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Apr 18, 2006

United States Patent: Nervous system manipulation by electromagnetic field from monitors

I found this US technology patent, which claims a method for manipulating the nervous system of a subject via broadcast television signals, DVD, and computer terminal (if the link does not work, go to this page and type the number 6,506,148 in the "Query" bar):


Physiological effects have been observed in a human subject in response to stimulation of the skin with weak electromagnetic fields that are pulsed with certain frequencies near 1/2 Hz or 2.4 Hz, such as to excite a sensory resonance. Many computer monitors and TV tubes, when displaying pulsed images, emit pulsed electromagnetic fields of sufficient amplitudes to cause such excitation. It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set. For the latter, the image pulsing may be imbedded in the program material, or it may be overlaid by modulating a video stream, either as an RF signal or as a video signal. The image displayed on a computer monitor may be pulsed effectively by a simple computer program. For certain monitors, pulsed electromagnetic fields capable of exciting sensory resonances in nearby subjects may be generated even as the displayed images are pulsed with subliminal intensity.

Inventors: Loos; Hendricus G. (3019 Cresta Way, Laguna Beach, CA 92651)
Appl. No.: 872528
Filed: June 1, 2001

Mar 21, 2006

Time Magazine: how digital juggling is affecting kids' brains

Via Smart Mobs

Time Magazine's cover story this week is on kids' multitasking skills and what all that digital juggling is doing to their brains and family life.

There is no doubt that the phenomenon has reached a kind of warp speed in the era of Web-enabled computers, when it has become routine to conduct six IM conversations, watch American Idol on TV and Google the names of last season's finalists all at once.
... Although multitasking kids may be better prepared in some ways for today's frenzied workplace, many cognitive scientists are positively alarmed by the trend. "Kids that are instant messaging while doing homework, playing games online and watching TV, I predict, aren't going to do well in the long run," says Jordan Grafman, chief of the cognitive neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. On the positive side, Gen M students tend to be extraordinarily good at finding and manipulating information. And presumably because modern childhood tilts toward visual rather than print media, they are especially skilled at analyzing visual data and images, observes Claudia Koonz, professor of history at Duke University.

Mar 20, 2006

Branding the brain

via Sci-Con

Researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard University have used fMRI to find out which brain areas are activated by specific qualities of brands and products. The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research, is the first to use fMRI to assess consumer perceptions and has important implications for the use of metaphorical human-like traits in branding.

Mar 18, 2006


[the author of this articke is Régine Debatty, we-make-money-not-art]


Acclair, by Luther Thie and Eyal Fried, is a security and neuromarketing service that points to Acclairism, a new form of discrimination based on the individual's bio-data and membership in an "acclaired" elite.

The project creates a "social fiction" to explore a situation wherein people willingly accept a highly invasive, highly authoritative manipulation in return for tangible rewards and social status. Acclair is a fictional company providing brain-testing services as part of an accelerated security clearance for air-travelers with its use of Brain Fingerprinting technology (BFP).

Before departure, the Acclair member goes through a one-minute brain test in a relaxing environment. His/her brain output is used for security clearance, and then sold to marketing entities interested in his consumerist personality. According to his brain's market value, the Acclair member is rewarded with Capitality credit points that enable meaningful capital benefits and "Amnesty" credit points that provide legal pardons for applicable past offenses.

Acclairism is an attempt to bring to light some of the conflicts and questions brought about by biometric technologies: What defines us as unique individuals? What defines us as trusted members of society? How much personal information will we willingly give away and under which circumstances?

Part of ISEA 2006, San José, this summer

Mar 14, 2006

Remote-Control Humans

Via the Presence L-Listserv 

(From Top Tech News

By Sixto Ortiz Jr.
March 10, 2006 7:02AM

The possibilities are endless, from fully immersive virtual- reality environments that faithfully reproduce real motion to, perhaps, a way to control unruly crowds without tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot police.


The idea of controlling people by manipulating brain activity long has been a staple of science fiction and dystopian fantasy. Hypnotism, implanted devices, brainwashing, even the Jedi mind trick -- all are methods that have appeared in fictional works as effective ways to subvert the will of human beings.

Today, however, the possibility of being controlled by an outside force is more science than fiction, thanks to researchers at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in Japan.

A team at NTT's Communication Science Laboratories has invented a headset that can, when linked to a remote control equipped with a pair of joysticks, force the wearer to move against his or her will.

The device originally was designed to add realism to video games and other virtual environments. But while technically impressive, the invention is viewed by some as ethically troubling -- viewed, quite literally, as a new form of mind control. The apparatus has raised questions about the possibilities and perils of a world in which humans can be moved around like chess pieces.

Shock Value

NTT is using a technology called galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) to influence the delicate machinery in the inner ear that controls balance and movement in humans.
Subjects slip on the headset, which looks like a pair of bulky headphones, and researchers zap electrical impulses into their ears to control their movements remotely.

"At low currents, GVS selectively activates nerve cells in the peripheral vestibular system (the balance receptors in the inner ear) and such activation results in sensations and movements of the eyes and limbs, just as natural stimulation of balance receptors results in such movements," said Dr. Ian Curthoys, professor of vestibular function at the University of Sydney's Vestibular Research Laboratory.

In other words, GVS artificially induces the same natural sensations caused whenever the inner ear's balancing mechanism is stimulated with real movement. For example, Curthoys said, a subject undergoing this type of stimulation could feel like she is turning even though she is sitting still. The technology could be used both to trick a person into "feeling" motion and to move in a predetermined direction.

The possibilities are endless, from fully immersive virtual- reality environments that faithfully reproduce real motion to, perhaps, a way to control unruly crowds without tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot police.


Read the full article