Mr. A. Frederick Collins describes some remarkable experiments, which appear to demonstrate that the influence of lightning discharges on the brain may be as much beyond the control of the will as the effect of light on the eye. Mr. Collins happened to be making experiments on a freshly-prepared human brain, with the view of showing that its substance acted as a coherer. Two isolated needle points had been inserted into the substance of the brain with the object of measuring the resistance between the points by a Wheatstone bridge. To his astonishment he found that he could not balance the bridge arms. After an approximate balance the needle suddenly swung to plus without any apparent cause, showing hundreds of ohms too much, and then made an immediate second deflection to the minus side, showing hundreds of ohms too little. This state continued a few minutes, when a peal of thunder revealed to him the cause of the puzzling behaviour of his galvanometer needle; it was due to the approach of a thunderstorm. As the storm approached the deflections grew more and more pronounced, so that there could be no doubt that the disturbance was due to it. To exclude the possibility that the deflections were due to the effect of the electric waves on the galvanometer system, a 1 ohm coil was measured, and in this no difficulty was encountered. When the storm was at its height a telephone receiver was substituted for the testing set, and through it and the substance of the brain came sounds like the cooling of a piece of red -hot metal quickly submerged in water.Clearly the brain was picking up the charges and discharges from the thunderstorm. From Collins's account of the experiment itself:
First the coherer was inserted into one hemisphere of the cerebrum to a depth of 2 or 3 mm, so that contact was made with the gray matter only. Slicing a horizontal portion from the upper part of the hemisphere, the coherer was next inserted in the mass of white matter forming the core. The sound of cohesion was less marked than in the previous test with the gray matter. Different portions of the white and gray matter were tried, but with similar results. The medulla oblongata did not yield results as satisfactory as the gray matter of the convolutions of the cerebrum. There was little difference between the calculations of the cerebrum, and the white and gray matter of the pons. The different layers of the cerebellum were next tried, and the rust-colored layer containing the granules produced the greatest coherer effect, while in the medulla, where the nerves center, the effect of the electric waves was less marked.The granule cells of the cerebellum were the most sensitive to radio waves. It turns out that the brain has an ANTENNA connected directly to those granule cells. I was thinking about this subject two years ago, from a different angle. = = = = = START REPRINT: This week I'm working on a courseware chapter about the cerebellum. Making animations forces me to (partly!) learn what's going on. In the brainstem and cortex, we have a fairly good sense of how things work, partly because the cortex is divided into visible sections with specific functions. The cerebellum is more mysterious, partly because it's not neatly modular and partly because its function seems to depend on waves and resonance. = = = = = The cortex has folds on its surface that correspond closely to areas of function. You can see the sensory strip, the motor strip, the speech reception area, and so on, as hills or bumps. = = = = = The cerebellum just has uniform unmarked folds, called folia or pages. One folium is lined in green. = = = = = Here's a super-simplified piece of one folium: The main players are the granule cells (blue) and the Purkinje cells (purple). Granule cells (blue) are small, simple and NUMEROUS, making up 80% of ALL the neurons in the WHOLE brain. They are scattered densely through the interior of the cerebellum. Each granule cell picks up signals from the input mossy fibers (green). Most of the input is from the body via the spine; some is from eyes, ears, balance mechanisms, and cortex. The output of each granule cell splits into a T-shaped parallel fiber, which runs along the length of the folium. These parallel fibers are densely packed along the surface of the cerebellum. Purkinje cells (purple) are the receivers. They're BIG and relatively sparse, and gridded in a tight layer underneath the parallel fibers. They pick up signals from the parallel fibers, do something with the signals, and send the processed or sorted signals back down to the spine to drive muscles. = = = = = Given that the granules are known to be resonant senders of modulated pulses, this image is irresistible: Here the resonant dipole sending antenna (parallel fibers) is producing a tuned signal, and Polistra (Purkinje) is tuning her receiver to pick up this particular sender. In the real world, as in the real cerebellum, there are many sending antennas and many receivers, each seeking out its desired signal. Pulling the metaphor to the breaking point: Since the transmitting parallel fibers are along the surface of the cerebellum, are they also transmitting externally to other brains? And past the breaking point, power of prayer? These neurons do a whole lot of monostable and astable multivibrator activity. When internal sync is gone, can external input resync? = = = = = END REPRINT. Can external input resync? There's the coherer.
Labels: Carver, Grand Blueprint, Trinity House
The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.