The anterior commissure, a fiber tract that is larger in its midsagittal area in women than in men, was examined in 90 postmortem brains from homosexual men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual women. The midsagittal plane of the anterior commissure in homosexual men was 18% larger than in heterosexual women and 34% larger than in heterosexual men. This anatomical difference, which correlates with gender and sexual orientation, may, in part, underlie differences in cognitive function and cerebral lateralization among homosexual men, heterosexual men, and heterosexual women. Moreover, this finding of a difference in a structure not known to be related to reproductive functions supports the hypothesis that factors operating early in development differentiate sexually dimorphic structures and functions of the brain, including the anterior commissure and sexual orientation, in a global fashion.
A thin band of white matter crossing from side to side beneath the habenula of the pineal body and over the entrance to the cerebral aqueduct and largely composed of fibers connecting mesoencephalic regions.
Source:The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
(4) lesions of the medial and/or principal portion of the nuclear complex of the posterior commissure are essential for the production of lid retraction. These structures are assumed to be involved in lid-eye coordination by providing inhibitory modulation of LP motor neuronal activity; (5) the ventral periaqueductal grey is assumed to play a role in the generation of tonic LP motor neuronal activity; (6) neurons of the caudal supraoculomotor area could play a role in the mediation of converging inhibitory inputs onto LP motor neurons.
source: brain.oxfordjournals.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">brain.oxfordjournals.org
In a typical day I am an interventional radiologist and a diagnostic one. I perform procedures either vascular, biopsy type procedures or others.
1. Is the MRI capable of revealing the effects of such aging diseases as Dementia or Alzheimer’s?
A)Yes, atrophy or volume loss with certain preferences to the frontal and temporal lobes, functional MRI is also being researched as is perfusion related imaging with either MRI, CT or PET studies.
2. The CT scanner? Or any other mechanism available?
3. Are there significant variables to each individual’s brain?
A)Yes many but for the most part, a disease effects everyone in a similar fashion.
4. Do you use a dye for contrast?
A)Not really a dye but it is called so. We use contrast material containg iodine compound so it will show up on CT, gadolinium which is a rare earth metal that has certain magnetic sensitive properties allowing it to be detected by the MRI system. PET scan uses radioactive sugar and detects variable radiation level equivalent to areas of hypermetabolic activity-
5. Are there any known or suspected side effects of this dye, or the procedure in general?
A)Iodine has an allergic risk either mild or severe, and can be life threatening- I am allergic to this. Gadolinium for MRI has lower allergy risk. Iodine has risk to kidneys when too much is given, in diabetics or others who already have compromised renal function. Gadolinium has lower renal risks. Cannot be given to people who are pregnant or with sickle cell disease.
6. Can you explain the MRI and how it functions? Layman’s terms please.
A)To keep it simple, you place a person into a magnetic field, send in a pulse wave similar to radio with the use of gradient coils, and then use the same machine to detect the return of the signal ( which varies by proton levels in the tissue) then using an elaborate computer system to interpret the information and construct a 3 dimensional understanding that translates into an image.
7. The CT scanner?
A)Xrays are given in thin collimation beam and go through the tissues and are then received by detectors that use a computerized algorithm to reconstruct an image by 3 d volume and then make the slices based on the average density in the assigned voxels/ pixels.
8. Can you explain the difference in the two and what they are specifically used for as a comparison?
A)MRI is much better for brain, spinal cord and soft tissue imaging, it can tell if tissue is normal or cancerous. It can also tell about brain function, can use spectroscopy calculations to determine if certain tissues are cancerous, scarred, dead brain matter or normal tissue.
CT is much better for lung tissues, bones as far as for fractures or cortical erosions. CT is good for trauma evaluation such as blood in the brain, trauma to abdominal organs.
CT is also better for detecting abnormalities with the bowel such as obstrucion. looking for kidney stones and is better at looking at blood vessels compared to MRI.
Here is an example : CT is better for acute trauma, blood , skull or facial fractures. MRI is better for brain damage, swelling, or deteriming the age of hemorrhage when it is either chronic or subacute especially, we can use this information such as deteriming time of injury to a child's head from abuse.
End of Interview...
Transcribed by ATS Member Semperfortis
I was born 26 June 1945 in Jacksonville Florida. I was reared primarily in Virginia, Maryland and Wisconsin. After attending Carroll College (1963-1964), I was graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1967). Psychology ("Psychochemistry") was selected as a major because it was the interface between the social and physical sciences. I obtained my M.A. (Physiological Psychology) from the University of Tennessee and my Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba (1971). I have been employed as a professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario Canada since 1971. During this period I have published more than 200 technical articles in referred journals and have written six books (see full C.V).
My primary philosophical goal is to discern the commonalities that exist between the sciences and to integrate the fundamental concepts. I assume that the human brain, its microstructure and intricate activity are the source of all human knowledge. To that end I have emphasised geophysics because it is a central focus for the physical sciences and neuroscience (originally physiological psychology) because it is a central focus for the emerging biosocial sciences. One of the major consequences of this bilateral interest has been the pursuit and discovery of subtle interactions between the geophysical/ meteorological environment and human behavior.
Because scientific explanations and attributions are transient labels applied to the largely inferred and unseen shared sources of variance within numerical data (or verbal responses that serve as nominal data), I have pursued methodology and multivariate (statistical) approaches. Magnetic fields were selected as a focus because they are one of the few stimuli that evoke changes across all levels of scientific discourse. This perspective was summarized in ELF and VLF Electromagnetic Field Effects (1974) and Space-Time Transients and Unusual Events (1977). These approaches in conjunction with the goal of integrating concepts have influenced my decision to investigate interdisciplinary problems and to apply these skills both within academic and practical settings.
Persinger (1989) points out that deep temporal lobe activity exists in equilibrium with the global geomagnetic condition. When there is a sudden decrease in geomagnetic activity, there appears to be an enhancement of processes that facilitate psi reception, especially telepathy and clairvoyance. Increases in geomagnetic activity may suppress pineal melatonin levels and contribute to reductions of cortical seizure thresholds. Indeed, melatonin is correlated with temporal lobe- related disorders such as depression and seizures. Persinger has postulated that increased geomagnetic activity may contribute to expressive psi, such as spontaneous or laboratory psychokinesis. Some research data (e.g., Braud & Dennis, 1989) support this conjecture and Gertrude R. Schmeidler (1994, p. 216) has proposed that a psychokinesis subject who is more "aroused" (by the geomagnetic activity) would be more effective.
2. Of particular relevance to psi is the capacity for the hippocampus to show long term potentiation, the first step to memory. A 400 cycles per second electrical stimulation of only 1 second can lead to semipermanent changes in electrical activity and produce observable growth of dendritic spines within 10 minutes. Such quick plasticity indicates that only a few seconds of the appropriate psi- related stimulus could evoke permanent changes in brain microstructures and hence modify memory Once the memory is consolidated it could appear as "real" as memory acquired by more traditional pathways.
3. The two temporal lobes of the brain constitute about 40% of the higher functioning area called the cerebrum; thus, there may be a greater potential for dysfunction or anomalous functioning of the temporal lobes than for other lobes. The temporal lobes are well situated for integrating perceptual stimuli of all kinds as well as for integrating various aspects of such cognitive functions as memory, learning, language, sense of self, in addition to emotional, sexual, and aggressive functions. Because of these capacities, psi experiences could also be integrated in the temporal lobes (Neppe, 1990).
In contrast to the temporal lobes, there is little evidence or logic for claiming that an important role is played by other cerebral cortex areas. However, the frontal lobes, as the executive of the cognitive- motor cortex, could logically be associated with psychokinesis. The occipital lobes are likely candidates for apparitions, "visions," and perceptions of so- called "auras" because of their involvement in visual associations. The parietal lobes are involved in visual- spatial distortions such as those that characterize some reports of presumptive psi (Neppe, 1983). As a result of an analysis of members of two families with temporal lobe dysfunction whose members reported psi- like experiences, Neppe suggested that there may be familial predispositions to presumptive psi phenomena (Hurst & Neppe, 1981).
7. "Postmodern" Science and Psi Research
Parapsychology has pioneered research into several aspects of human behavior and experience that are now a part of mainstream psychology, e.g., hypnosis, multiple personalities, anomalous healing. Other topics investigated by the early societies for psychical research (e.g., lucid dreaming, near- death experiences, out- of- body experiences) are beginning to enter the psychological mainstream and the mechanisms for these phenomena are on their way to becoming understood. Perhaps telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis someday will travel the same road. The prefix "para" does not exclude ordinary mechanisms for psi phenomena. Neher (1990) observes that "parapsychology" simply means "alongside of" the mainstream of psychology. After reviewing the two fields, Collins and Pinch (1982) conclude that "there is...nothing in psychology that definitely makes parapsychology unscientific." They also claim that "it has not been demonstrated decisively that there are any specific physical principles that conflict with parapsychology." Truzzi (198O) would consider parapsychology to be a "legitimate scientific enterprise" whether or not psi actually exists because parapsychologists employ such scientific methods as target randomization, double- blind judging, control groups, and statistical tests. For Leahy and Leahy (1983),"methodologically, parapsychology is a science; substantially,the verdict is still out."
Paranormal beliefs linked to brain chemistry
Whether or not you believe in the paranormal may depend entirely on your brain chemistry. People with high levels of dopamine are more likely to find significance in coincidences, and pick out meaning and patterns where there are none.
Peter Brugger, a neurologist from the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, has suggested before that people who believe in the paranormal often seem to be more willing to see patterns or relationships between events where sceptics perceive nothing.
To find out what could be triggering these thoughts, Brugger persuaded 20 self-confessed believers and 20 sceptics to take part in an experiment.
Brugger and his colleagues asked the two groups to distinguish real faces from scrambled faces as the images were flashed up briefly on a screen. The volunteers then did a similar task, this time identifying real words from made-up ones.
Seeing and believing
Believers were much more likely than sceptics to see a word or face when there was not one, Brugger revealed last week at a meeting of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies in Paris. However, sceptics were more likely to miss real faces and words when they appeared on the screen.
The researchers then gave the volunteers a drug called L-dopa, which is usually used to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain.
Both groups made more mistakes under the influence of the drug, but the sceptics became more likely to interpret scrambled words or faces as the real thing.
That suggests that paranormal thoughts are associated with high levels of dopamine in the brain, and the L-dopa makes sceptics less sceptical. "Dopamine seems to help people see patterns," says Brugger.
However, the single dose of the drug did not seem to increase the tendency of believers to see coincidences or relationships between the words and images.
That could mean that there is a plateau effect for them, with more dopamine having relatively little effect above a certain threshold, says Peter Krummenacher, one of Brugger's colleagues.
Dopamine is an important chemical involved in the brain's reward and motivation system, and in addiction. Its role in the reward system may be to help us decide whether information is relevant or irrelevant, says Françoise Schenk from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.
Prior research has suggested that psi performance directly correlates with the earth's geomagnetic field fluctuations, high psi hit rates correlate with low geomagnetic fields and low psi hit rates correlate with high geomagnetic hit rates. The relationship of psi and geomagnetism was investigated in a pseudorandom-number generator psi task. The results showed a correlation of r, (1670) = .059, p = n.s.. The results do not support the hypothesis. However, the means of hits and planetary A-index suggests a trend of association between high geomagnetic activity and high hits, and low geomagnetic activity and low hits.
Fluctuation effects of Earth's Geomagnetic Field on a Pseudo random-Number generator Psi Response Task
Forty undergraduate students from Franklin Pierce college were used as voluntary participants.
The materials used in this experiment included: a computer controlled binary pseudorandom-number generator; weekly data sheets; and the daily planetary A-index measurements, obtained from the Internet computer service's Solar Daily Geophysical Bulletin.
Each participant was instructed that they would need to concentrate on a twenty-five digit binary number sequence and record it on a tally sheet. The participant then received a seven day data sheet to be used to tally their daily binary sequences. Once the experimenter asked if the participants had questions, each participant then went to their residence and recorded their perceived binary sequence before 8 p.m. that day. The participants continued to record their perceived binary sequences for forty-two consecutive days, with a 10 day recess in between the testing period for college vacation. On each night of the experiment, between 8p.m. and 12 a.m., the experimenter retrieved a twenty-five binary digit sequence for each individual participant from a computer controlled pseudorandom-number generator. The computer then automatically stored each sequence on to a computer disk to keep the experimenter blind to the participant's performance. At the end of each seven day period the experimenter obtained the data sheets for the past week and gave each participant a new sheet. Once the forty-two days of experimentation was completed the experimenter collected all the remaining data sheets. After the PRNG data had been compared to the participant's raw data, the experimenter proceeded to obtain the daily geomagnetic planetary A-index levels for the testing period from the Internet computer service's Solar Daily Geophysical Bulletin. The analysis of the PAI data was purposely conducted after all of the PRNG had been analyzed to avoid experimenter bias.
A Pearson product-moment correlation test revealed that there was no significant correlation between participant hits and geomagnetic activity, r, (1670) = .059, p = n.s. Figure one shows the Univariate distribution of the participant hits and daily PAI measurements.
The means of the PAI measurement and the participant hit data show a trend of association between high geomagnetic activity and high hits to be associated, and low geomagnetic activity and low hits. The mean of the PAI measurement hit data was 28.692. The theoretical mean of the participant hit data was 12.794, with a standard error of .079 and a standard deviation of 3.15. Figure two shows the combined it count all participants over the course of the experiment. Figure three shows the count of the PAI data over the courses of the experiment.
The results are inconsistent with the hypothesis, that higher hit rates will correlate with low geomagnetic activity, and low hit rates will correlate with high geomagnetic activity. The present study gave evidence that there was no correlation in high hit rates with high geomagnetic activity, and lower hit rates with low geomagnetic activity. However, the results show a trend for higher psi hits to be possibly associated with high geomagnetic activity, and low psi hits to be possibly associated with low geomagnetic activity.
Therefore, in looking at the results of the present study it is suggested that further research be conducted with random participant pools and varied length of testing periods to created new conditions, thus we many find that there may yet be some other undiscovered variable affecting how psi tasks are induced and affected.
Persinger's temporal lobe scales have been validated in two ways. First, it was shown that epileptics score substantially higher than controls on the scales (Persinger & Makarec, 1993). Second, amount of EEG alpha activity in the temporal lobe, but not the occipital lobe, was greater among high than low scorers on Persinger's scales (Makarec & Persinger, 1990). However, the scales do not show particularly good discriminant validity as measures of temporal lobe epilepsy. Clinical groups suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety depersonalization, and "exotic dissociation" scored quite high on the scales (although not as high as the epileptics), and the scales correlate extremely highly (.72 to .83) with the Bernstein-Putnam Dissociative Experiences Scale (Persinger & Makarec, 1993).
Blood to the medulla is supplied by a number of arteries.
* Direct branches of the vertebral artery
* Posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA)
* Anterior spinal artery
The anterior spinal artery supplies the whole medial part of the medulla oblongata. A blockage (such as in a stroke) will injure the pyramidal tract, medial lemniscus and the hypoglossal nucleus. This causes a syndrome called medial medullary syndrome.
The posterior inferior cerebellar artery, a major branch of the vertebral artery, supplies the posterolateral part of the medulla, where the main sensory tracts run and synapse. (As the name implies, it also supplies some of the cerebellum.)
The vertebral artery supplies an area between the other two main arteries, including the nucleus solitarius and other sensory nuclei and fibres. Lateral medullary syndrome can be caused by occlusion of either the PICA or the vertebral arteries.
The Medulla Oblongata - approx. 3 cm long - is the most inferior portion of the BrainStem and is continuous Inferiorly with the Spinal Cord. Superfically the Spinal Cord blends into the Medulla but internally there are several differences.
Discrete Nuclei (clusters of Gray Matter, composed mostly of cell bodies, surrounded by White Matter) with specific functions are found within the Medulla Oblongata but not within the Spinal Cord. In addition, the Spinal Tracts that pass through the Medulla do not have the same organization as the tracts of the Spinal Cord.
THEORY # 2: Electromagnetic Waves Affecting the Brain
This theory was first introduced by Michael Persinger. He is the Professor of Psychology and head of the Neuroscience Research Group at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada. His theory is that the sensation commonly described as “having a religious experience/paranormal experience” is merely a side effect of our bicameral brain’s feverish activities. Simplified considerably, the idea goes like so: When the right hemisphere of the brain, the seat of emotion, is stimulated in the cerebral region that is presumed to control notions of self; and then the left hemisphere, the seat of language, is called upon to make sense of this nonexistent entity, the mind generates a “sensed presence.” Dr. Persinger believes such cerebral “fritzing” is responsible for almost anything one might describe as paranormal, incuding aliens, heavenly apparitions, past-life sensations, near-death experiences, awareness of the soul, and so on. Experimental subjects who were exposed to a specific series of pulses from TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) described feeling an invisible presence near them or feeling connected to the whole world.
The experience of an "other worldly experience" is well-documented in the neuroscientific literature. It tends to happen to people who are capable of vivid imagery and who are under some sort of stress -- anything from lack of oxygen and food to a recent bereavement. Such experiences are thought to be trigge#730400 somehow in the temporal lobes, those parts of the brain around and above the ears.
Putting the Theory to the Test: M.A.T.I.S.
The VGHRS routinely conducts EM surveys of all of the property/buildings that we investigate, including initial investigations if at all possible. Typically, we ask that the electricity to the building beshut off ann wait 20-30 minutes for any residual energy to settle before the survey is conducted. We then use a Trifield meter to measure EM waves throughout the location. If an EMF spike or unusually high EM activity is recorded, we first look for natural explanations such as nearby power lines. Jim Hale gave birth to M.A.T.I.S - the Magnetic Anomaly Tracking and Identification System (read more about it here) This system presently measures infra#730400 (IR), visible (Vis), and ultraviolet (UV) light; geomagnetic (0-0.5 Hz) static electromagnetic fields; 60 Hz dynamic electromagnetic fields from wiring, vibration, and galvanic skin response of a human subject. If Dr. Persinger’s theory holds true, then one might except to find high levels of EM at a reportedly “haunted” location. The VGHRS is still collecting data to assess this theory.
Putting the Theory to the Test: The Brain Fritzer
See our techology page for more info about the Brain Fritzer
During Halloween of 2004 the VGHRS gave a presentation at the Chesterfield Historical Society's Spirit Walk at Magnolia Grange - (you can read about it here) - and had a number of people try out the Brain Fritzer. The results were exactly as we had expected - once we pulsed at least 40 hz through and around their temporal lobes people began to have the same experiences/symptoms they have before/during a paranormal experience. The VGHRS/CPRI hopes to do more research to try to pinpoint exactly how this works. Initial results look very promising.
On a side note: Dr. Persinger theorizes, for example, that just prior to earthquakes there are deformations in the natural EM field caused by the intense pressure change in subsurface tectonic plates. This might explain why some researchers have noted that when local geomagnetics conditions are ACTIVE, people often report increased levels of paranormal activity (hence, the reason for “Ghost Weather”" on our website)
The Brain Fritzer
The Brain Fritzer idea was that of Bobbie Atristain, CPRI Founder. It was modeled Dr. Michael Persinger's model of a helmet to stimulate certain regions of the brain to cause someone to have a "paranormal" experience. Tests conducted in a labortory have shown that when the temporal lobes of the human brain are stimulated with certain frequencies people will experience many of the phenomena associated with the paranormal. It is CPRI's hope that by conducting these experiments with the Brain Fritzer we can better understand how the brain and paranormal phenomena relate to one another.
M.A.T.I.S. stands for Magnetic Anomaly Tracking and Identification System. It waws developed with a set of sensors that will track and identify anomalous magnetic energy in an environment. It is a computerized data recording system that can work with other kinds of sensors, including digital thermometers, IR/UV sensors, Infrasound etc.It is our hope that by tracking these anomalies in alleged "haunted" locations we can better understand its effects on the environment and hopefully help us understand the makings of paranormal phenomena.