Activation of Human Cerebral and Cerebellar Cortex by Auditory Stimulation at 40 Hz

Maria A. Pastor, 1 Julio Artieda, 1 Javier Arbizu, 2 Josep M. Marti-Climent, 2 Ivan Pen ˜uelas, 2 and
Jose C. Masdeu 1
Departments of 1 Neurology and 2 Nuclear Medicine, University of Navarra School of Medicine, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
We used functional brain imaging with positron emission to-mography (PET)-H 2 15 O to study a remarkable neurophysiological finding in the normal brain. Auditory stimulation at various frequencies in the gamma range elicits a steady-state scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) response that peaks in amplitude at 40 Hz, with smaller amplitudes at lower and higher stimulation frequencies. We confirmed this finding in 28 healthy subjects, each studied with monaural trains of stimuli at 12 different stimulation rates (12, 20, 30, 32, 35, 37.5, 40, 42.5, 45, 47.5, 50, and 60 Hz). There is disagreement as to whether the peak in the amplitude of the EEG response at 40 Hz corresponds simply to a superimposition of middle latency auditory evoked potentials, neuronal synchronization, or increased cortical synaptic activity at this stimulation frequency. To clarify this issue, we measured regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with PET-H 2

15 O in nine normal subjects at rest and during auditory stimulation at four different frequencies (12, 32, 40, and 47 Hz) and analyzed the results with statistical parametric mapping. The behavior of the rCBF response was similar to the steady-state EEG response, reaching a peak at 40 Hz. This finding suggests that the steady-state amplitude peak is related to increased cortical synaptic activity. Additionally, we found that, compared with other stimulation frequencies, 40 Hz selectively activated the auditory region of the pontocerebellum, a brain structure with important roles in cortical inhibition and timing.

Key words: steady-state auditory evoked potentials; gamma oscillatory activity; regional cerebral blood flow; positron emission tomography; cerebellum; auditory cortex


Scientific Ghosts

Sadly this post (below) is missing out on some fundamental aspects of what true scientific research is really about. A major component needed to prove a concept using the scientific method is demonstrability. A phenomena must be repeatable on demand or repeat with some degree of predictability for it to be a viable area for science to study. Repeat-ability means testability, anything else is purely subjective.

The statement “you can’t ‘mathematically’ prove emotions but they exist.” is incorrect. Emotions are demonstrable, and they CAN be measured and even identified through multiple methods such as chemical measurements, MRI scans, observations of behavior etc. In many cases they can even be predicted. That’s how antidepressant medications and mental health treatment regimes were developed.

Simply because some areas of science seem wild or ‘out there’ in nature does not mean science should, by default, automatically support wild ideas. The unusal things science often presents are theories (not to be confused with hypotheses). The scientific method does not solve “Big Questions” (such as “Do multiple dimensions exist”) directly, instead it answers many smaller questions and their outcomes help to form a theory (kind of like an educated guess). Time travel is a theory that has several observed elements that support the possibility. Most recently research conducted on the Mir Space Station is a good example. An occupant of the station, Sergei Avdeyev (who had been there 747 days) experienced time dilation. He went approximately 27,360 km/h and thus aged roughly 0.02 seconds (20 milliseconds) less than an Earthbound person would have. This along with many other attributes found through research point to a possibility that Time travel is possible.

Multiple dimensions (or Multiverse) is a hypothesis (not a theory) and was brought into a potential research position mainly by those interested in cosmology, astronomy, religion, philosophy, transpersonal psychology, and fiction. It is hotly debated in the true physics world as to whether it’s a valid research pursuit, however, Some physicists do think parallel universes are present in those extra dimensions. This multiverse notion IS testable too. In fact physicists will be looking for evidence of mini black holes when the data produced from the Large Hadron Collider is analyzed. Right now all we have is indirect evidence for things like super-symmetry, but future testing may eventually give us more direct evidence.

Extra-Terrestrial life is hypothesized (not theorized) mainly through mathematical statistics.The apparent size and age of the universe suggests that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations “ought” to exist. However, this hypothesis seems inconsistent with the lack of observational evidence to support it. This is known as the Fermi paradox (A conflict between an argument of scale and probability and a lack of evidence.)

Theories developed through scientific research typically contain several testable, repeatable elements that actually support the possibility of the claims made. Sadly the concept of “Ghosts” does not have such a significant foundation. The many claims of “Ghosts” made over the years are not repeatable or predictable and are mainly anecdotal testimony from people who may or may not have misunderstood natural events, hallucinated or even outright lied. The “variable” of human fallibility is too over powering for the mainstream science community to embrace the concept beyond a psychological nature. However, one of the great things about scientific research is its ability to change position when new information is discovered.

Rather than trying to continue to capture useless subjective evidence (i.e. photos, video, and audio – which will never be conclusive) it should be the goal of every paranormal researcher to find patterns of predictability, or a method of inducing phenomena for repeatability and testing. They should openly embrace, publication, third-party peer review and experimentation because only through these methods will their claims be verified and taken as seriously as many feel they should.

Demonstrability will surely change the view point mainstream science.


Why do so many people choose to ignore the existence of ghosts? Especially the ‘scientific’ types. Is it because they can’t mathematically prove it? you can’t ‘mathematically’ prove emotions but they exist.
It’s funny these scientists are the first to believe the possibility of time travel, multiple dimensions, people walking through walls due to quantum mechanics, invisibility, hybrid humanoids and even extraterrestrial life BUT ghosts are out of the question.
Well here’s one nugget that might make them think twice. Metaphysics was the first to explain how the universe has multiple dimensions and that we are multiple-dimensional beings. Also that the basic building block of our worlds are made up of varying vibrations…
Recently a theory has become very popular among the scientific community which is string theory. A theory in which the smallest element of the universe is a vibrating string and these strings make up a multitude of…

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How Do We Know?


We have here an interesting and well written perspective on what some believe are the inherent flaws in the scientific method. While the writer’s perspective is well received and understood, personally , I do not feel the text represents a true understanding of how and why the scientific method is applied and why it’s so important. The author mentions that a blind commitment to the scientific method (called “scientism”) suggests a “closed mind”. I do disagree.

The scientific method is a process of testing hypothetical concepts. The application of this process in research in no way a suggests that ONLY the results derived through this method are valid. Instead it focuses on one very specific question at a time. Answering MANY of these specific questions will allow a scientist to now form a theory (basically an educated guess) and additional information that is gathered through peer review and third party testing either supports or rejects the original theory.

The application of a scientific method and a proper approach to scientific analysis leaves the doors wide open to corrections should new information be presented. To me, this is the epitome of “open mindedness” not a closed mind. The scientific method does not  answer the big questions in our world. It instead examines many smaller questions to separate false perspectives from facts. It does this through replication and experimentation. Those pieces are then put together and a theory formed. The new theory then spawns further tests using different approaches and as a result we end up with a very likely (but not always proven) answer.

To be considered viable, the scientific community has one main requirement. A phenomena MUST be demonstrable (i.e. repeatable) – not much to ask. Again this does not suggest that non-demonstrable things do NOT exist in our world (that would require supposition), but simply that in a world of research we can only test the things that WILL or can be replicated.

Since proving a negative is not possible. the burden of proof lies with the person making a claim. No matter how real the experience may seem to the claimant, no matter how compelling subjective evidence may be, if it can not be observed or repeated by a third party, it is not capable of being researched. That concept may be frustrating to some, but in a world with flawed human perceptions, confirmation biases and outright lies it’s the only way to work with things we “know” rather than the things we “believe”.

If we were to open the door and accept the possible existence of all “untestable” things, where then would we draw the line? By that standard, every single claim, no matter how bizarre or unlikely would need to be accepted and clearly that is not a logical approach.

Again, I appreciate the authors article and I want to present it because it represents a well written alternate view. What are YOUR thoughts?


For the most part inquiring minds embrace the scientific method. They may not know exactly what that method is, but they would swear that this is the only way we really know anything for sure; it is the heart and soul of what we loosely call “common sense.”  That science has advanced civilization in numerous ways is incontrovertible — especially  scientific medicine which has prolonged life and made suffering comparatively rare.

The scientific method relies on empirical testing: seeing is believing. An investigator asks questions, suggests a possible explanation and then devises a test to determine whether the hypothesis they have come up with seems to bear out. If it does, it is regarded as true — at least until at some future date another test disproves the theory. The most reliable theories are those that can not be disproved: if no matter how hard we try we cannot dislodge…

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Paranormal Illusions – Reality Check


The image above appears to be moving, but you know it isn’t. It’s a trick of the brain called the peripheral drift illusion. Many people have seen this and have no problem accepting that the image isn’t really moving.

The image below is caused by the same peripheral shifting of the brain and makes it appear as though the white dots are changing into black dots randomly between the corners of each of the squares. Of course you know they aren’t.


It’s not hard to identify images like these as illusions and accept that our brain isn’t perfect and has truly been fooled – even when we are consciously aware that is not real.  The sites that display images such as these openly profess they are illusions.  Yet we can’t stop our brain from seeing the wrong thing.

If we can accept the fallibility of our brain regarding these images, why then is it so hard to accept that our brain can be wrong in so many other instances such as hearing words in random background noise or faces in window reflections?  The effect of “paraedolic” anthropomorphism has been demonstrated and proven time and time again.  But yet, there are so many people who adamantly insist that what they are seeing or hearing is real…not an illusion.  They insist their mind could not be the culprit behind the anomalies that present themselves in such mundane and non-informative ways.

The reason for this adamant denial is sourced from yet another psychological effect called cognitive bias.  Our brains tendency to “assemble” information that aligns with our desires or beliefs and any idea or bit of information that doesn’t align is sharply rejected.  Often to the point of irrational anger.

As humans (living animals) we rely on our senses and brain for all of our knowledge and experiences. It was our perceptions and critical thinking process that allowed us to speak and understand. It taught us to walk and eat and fend for ourselves. We have no choice but to trust the validity of our own mind and senses… especially when it regards something near and dear to our heart or something into which we have staunchly invested our interest.  Let’s face it, our brain is our only interface to the outside world. It’s not a pleasant experience to conceive its fallible nature.

That being said, it only stands to reason that when a concept or opinion is presented that challenges not only our mind but our beliefs and wants as well (regardless of how logical it may seem), the default reaction is a sharp and swift dismissal.  Be careful. While the cause of a stubborn, non-objective opinion in response to seemingly anomalous phenomena may seem a natural condition of our psyche, it is dangerous to our growth as an intelligent race.  Every “patriotic” defense of an unsubstantiated perspective is a truth left undiscovered and a hindrance of progress.

Next time you see a face in a window reflection or hear your name being called in the heavy background noise of a poor recording, just stop and think for a moment. What seems more likely? That your easily fooled brain has done it again or some mysterious inter-dimensional being is trying to communicate with you through a bad photograph or poor recording


Transpersonal Psychology- A Working Outline Of The Field – 1980

Research Item –

The following outline is an exploratory attempt to describe, concisely and comprehensively, the field of transpersonal psychology. The essential components, concepts. characteristics, and concerns it includes have emerged from an extensive literature review, discussions with colleagues and other scholars and professionals, the evaluation and judgment of the author, and a verification/modification process involving a number of informed individuals who have contributed to the field.

Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, is a psychotherapist, yogi, and the author of six books in the fields of psychology and spirituality, including the award-winning Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path (Sounds True, 2010), the seminal Halfway Up the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment (Hohm Press, 1999), and The Guru Question: The Perils and Rewards of Choosing a Spiritual Teacher (Sounds True, 2011). As a psychotherapist, she specializes in using somatic approaches to therapy to support spiritual practitioners and teachers of all traditions and religions to heal trauma and thrive, as well as working with complex spiritual traumas within spiritual communities. As a yogi, she founded and teaches The Yoga & Psyche Method, which integrates the insights of somatic psychology, trauma research, neuroscience, and yogic practices. She has been an adjunct professor at The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco since 2001, as well as teaching extensively at Naropa University, Sophia University and John F. Kennedy University.

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The Role Of Task Complexity in PK – 2006

Research Item – J. E. KENNEDY
(Original publication and copyright: Journal of Parapsychology, 1978,
Volume 42, pages 89-122)

ABSTRACT: The investigation of the role of task complexity is an attempt to understand how information is processed in PK. Various topics that may provide insight into this aspect of PK include: the number of objects influenced simultaneously, the paradoxical hypotheses of majority-vote experiments, the role of ESP in PK, the information contents of differing a prior probabilities, the number of opportunities for PK to operate on a system, and the possible mechanisms for static PK effects. A review of the literature suggests that PK is, at least to some extent, a goal- oriented process, but also that it is limited by the information content of a prior probabilities. Experiments with differing probabilities of a hit and experiments with majority-vote procedures offer the most direct means to empirically investigate models for the information processing aspects of PK.

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Information in Life, Consciousness, Quantum Physics, and Paranormal Phenomena – 2011

Research Item –  J. E. Kennedy

ABSTRACT: Information consists of symbols, media for storing and transmitting the symbols, and an interpretational infrastructure that establishes the meaning of the symbols, can generate and decode the symbols, and can take actions based on the symbols. Information processing in livings systems includes genetics, perception, behavior, memory, learning, communication, imagination, creativity, and culture. For certain hypotheses in quantum physics and most hypotheses in parapsychology, the media and interpretational infrastructures for information processing are beyond current scientific understanding. After extensive research, the hypothesis that an observer can sometimes paranormally influence the outcome of quantum events does not have convincing empirical support. The current experimental results in parapsychology do not have the properties of a signal in noise and cannot be convincingly distinguished from methodological bias. Prospective registration of experimental protocols could greatly reduce the confounding problem of methodological bias; however, the experimental results will likely continue to be inconsistent with the positions of both proponents and skeptics of experimental parapsychology. The findings of parapsychology may be most consistent with a model that paranormal phenomena are the result of supernatural information processing agencies with relatively independent motivations that manifest as spirituality and influence the meaning and direction of an individual’s life.

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