This is a topic that Roger and I have discussed a time or two. I wonder about the experts who claim that the frequency of brainwaves is in the low Hertz
. From my background in communications and information technology, I know that you can't sample a signal at any less than twice it's frequency and get an accurate reproduction, and transmission of information requires bandwidth.
Let's take the sample rate idea first. The human eye/brain combination can discern flicker in a lamp or other light source at a rate (frequency) of at least 50 to 60 Hertz. To me, this implies a sampling rate of at least 100-120 Hertz. But it gets better. The range of human hearing is generally considered to top out around 20 KHz (20,000 Hertz). So we're up to 40 KHz, at a minimum, to sample the signal. Throw in the multitasking ability of the human brain - walking and chewing gum at the same time, or listening to music while typing on a computer. We're starting to get into the realm of a pretty fast computer here.
How about bandwidth? This is a word that people use all the time these days, without really understanding what it means. Simply, is is the size of the chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum that a signal must occupy to accurately transmit information at a certain rate. A telephone quality analog voice signal requires about 3 KHz of bandwidth. Hi-Fi audio, 20 KHz. Full motion analog video requires a whopping 6 MHz (6,000,000 Hertz) of spectrum. These are simple examples; as the amount of information (complexity) and/or the transmission speed increases, bandwidth must also increase.
As we look at what "brain waves"
recorded by EEG
machines really are, we can begin to see that the human brain is a massively parallel processing computer with a much higher effective speed than the EEG tracings reflect.
A simple guesstimate to the question "What is the speed of thought?" can be found in the article A Rat is Smarter Than Google
, from Tech News Daily
. The author writes:
To show what AI researchers are up against, LeCun described the immensity of the human brain based on the latest, albeit very rough, estimates: 100 billion neurons make from 1,000 to 10,000 connections with other neurons and use those connections up to 100 to 1,000 times a second (a pretty high estimate). That's perhaps a quintillion — 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 — operations happening every second in everyone's head.
The frequency of red light is 4×1014
Hz. The number above is 1×1018
Hz! That's up into X-Ray
If we accept that the mind, spirit, soul, consciousness, whatever, is somehow tied to, interfaced with, or contained by the brain in life, the question becomes "what is the speed and bandwidth required to carry consciousness?" My guess, it's faster and wider than any technology we have at present to try to detect it and communicate with it.
So what? What does this have to do with Paranormal Investigation? I have seen theories in writings of present and past investigators to the effect that spirits "live" somewhere in the radio spectrum, and it may be possible to detect or communicate with spirits via radio. There are a couple of problems I see with this idea. I've seen frequencies of 10 and 27 MHz in paranormal literature. This is way too low. Any medium capable of carrying the realtime processing power and information contained in an active, living sentient entity would necessarily have to be way above the radio spectrum that most of us have easy access to. Combine that with the fact that the radio spectrum at least up into the low GigaHertz is packed with man-made signals, making it a virtual cacophony of noise. Imagine a football stadium packed with people, every one of them shouting into a megaphone. I would think that this might actually be painful to an entity trying to live in that range, and perhaps impossible to hear if they are trying to communicate with us there.
So, where are they?
In theory, it would take a device with similar speed and bandwidth capability to directly interface and communicate with such a non-corporeal entity. The human mind/brain/spirit is the only thing we have at our disposal that meets that requirement. Perhaps that is why there seems to be a psychic or spiritual element to the most profound paranormal experiences.