> Den, I'm having a hard time recalling the details, but
> there was a research scientist working out of a
> Canadian university who has published several papers
> on the effects of a machine he designed which
> manipulated and focused electromagnetic frequencies
> on various places in the brain. It looked like a rather
> large and cumbersome helmet. Anyway, the subjective
> reports from the experimental subjects included feelings
> of deep relaxation, spiritual insight, out-of-body
> experiences, etc. These effects sound similar to those
> produced through the direct stimulation techniques used
> by Wilder Penfield.
It definitely looks like the technology is there, but no-one is using it anywhere close to its real potential. I'm not sure how recent the abovemtioned research is, but it seems like there hasn't been much activity lately. Very surprising, as we now could do a lot more thanks so massive increases in computing power and better brain imaging techniques.
Here's basically what I'd like to do: gather all available research material in this particular field, especially Dr. Delgrado's work (is he still alive? If so, he might be willing to co-operate). Though implants seem to give the best results, they aren't exactly user-friendly (though in some cases they might be acceptable, for instance with patients that suffer from severe chronic pain), so we'd have to fucus on directed microwave beams, for example. This has allegedly been used by the CIA and such, though mostly as a weapon.
The design: some kind of helmet seems an obvious choice, or (preferably) a headphone-like contraption for portable use. As relatively little energy is used, this may be feasible. Since it's very important to hit the right regions of the brain, you'll need an accurate "targeting system". Perhaps sonar could be used for this (to create a rough image of the brain, which in combination with a standard model of a brain could be used by the machine's computer to determine where to aim -- or is this too difficult for today's tech?) MRI or other scanning techniques could be used too, but then the machine probably wouldn't be portable (or affordable). Maybe something for a luxury/research model though...By using multiple beams that only produce effects when they converge you could perhaps target deeper areas of the brain as well, though I'm not sure whether this could be achieved with "safe" intensities.
Another, more simple variant would have to be "finetuned" by hand, by trying different kinds of settings and programming your preferences into the computer (every time you use it, as you never put the "helmet" in *exactly* the same position). Movement could also cause the helmet to hit the wrong spot, so some kind of safety would have to be built into it. Of course, it could turn out that fairly large spots on the brain produce the same results when stimulated, so that the machine's aim doesn't have to be perfect.
> Mind machine people talk about the greatest effects
> occurring at the "crossover point", that point where the
> brain starts generating greater levels of theta than alpha.
> Interestingly, for most people the crossover point is close
> to 7.8 hertz, a frequency which is also known as the
> "Shumann Frequency", the natural resonant frequency of
> the Earth's electromagnetic field. Is it all about getting "in
> tune" with mother Earth?
The earth as a big mental vibrator? :-) It would certainly make sense that this somehow got incorporated into our evolution.
> Anyway, this Canadian researcher noticed that UFO reports
> around the world were strongly correlated to fluctuations in the
> Earth's magnetic field and posited that these fluctuations were
> inducing hallucinations.
There also seems to be a portion of the brain that produces religious experiences when stimulated (the same one perhaps?) Maybe (very maybe) if you could turn on and off people's religious experiences it would help to further atheism, an interesting side-effect of this technology. Maybe the very realization that our very being, our senses, emotions, memories etc. can be manipulated at the touch of a button would cause something of a revelation for some (many?) people. Just hearing about obscure experiments in some lab far away is one thing (this can easily be ignored), but having it done to yourself, literally holding your very being in the palm of your hand, is a lot harder to dismiss. Widespread use of mind machines could thus have something of an enlightening effect (for some, anyway).