
Regarding the issue of technology and ESP, I thought you might find
the following abstract of interest. Granted, it's only a sample of
one, but it's an indication, at least, that some folks are giving the
issue some thought. I've kept an eye out for follow-up studies, but
have found none, so far. I'll certainly pipe in if I find something
>ABSTRACT: Electroencephalograph (EEG) and Single-Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) data were collected from Sean Harribance, a well documented psychic who has previously
>participated in laboratory research, while he was engaged in psi tasks. This data was independently collected from 2 different laboratories during 1997. 
>The primary goal of the EEG data collection was to determine the dominant electrocortical activity and its location while Sean participated in psi tasks. EEG data were collected from Sean in the following 5 psi tasks: 2 psychic readings from photographs, 2 runs of card guessing with standard ESP cards using the down through method, and 1 remote viewing trial. After removing any artifacts, the data for each condition were then spectrally averaged and topographic brain maps were computed which showed that while Sean was engaged in psi tasks, alpha was dominant bilaterally in the paraoccipital region, with alpha power being strongest in the right parietal lobe at electrode placement P4. A lack of alpha activity was seen in the frontal and temporal lobes. 
> For subsequent data analysis, Dr. Robert Thatcher at Applied Neuroscience Laboratory in Redington Shores, Florida, edited and removed any artifacts from the raw EEG data collected from Sean during an eyes-closed baseline. He then analyzed the data for EEG coherence, phase, amplitude differences, and relative power, and compared these measures to the data in his Lifespan Reference EEG Database using the appropriate age-matched group. Results show deviations from the reference database that are primarily bilateral, involving the occipital, temporal, and frontal regions. Sub-optimal neural function is indicated, especially in the frontal and temporal cortical regions. 
>  Two Tc-99m SPECT ECD brain scans were completed with Sean in order to contrast a baseline resting condition with a psi task condition. The results indicate the areas of Sean's brain that were active while he was in the psi task condition and the baseline resting condition. The most pronounced finding was increased uptake of the tracer, relative to cerebellar uptake, in the paracentral lobule and in the superior parietal lobule of the right hemisphere only during the psi task condition. A mild decrease of function in the frontal,
>temporal, and thalamus regions is suggested by the lack of uptake of tracer in these areas during both conditions. 
>The consistency of the results across laboratories, equipment, experimenters, and research protocols suggests the existence of a neurophysiological correlate which is stable across both time and conditions. It is hypothesized that the parietal cortex is activated while Sean is engaged in psi tasks as this part of the brain is attributed with visual search attention via the posterior attention network. Also, it is speculated that Sean's brain may be more highly developed or may function at a higher level in the parietal cortex to
>compensate for a lack of activity or sub-optimal neural function in the frontal and temporal cortical regions. The data presented is specific for Sean and may not be applicable to others. Further research with other selected subjects is needed in order to determine if these results can be replicated between subjects. 

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