Important Note: The information presented in this article has been updated and corrected by new information. Please read the new article here.
Throughout this series, one question has been repeatedly asked, does the brain emit radio waves? The answer should be an obvious yes based upon the information from this series, but I found a second opinion from engineers at MIT that should settle the issue once and for all.
A question was posed, "Can brain waves interfere with radio waves?"
Can brain waves interfere with radio waves?
Radio waves and brain waves are both forms of electromagnetic radiation—waves of energy that travel at the speed of light. The difference between brain waves, radio waves, and other electromagnetic waves (such as visible light, X-rays and Gamma rays) lies in their frequency—that is, how often the waves peak and trough in a second.
Radio waves, which include radio and other wireless transmission signals, as well as other natural signals in the same frequency, peak and trough at between 50 and 1000 megahertz—that’s between 50 million and one billion oscillations per second.
The human brain also emits waves, like when a person focuses her attention or remembers something. This activity fires thousands of neurons simultaneously at the same frequency generating a wave—but at a rate closer to 10 to 100 cycles per second.
So, now you know, the brain does emit radio waves and that they exist in the ELF band (under 300Hz). Some corrections must be made to the reply from MIT. When they refer to radio waves, they have selected a region of the radio spectrum that corresponds to transmissions made by FM radio stations. In fact, the region actually extends between 0-300Ghz, or to even 1Thz if you include sub-millimeter frequencies. The point they were trying to make is that it will not interfere with your car radio, which is true.
The explanation continues:
Interference happens when two waves of the same or very similar frequencies bump into each other. This might happen when the signals from two radio stations, both broadcasting at 89.7 megahertz from different cities, bump into one another. “The shape of the waves changes linearly, they add to and subtract from one another,” says Dimitrios Pantazis, director of the Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Laboratory at MIT’s McGovern Institute. As a result, songs become static.
Whilst true, it also depends on your detection equipment. In MEG the detectors are small and cannot accurately determine the frequency difference between photons. That is, the detectors classify a range of photons as being a particular frequency. When cancellation does occur, the remaining photons are too weak to activate the detector. The NSA gets round this by using larger antennas and highly expensive photon classifiers.
But, says Pantazis, since their frequencies are so wildly different, brain waves don’t interfere with radio waves. Even if that was the case, brain waves are so weak, they are hardly measurable at all. For comparison, says Pantazis, “the magnetic field of the earth is just strong enough to move the needle of a compass. Signals from the brain are a billionth of that strength.”
Very true, but he fails to mention the size of the wavelength. At 100Hz the wavelength is 2998Km. Let's put that in perspective:
The shortest distance from the [US] East to West Coast (as the crow flies) would be 2,092 miles (3,347 km) from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL.
This means that what the MEG detects on the head of patient in a hospital, is the exact same as what can be detected at the other side of the US continent.
The difference is that an MEG has about 306 detectors spaced around the head, to create a 3D image. A detector on the other side of the country would not get this spacial quality and it would receive every other brain wave in the country at the same time. That is, it does not produce images of the brain, it just records signals that can be use to identify everything that you do or experience.
The engineer from MIT explains that here:
Hard to measure, but not impossible. MIT recently installed a new MEG scanner to study the function of the human brain. To capture brain signals, the MEG scanner is in a room shielded with mu metal, a special alloy that blocks external magnetic fields. “Like a rock in the middle of a river, this metal forces all electromagnetic signals to flow around the room and doesn’t let any inside,” says Pantazis.
The MEG scanner consists of a helmet that contains 306 sensors spaced uniformly across its surface. These “superconducting quantum interference detectors” (SQUID) are cooled to near absolute zero, which makes them superconductive and, according to Pantazis, “able to measure even the slightest magnetic signals from the brain.”
We can conclude from this that the detector behind Remote Neural Monitoring, is very similar to an MEG machine. Unlike the MEG machine, this detector does not reject every other brain by shielding itself. On the contrary, it detects every signal, from every brain, in the entire nation, or 3000Km radius.
That's enough to listen to everyone in Moscow from the UK. No doubt it works the other way too.
The trick here is a highly advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processing) program. This separates the frequencies, classifies them and passes them to a supercomputer for decoding.
If you thought the warrantless wire tapping program was bad, then the fact that the NSA trawls through your private thoughts, conversations and generally uses you as a free bugging device in your own home should piss you right off.
The MEG lab, open since March 2011, is used by researchers across MIT. Projects are as diverse as studying visual attention, language processing, or even olfactory responses to pleasant and unpleasant smells. “It is a very exciting field of research, you never know how the brain will respond to different stimuli”, says Pantazis. Meanwhile, the song on the radio remains the same. — Elizabeth Dougherty
The NSA does a lot more, with the greatest density of supercomputers in the world.
Have a nice day!