El Iblis Shah on Thu, 30 May 96 19:36 MDT

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nettime: Can you feel it?

This quote from the New York Times, Tuesday, May 21, 1996, p. B5
was posted to alt.rec.brainwash via IAAP recently. I found this to be a 
fascinating news article. 
Check also <http://www.t0.or.at/msguide/cyberwar.htm>

El Iblis Shah

Subject: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
From: "Donald K. Routh" drouth@umiami.ir.miami.edu
To: alt.rec.brainwash, sscpnet@bailey.psych.nwu.edu, 
spp@macserv.psy.miami.edu, psych-dd@listserv.nodak.edu,

Pulsing Magnets Offer New Method of Mapping Brain
The technique causes thumbs to twithc and emotions to surge.

By Sandra Blakeslee

A psychiatrist presses a small, hand-held device over a patient's 
skull.  There is a clicking sound and the patient feels what has been 
described as a "clawlike" sensation or skin becoming "drawn up."  Usually it 
is not uncomfortable.

But bizarre experiences may follow.  If the device--a powerful, 
fluctuating magnet--is placed on a spot over a person's left ear, 
experimenters say, his right thumb will begin to waggle.  Move the magnet back 
an inch and he gets a vivid sensation of the thumb moving, but his eyes tell 
him that it remains still.  When the magnet is placed at the back of his 
head, say on the left side, he will perceive a huge blind spot in his right eye.

Researchers say the device also produces mood changes--several hours of 
sadness, or happiness, depending on whether it is placed over the right or 
left eyebrow.  In other experiments, researchers say the magnet has 
temporarily relieved depression, reduced the jagged movements in people who 
have Parkinson's disease and eradicated phantom limb pain in amputees.

        Although it may sound like something advertised on late night 
television, the technique, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or 
T.M.S., is being taken seriously by a small group of neurologists and 
psychiatrists around the world who are using it as a research tool.

        All the results are preliminary, and so far the technique has been used 
only on a very small number of patients with brain disorders, but it shows 
early promise in two areas. 

        First, it can help map the normal brain.  With a single pulse of the 
magnet, the magnetic stimulation produces functional brain "lesions," small 
regions of tissue that are temporarily paralyzed.  Scientists can use these 
so-called lesions to locate many behaviors, feelings, sensations and mood 
centers.  Second, the technique may also someday help treat certain brain 
disorders.  Researchers using the technique say that with repeated pulses of 
energy, the magnet literally jump starts sluggish regions
        Continued on B8

of the brain, much the way electro-shock therapy does, restoring normal 
function for hours to weeks.

        Researchers stress, however, that T.M.S. is highly experimental and if 
used incorrectly can induce brain seizures in healthy people.  The technique 
exploits the natural interplay between magnetism and electricity, said Dr. 
Mark George, an expert on brain imaging at the Medical University of South 
Carolina in Charleston.  For example, Dr. George said, if a steady electric 
current is run through a coil, it will generate a magnetic field, which can be 
very powerful.  Such electromagnets are used to pick up entire automobiles in 
scrap-metal yards.  When the elctric current is turned off, the car falls off 
the magnet.

        Similarly, if a coil of wire is moved through a magnetic field, it will 
generate a flow of electricity, Dr. George said.  Such magnetos are used to 
generate currents for the ignition of internal combustion engines.

        Transcranial magnetic stimulation exploits the fact that neurons are 
essentially tiny electrical devices.  When a nerve cell is activated, it 
passes a flow of electrons down its length.  Upon reaching the nerve end, the 
electrons induce the release of chemicals that pass to neighboring nerve 
cells.  Thus stimulated, those cells fire an electric current and the process 
continues, carrying coded messages throughout the brain....

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