DEW Module 4: Dr. Balaban on Acoustic Weaponry

 

DEW Hot War Series: 

Module 4:  Acoustic Weaponry:  Devices and the Ear

 


by Celeste Solum

February 25, 2022

 

Content taken from Government, Military, and Academia Experts Transcripts and Testimonies from Softwerx Conference 2018

https://rumble.com/user/CelesteSolum

 

Transcript of Dr. Balaban

Motivation, vision, and treasure can create amazing results associated with disruptive technology.

                                                     From “Risk Takers”

 

 

 

In fact, I'll be speaking about is supported initially by the Office of Naval Research, it's noise- induced hearing loss portfolio.  The program officer Kirk Kaskus unfortunately could not be with us today, but Kirk deserves our real shout-out for being right at the tip of the spear on this.  He has been along with us working from thevery earliest time.  We called him up when we saw the earliest exposures in Cuba and has been partnered with us fully.  I just wanted to acknowledge this at this point his program.  You will see some of that news, you see some of the spirit of this through all of the through the talks that we've had so far.

This spans from looking at:

  • What are the noise sources- a systems of systems approach?
  • What are factors that lead to human susceptibility?
  • How to prevention it?
  • How to treatment and how do we design personal
  • protective equipment against it.

What you will see are the first attempts to bring this kind of this sort of approach into the Code 34 program at ONR.


We have discussed the scenario behind all this.  We are discussing, of course, is the type of exposures that we've heard about, that we're seeing in Cuba.


 

We have already heard the other speakers Dr. Hoffler and Dr. Giordano refer to the fact there could be a number of potential energy sources.  We know something happened to people, but we don't know what did it.  So, what I'm going to do today is go through some of these possibilities.

 Looking at it from the perspective of sources:

  • One of the sources are Hypersonic Sound including LRAD type-devices or that type of technology
  • Pulsed radiofrequency
  • Pulsed laser
  • Ultrasound
  • New photoacoustic devices with technology that are very small, but actually very powerful, and could be used in certain frameworks for it.

The focus of the ONR work is in the title, WaveGuide Resonance and Cavitation Properties of Intercranial Contents.

Scientific Papers on Cavitation


https://www.onr.navy.mil › en › Science-Technology › Departments › Code-33 › All-Programs › 331-advanced-naval-platforms › propulsor-hydrodynamics-and-hydroacoustics

Intracranial Waveguide, Resonance Cavity and Cavitation ...

https://foiaonline.gov › foiaonline › api › request › downloadFile › Abstract_ONR Program Meeting Balaban.pdf › f29f446b-fbbd-476c-9724-c8bd2b735cfe

Recent observations on cavitation and cavitation noise ...

https://authors.library.caltech.edu › 1405

(PDF) The Influence of Nucleation on the Spectral Content ...

https://www.academia.edu › 68728604 › The_Influence_of_Nucleation_on_the_Spectral_Content_of_Cloud_Cavitation_About_a_Hydrofoil

Cavitation nucleation in gelatin: Experiment and mechanism ...

https://asu.pure.elsevier.com › en › publications › cavitation-nucleation-in-gelatin-experiment-and-mechanism

Chen awarded ONR research grant for detection of TBI ...

https://engineering.wustl.edu › news › 2019 › Chen-awarded-ONR-research-grant-for-detection-of-TBI.html

Steven L. Ceccio

https://name.engin.umich.edu › people › ceccio-steven-l

Residual Stress Effects on Needle-Induced Cavitation ...

https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu › abs › 2018APS..MARK52010B › abstract

Cavitation dynamics in the wake of a backward facing step ...

https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu › abs › 2019APS..DFDH02004B › abstract

https://authors.library.caltech.edu › 1405

The authors are very grateful for the support of the Office of Naval Research. The preparation of this paper and the research program at Caltech is supported by ONR under Contract N00014-85-K-0397. We should also like to thank D. Hart and S. Kumar for their continuing help. Funders:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/cavitation-and-bubble-dynamics/preface/E8DF0A29184A513A471C9959C8220FCC

ONR BAA Announcement #N00014-16-S-BA10 Amendment 0001

https://www.onr.navy.mil › ~ › media › Files › Funding-Announcements › BAA › 2016 › N00014-16-S-BA10.ashx

Cavitation Flow Structure & Turbulencecavitation, Flow ...

https://ntrs.nasa.gov › api › citations › 20100018581 › downloads › 20100018581.pdf?attachment=true

 

Mechanisms and Transmission Resonance

So, that gives you sort of a picture of where I’m coming from.  The question is:

  • If people are being exposed to different kinds of directed energy,
  • What's receiving it?
  • What's amplifying it?
  • What are the vulnerabilities inside the head and other parts of the body?

We don't know a lot about that now.  But the question, if we're taking a look at these kinds of mechanisms, that the wave transmission resonance and cavitation properties- this is possibly a way that you could get additive effects for many of these multiple modalities of energy deliver simultaneously to the individual.


 

 

Now what I'm going to do is sort of go through three parts.   I'm gonna go through three general parts here and give an overview of each of them. 

The first is to take a look at research done published research for the 1960s through 1990s that deal a little bit with ultrasound and radio-frequency effects on inner ear and on brain.  We will consider this.  There's a lot of work that's been done, actually the glue, the work, that's done.  I am sampling from the papers, but this gives us a Proof of Concept for how to proceed.  We do not have to start from square one.

There was good work that was done before funded by among other sources DoD.  The point here that we have made - I want to stress here, let's view and we're talking about hearing and hearing injuries or sound injuries.  Consider the saccule and utricle to be part of it.  The vestibular evoked myogenic response potential that Dr. Hoffler talked about is recorded by playing a loud sound in the ear.  The saccule and utricle sense linear accelerations.  


I will then go and discuss a little bit.  We'll go through some of it just to show you some of the COT’S devices that are currently available for ultrasound and for radio-frequency application.  They have used for sound delivery by modulating the ultrasound, but they're also used for pest control. 

I will show you their wide availability.  Technologies out there, and in fact, could be re-engineered and in a fairly small form-factories to be placed in somebody's room. 

Finally, what I'll go through illustrates and provides follow up on work that we've done with data that we hadn't previously discussed from the subject.   Individuals were affected from Havana.  Looking at a new test and eye diagnosis.  Movement-based tests that can distinguish them with 90% to overall accuracy from normal people and people in acute myeloid brain injury. 

This is the first portion I'll speak about on some of the intracranial waveguide residents and cavitation literature.  My colleague, Behrman, is a professor of Engineering at University of Pittsburgh and a Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering with expertise in cavitation related to pneumatic conveyance.  Also participating were some graduate students.


 

If we take a look at biological effects of directed energy, we all know the directed energy can affect various kinds of neuro-sensory symptoms and signs. 

 

 

We have examples, if you take a look in the occupational safety literature the literature around introducing ultrasound into different industrial processes, and also, ultrasonic imaging, there's a large literature talk talking about safety and from investigation and occupational environmental exposures and also untoward symptoms that would come up:

  • Balance
  • Hearing loss
  • Features like that

One of the things that we are doing right now is looking to characterize the waveguide resins and cavitation features of cranial contents.  Dr. Giordano kindly reviewed all that and went over the basis for all this material such as blood vessels.  He showed that you are surrounded major blood vessels, surrounded by interstitial fluid brain fluid which is confluent the fluid in the subarachnoid space and look like coaxial wave guides in the bridge of Romanus spaces.  Next feature we have are the ventricles.  This external system which we mentioned, again fluid-filled,located in the resident chambers we have the inner ear we also have air spaces.  We have our sinuses.  We have our middle ear cavity- all of which can act as amplifiers and effects of cavitation, as well, as through different acoustic resonances of the structures. 


 

Now this is a simulation.  We will play it in a moment representing is a multiple sine wave.   Sine waves being presented to the this is a finite element model of the human head.  The publication references here, Dr. Ripman and I did this. It contains hard and soft tissues brain is modeled with different white matter and gray matter constituents - its blood vessels are not included- the meninges are included evidence.

I want to say right off, models as we discussed before, a nice way to think- but the joke is you can't end things?  Tell a person how a spherical horse runs with a model depending on what if you put legs on the model, so this doesn't have all the legs, but I think this can show us some principles would you play the model. 


 Would you play the simulation please. 

These are three sine waves are being played to this from externally and they are at ten ten point one six six and ten point three to two kilohertz.  So this is a sigma, as if it presents a signal. 

Let's play it again please, so what you'll see is a beginning in the ear, and then you notice this is resonance in the subarachnoid space moving along that and centering right over here over the temporal region.  We saw the middle cerebral artery is a major artery with everything conveying along that area.  So one of the things we're seeing here and gives us now with this one.  It is the same model, but instead of having three different signs we simply put in pseudo-random noise in the ultrasound level above 10 kilohertz.

Make sure we get that.  Let us play that so you see the same pattern when we're working with incident energy in that area is producing resonances, resonances over certain areas, beginning in the ear and moving out into the subarachnoid space in a model. 

Okay just but let's store that away and remember this area as we look forward through some of the literature.  Now for the classic idea of acoustic stimuli impinging on us.

We think about the ear and the cochlea is a transducer.  The classic work on this the noble work of Von Bekesy and cochlear transmission, in fact, he was funded for a while for some of this work by offices Naval Research.  Back in the early 1960s, the mechanical resonance of vascular membrane is one of the features, as Dr. Giordano mentioned, the peak resonance varies from high frequencies at the cochlear base to low frequencies at the cochlear apex.  If I have high frequency ultrasound input, in where is it affecting you right down at the base what's right next to the base the otolith organs -your organs of balance and the activation of the sensory cells with relay.

 

 

I can show you this, okay, so what happens is that the basilar membrane here, is a cross-section through a human ear.   You can see the basal, middle, and apical turns of the cochlea.  Here is the hearing apparatus and if you unwrap it like this from the base to the apex, this just shows that when sound is incident at a certain level, it sets up a standing wave at a certain frequency on based on the resonance of this membrane.  This resident it's like a resonating beam, like a xylophone, it's going to resonate and at the point where it's resonating- these hair cells which are on the surface of the cochlea have their tips deformed and they transduce that sound that's how the hearing is.  The hearing system normally works.  What you'll notice is off or on.  The lateral edge, here where I can point to it, you'll see there's a structure called the Stria of Vascularus.  We will get to that in a moment.

 

 

Here, this shows you this that we come to the base of the cochlea, the hook portion of the cochlea, which is excited by extremely high frequency sound.  It sits in very close proximity to the organs of balance the saccule and the utricle.  The take-home message here you are in a very vulnerable spot. Guys that are sitting right there now. Another very interesting area we started thinking about sound exposure.

 

 

 

I realized that there was an area in the literature referring to go through right now, these three:

Escalera is one of the regions that produce as it is important for recycling the endolymph and perilymph.  Now, endolymph in-the-ear has a very high potassium content and it's important that it be 80 ml of 80 millivolts with respect to the perilymph in CSF and this is a highly vascular structure.  That is really important for maintaining that ion difference because potassium ions drive [the here in crosses] You will lose that potential difference.  You will lose that potassium differential.  With the ionic differential you're going to impair hearing and you're going to impair balance, but the Stria of Vascularity is a very intricate network.  Here is the Basilar Membrane and you can see the Stria of Vasculrus arteries enter from the top.  It percolates through this system, and comes out Venules at the bottom, and is shown on the other side.  What it actually looks like, if you think about it, are two pieces of chain-link fence, a two-layer chain-link fence of a blood vessels a network vessel coming in from the top.  Vessels exiting from the bottom, and the flow in these vessels, we know they're there their dimensions is non-pulsatile. 

What we have set up here is something that could be a phased array cavitation amplifier.  I'll leave it at that point. 

That is one of the things that we're looking at right now.  This is a structure inside the ear, and in fact, it's tightly packed with blood vessels which can act as cavitation sites when exposed to sound.


 

In fact, it differs down in the portion of the base of the cochlea.  There is a focus in kind, at least in rodents, where it's been looked at.  It looks almost like a parabolic reflector pointing down at that area, suggesting there might be differential amplification and so what this may do, actually, we suggest is a cavitation type of an amplifier

 

 

 

Now, how might this work?  This is a picture from Apples classic work on acoustic cavitation from the book on Ultrasonics in 1981 and this is just showing a frequency spectrum of output when you subject water to a 10-kilohertz acoustic stimulus.  You will notice what you get out is a very characteristic spectrum and relatively low intensities.  You basically get a whole bunch of harmonics kicking right-out, looks like a column coming out.  You increase it a little bit, you start to get half harmonics.  Increase it a bit more, what you get out -what you're effectively doing is taking one frequency in and you're amplifying over a broad range by the way this gives us an acoustic signature to look for cavitation now, in animal exploration, using small hydrophones.

 

 

 Just to point out -okay at the time when they were worried about ultrasound safety for imaging.  A lot of work was done looking at blood and they were going up in the megahertz range because we're interested in imaging.

 

 

You work down in this range, needless to say, we have good enough data to go on to start doing modeling and validation studies from the previous literature.  One of the suggestions we have here is incident sound waves.  We want to take a look and see how does incidence sound of the ear, might this be a mechanism in real hearing?  Also, there is literature, in fact, which give us the basis for looking at it.  You can see considerable pressure difference is actually a much higher-pressure difference recorded inside the cochlea.  Pretty high sound pressure, even to regular sound coming in through the normal transduction mechanisms, and what we can do here is we have the potential to measure directly in these cases.

 

and this just shows you some intrical, clear, recordings that were done of pressure waves and just to show you this can be done, this has been done, and you produce and increase.

 

You see an amplification in the sound level, inside the cochlea, over what we over what we have coming in incident in the air.  Theoretical calculations suggest that it exceeds, by several orders of magnitude, cavitation thresholds for the liquids.  We will talk about that now. I am reminded of when I was thinking about good things or bad things.  About having a memory and being a professor and having read literature for years.  As I remembered this paper written by from Fred Natales Lab when he was at University of Michigan, years ago, some quarks work, and this was published in 1991.  What they did was visualizing fluorescent tracer in the blood, the lateral wall.  They are looking at the vessels in the Stria of Vascularity’s.  You imagine that you are cutting away the side of the cochlea, and you're looking in there, and watching the Stria of Vascularity’s as you play loud sound. 

Left side:  What they observed was flowing slowly through. 

Upper Right:  You can see the red blood cells moving through when they played about 110 decibels sound.  You know the flow this blood vessel didn't collapse, it just looks like a void space.  Remember, oxygen and nitrogen are dissolved in the blood.  One of the possibilities, is that we actually have a compression- decompression event.


Compression Sickness

What we know about this from underwater environments and other an aviation environments.  You can get compression sickness.  You can get local bubbles or different kinds of different gases. You couldn't say what it was, but recovered, when they turned this off, suggesting that there are sound-induced events affecting the blood flow that possibly affect the partitioning of gases in the blood. 

 

 We come up with an integrated view, that cavitation of water and blood can appear to occur at within a freak with an audible and outside the audible range of frequencies of acoustic stimulation.   

 

The cochlea pressures come up into that area and dissolve gas and may form bubbles.  One possible mechanism that is highly plausible based on existing data. Frey effect.  I spoke with Alan Frey a couple of weeks ago he's working as a consultant in the Washington area still and remembers this well.  Very useful and we will be back in contact with him. 

 

 He was telling me how he went to a meeting, and someone said, “I can hear the radar pulses.”  Working with radars, he was skeptical, so he went up to a radar facility with the guy.  They played and, yes indeed, he adamantly could hear it.  This is the first paper describing it from aerospace medicine in December 1961.

And what did this look like?  With all the different kinds of radar emitters they could get their hands on easily they played different pulses on each other, and they found that they were indeed audible, and that they could block it by putting a piece of screen over this part of their [temple portion of the] head. I asked him how do you figure that out?  He says, “Oh, I just took a piece of I took a piece of copper screen up with me that I had grounded. I was just moving it around.”

He said you put it there, it would block it looks like a familiar spot, doesn't it?  Coincidence, maybe?


 

 

There is a small, but very robust literature, showing that human perception will vary depending upon the integrated power delivered depending upon the looking at parameters that could underlie this perception. 

In fact, this was work was pursued supported by Department Defense Office of Naval Research looking at impulse exposures to microwave energy.  In this case, they put a little electrode on the round window membrane, so you could record cochlear potential changes, and played microwave pulses- 900 roughly 900-megahertz range pulses to guinea pigs and they recorded an ultrasonic emission meaning that was emitting at that level and was excited.  That level in fact, ringing at that level.

 

Because this was fundamental work, I'll show you they're just to get a feeling for the original data.  This is recording is when there's a click, either initially, positive, or initially negative.  This is what you'll call the microphonic potential that comes out from when it was played at the same time.  When they played a single radar click and this is magnified about a hundredfold in terms of the time base and you can see how is ringing, what they reported show you the traces that when they went with pulses ranging you can see the different total energy delivery per kilogram.  That came out of this, but if you take a look at the range in times, one microsecond its head microseconds, you got a resin inside of the ear.  What is it?

 

They really don't know, but in Russia there was some work, out of the former Soviet Union where they did something I would have I'd be reluctant to do. 

 

Nowadays, they took a big old horn antenna, and stuck it right up on the side of the head the people, and they asked the question, and what frequency of pulse repetition do people hear radars?  They did an audiogram for radar pulses and they found in the 10 to 15 kilohertz pulse repetition range a maximum sensitivity of people for it

 

 

 

For now, other work, I'm just I'm breezing.  These are not all the papers. I'm picking just a few illustrative cases there was work done recording from neurons in both the auditory nerve, and from here, and they basically showed that cells with acoustic responsiveness, typical acoustic responses, also could respond to radio frequency pulsesThe ability of radio frequency to affect the nervous system through some mechanisms is real.


 

In fact, here's one of my favorites, even though this was published in 1988.  They took a cat and put a series of hydrophones into the spinal fluid and played radar pulses from the back of the head of the animal.  And this is a power spectrum coming out.  You notice how it looks like a comb.  They had no idea what mechanism was there.  They said it's clearly propagating, but it sure looks like it could be a cavitation type of phenomenon. 

 

 

So, we see there was positive thermoelastic response that was responsible for the silent ability and we have several mechanisms that are possible for this including: effects on the saccule and utricle and perhaps effects through intracranial blood vessels.  So, all of the mechanisms that Dr. Giordano spoke about, are actually supported by a fairly robust, older literature.  Sometimes, we have to just sit back and read the older literature and remember that we're standing on the backs and working on the backs of those people who did some really fine work, dedicated people, and many of them DOD research view of the related researchers at that time.

 

So, this just reminds us of the location of the otolith organs. You see, is hanging loose in close proximity to the base of the cochlea where high frequency can reside to create maximum resonance.

 I'd like to point out there's some very small COTS devices that if modified could deliver this.


 

Myskunkworks Ultrasonic Devices

If planted in someone's room, many of these in principle, can be put in something like a heating duct, the HVAC duct, could even sit in a thermostat.  What would it look like in your room?  Here is one device.

 

I urge you to look up this.  They do not they tell you that they have a power amplifier and can be used as a phaser plain field generator.  If you use it, with frequency IC or if we're experimenting with an LRAD sonic weapon there it is.  Sitting right out there on the internet, available for anyone to buy with PayPal.

 

This shows all of their ultrasound products that they sell.  Experiment with your own sonic weapon guys.  Okay, this is out of the bag.  It is Pandora's Box.  Open this is for a major retailer and this show you what pesticide-free pest control.  Ultrasound.  Ultrasound plus ignite electromagnetic pulse.  Ultrasound.  All these advanced pest control effects.

They are being stuck by people, who put them up in their own houses.  Suppose someone decides to soup it up and give you the next super-duper one. Are we looking at a public health risk?


 

Here is one of my favorites.  I woke up one morning to news radio and they had this make-your-house-pest-free advertisement.  They are pumping electromagnetic pulses through the wiring of your house to eliminate pests.  Okay.  I guess the technology is there.  It is at a lower level you think.  An adversary could very easily design.   It's there.  It's out of the box now. 

 

One of the things that we've been experimenting with, is a version of this device using sound waves and is called a parametric speaker.  You see a whole series little element there.  Each one of those are piezo electric emitters and this is a this is a 40 kilohertz carrier.

The way it works, is you can project a beam.  We project easily all across this room which is about three feet in diameter.  If you modulate the amplitude to the 40 kilohertz, with the whatever you want, using speech or something like that using as a carrier frequency, you will hear the sound on beams.


And other places you hear sounds a lot like something we heard about that was described by Dr. Hoffer by some exposed individuals.  They sell a variety devices.

 

 

This is the one of their devices that we've been working with.  A little bit this actually uses a series of commercially available ultrasonic transducers.  We can pull out the properties of each of them easily, off their amplifier, usually can crank out 140 DB out of this device at a meter. 

 

What I'd like to do here just before we play it here, I'm going to show you one of the prints.  The first time we saw this in the lab, the cup of water and watch the cavitation on the cup of water.

See the water?  That is a standoff across the interface, and it looks like we're working with it.  We have high-speed cameras on the side and looking at this.  Now, it looks as if the surface tension of the water is creating a nucleation site for cavitation.  So, yes, we can get these, even commercially available devices.  Without scaling this up or anything else -just putting a little more powerful amplification on.  We can get cavitation across an air gap.


 

So, now let's shift a little bit to take a look at what was what might be might have been going on in Cuba and China.  What I'd like to do is present some evidence of a technology that could be deployed forward for detecting something like this caveat. Okay, we only have those 25 people exposed as our pool.  To look at it, so we're basing this on limited data but I'd like to show what we do have right now.

 

And this again is part of the ONR Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Program

portfolio.  We talked about these potential types of exposure.

 

and we saw that reviewing with Dr. Hoffer presented a high prevalence of what looked like otolith, saccule, and utricle related effects in these individuals is more homogeneous than you see in TBI populations and a much lower prevalence of headaches.  Maybe it's like a TBI, maybe it isn't.  The cognitive symptoms were more pervasive.  We also saw some other elevated cognitive type of signs, like an abnormal antipsychotic.

This is a test when you are asked to look at a spot but come on over here, but you have to look in the opposite direction at the same spot.  When we're intact, we can do that.  When you're not quite right, as I put it-it dings, and the QR, you have trouble doing the task.

This is sort of my definition of traumatic brain injury.  Has it been this way all along? I don't mean to upset some, or being to be provocative, when I say it:

You have an event that they got dinged and they're not quite right. 

They meet NQR criterion.

What we try to do:

  • Treat them,
  • Diagnose, 
  • Document,
  • Take care of these individuals.

This is just a publication; we've been hearing illusions that otolith dysfunction or ear dysfunction can affect cognitive functions.

This was done with a colleague Ashley Wacom, who's currently the chairman of Rutgers University and we found that we could document it in the wide range analysis of learning and memory type of tests.  That there were deficits pre-surgery and people without

a capsule deficit.  When they were fixed, and they were asymptomatic, they improved their performance on learning and memory tasks.  Cognitive, this is one of the few studies that have shown, objectively, that kind of finding. 


I also want to warn everybody, let you know we're not naive enough to think that if people think they heard something, it really was a sound there.  The nervous system, by something other than sound like RF, you could hear it.  We have to be very cautious and interpreting symptomatic reports, especially after people have heard from other people.  What they thought they were exposed to. 

 

 What I'm going to look at here, now, some aspects of vergence and these are convergent.  The move is distinguished from Havana syndrome, from TBI, yet converges with IED movements.  If you follow your finger, going toward your nose, your eyes will converge.  Your pupil will constricts. 

This is work done with Dr. Hoffer and Dr. Levine at University of Miami and this is done with data that was gathered, these were things that Dr. Hoffler recorded with the eye device, but they're not medical tests, so we analyzed and post-hoc looking back at it.

 

The device we use, is right here, it's an ER Kinetics Eye Portal Portable Assessment System.  That is virtual reality display inside it.  You can analyze each eyes movement independently, to better than 0.1-degree accuracy.  It is fully calibrated, and it allows us to  control stimuli for the people to look at and for studying convergence eye movements we can have spots moving and the disparity.  We will watch them, so you don't see double.  We have no change in overall illumination. We can study the convergence movement and move into the pupil without any interference of changing ambient light levels which will affect the pupil.  We can watch the eye movements.  We image the eye under infrared diode illumination, and we can track the eyes with great accuracy, as well as measure the size of the pupil.  The area of the pupil, as I mentioned before, the convergent side movements we have, we're all familiar with.  As we move fingers, you move your finger toward your nose, your eyes will converge so you don't see double, and your pupil constricts to increase the depth of focus.  When you move away, you get the opposite effect, the eyes diverge and the pupil will dilate and so we took a look here at 51 normal control subjects 18 subjects from with mild TBI taken from the regular emergency rooms at University of Miami Naval Medical Center, San Diego, Madigan Army Medical Center. 

 

 

Three different individuals in the labs were making these measurements and the 19 subjects was completed data from the Havana affected population.  Two tasks were done, one I call the binocular disparity-sometimes fusion task.  You are looking at the display and at a certain point, they [your eyes] move away from each other by a small distance, about one and a half degrees.  You don't see double.  You naturally fuse the two. We've all had that experience.  We do that all the time, when they move in the other direction toward the nose.

 

Second one we call a disparity pursuit task.  They start like this, and here they moved and verge and converge, but very slowly.  We naturally follow them and during both tasks, you have the illusion that it's moving toward you and away from you.  They're making the movement like that.  We simply record the eye in pupil movements during those tasks.  This shows you from two different control subjects, one shown in green and the other shown in black.  The eye movements, you see people follow that the spot shifting quite well, and then these are the pupil movements going on at the same time, recorded simultaneously.  This shows you for the pursuit, the same two subjects, so you see, if we follow it quite nicely and quite naturally and you'll notice the pupil is dilating when the eyes diverge and constricting when the eyes converge and it's a very regular process. One can analyze, with simple engineering models.

 

 

 

 

In fact, this I don't mean everybody to read basically from work done by Larry Stark and others in the 1980s, very fine work on this we can model, make an engineering model and estimate parameters that describe these responses quite well.  This just shows you the model fit for a control subject for the eye movement, that's the gray line and just modeling the pupil based on the eye movements alone, as the gray model on the pupil does well.  The fits are pretty reasonable and I, by the way, I found out when they put the models up, I thought, oh I can do better than that and I probably went through every experiment that they did in showing why you couldn't.

 

 

Right afterwards, and then this shows you from a subject in from Havana, the same kind of data and one thing you'll notice foreshadowing, it's you notice how much larger the pupil responses really are large.

 

 

 

This summarizes data, from the step by NOC Euler Fusion Test.  What I've plotted here is what's the amplitude of the eye movement, converging or diverging, from the model and you can see that there's no difference between the Havana affected people.  But the people with mild TBI, as we've seen before, have a significantly lower magnitude of those movements, and in fact, the fit will suit the coefficient of determination, the r-squared values are quite high for the model fits.  There is quite high fidelity, but the people with mild TBI, don't follow it so well .  Their magnitude is lower for the movement and their pursuits less accurate.  If we look at the pupil constriction, how much the pupil movement you will notice, there's no difference in behavior between the control and the acute TBI.  But take a look, it's a more deterministic fit, interestingly enough, so maybe they don't have the other emotional effects on the pupil, but the magnitude is much greater and that's significantly different and we see a very similar picture for the pursuit tasks, except we see there, that the amplitude of the eye movements is reduced for both the control for both TBI and the Havanna exposed individuals.  When we come down and take a look at but the fidelity of fit is different, and the pupil constriction is much more active.  It is hyperactive programmed at the same time in these individuals exposed in Havana and the same feature for the fit, so we take all these data.

 

And if we do a discriminant analysis, with it very simple, I've got three different groups. How well can I pick out, based on these tests results, these different groups?

You can see we get 92% correct classification.  When we do cross validation, we get close to 90%.  These people, you get no cross-classification errors between the Havana people and the mild TBI population.  I feel this is double technology.  We think we shown here, is:

 

 

First of all, we can distinguish with some objectively, by performance in these kinds of tasks, these sort of binocular disparity versions tasks, and they show an abnormal convergence.  Your response behavior is to think from what we see in garden-variety concussive injuries coming into an emergency room.

What we suggest is, right now, the current technology is something that could be taken out, at least to a far forward medical station, deployed to see whether people had some  exposure event because a first read, people did have some kind of exposure to this technology.


 

This can be miniaturized.  It is okay, it's the form factors- not great now, but within less than a year you could probably have something that could be installed on any battle helm, on any helmet any kind of headgear.  You want, instead of having the personal computer, you simply put a processor right on the back of a custom-built camera.  You can increase the gross-sampling speed and get even more precision for picking up other kinds of eye movement deficits.  This is something that is ready.

Ready for six four, at this particular point and pushing forward, with these features and this is being supported.  Some of this, but at a slower development rate now, by the by the ONR Noise Induced Hearing Loss Program. 


Finally, looking at this, I just want to say this technology and our ability to read the code, reads the covariation between pupil and eye movements is potentially useful in many office environments.  Problems that we see, can probably be detected because oxygenation state changes the pupil responses.  You can look at undersea hypoxia, hypercarbia in these areas.  Also, what's the person looking?  How are they reacting to it?  We could use this in a variety of different kinds of cognitive interfaces, we whether we're dealing with virtual reality or augmented reality kinds of platforms.  I this is a this is where we are at this point in time and pushing forward with it.  We think we don't know what the exposure was.  We are working along on that side, but at least it's interesting to see that we have, and we can distinguish, between them which is very important which I think this is going to end up being very important operationally. 

We want to be able to pick out people objectively, look at it, and so we don't just have these 25 people running down along the line. 

That we can study. 
 

 

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Celeste Solum is a broadcaster, author, former government, organic farmer and is trained in nursing and environmental medicine.  Celeste chronicles the space and earth conditions that trigger the rise and fall of modern & ancient civilizations, calendars, and volatile economies. Cycles are converging, all pointing to a cataclysmic period between 2020 to 2050 in what many scientists believe is an Extinction Level Event.   

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