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Ultrasound for virtual reality? How does this work?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Green Xenon [Radium], Sep 25, 2007.

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  1. Hi:

    How does ultrasound do this?

    Quotes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality :

    “On April 7, 2005, Sony went public with the information that they had
    filed for and received a patent for the idea of the non-invasive beaming
    of different frequencies and patterns of ultrasonic waves directly into
    the brain to recreate all five senses.[2] There has been research to
    show that this is possible.”

    Quotes from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article378077.ece :

    “The patent has few details, describing only a device that would fire
    pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify the firing patterns of
    neurons in targeted parts of the brain.”

    This is so interesting. Please don’t feel insulted by the cross-posts. I
    only posted to relevant NGs.

    No offense but please respond with reasonable answers & keep out the
    jokes, off-topic nonsense, taunts, insults, and trivializations. I am
    really interested in this.

    I am so interested in how ultrasound can “recreate all five senses”. Yet
    I am also extremely frustrated because I can’t find any additional
    information on this topic.


    Thanks,

    Radium
     
  2. Androcles

    Androcles Guest

    : Hi:
    :
    : How does ultrasound do this?
    :
    : Quotes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality :
    :
    : “On April 7, 2005, Sony went public with the information that they had
    : filed for and received a patent for the idea of the non-invasive beaming
    : of different frequencies and patterns of ultrasonic waves directly into
    : the brain to recreate all five senses.[2] There has been research to
    : show that this is possible.”
    :
    : Quotes from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article378077.ece :
    :
    : “The patent has few details, describing only a device that would fire
    : pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify the firing patterns of
    : neurons in targeted parts of the brain.”
    :
    : This is so interesting. Please don’t feel insulted by the cross-posts. I
    : only posted to relevant NGs.
    :
    : No offense but please respond with reasonable answers & keep out the
    : jokes, off-topic nonsense, taunts, insults, and trivializations. I am
    : really interested in this.
    :
    : I am so interested in how ultrasound can “recreate all five senses”. Yet
    : I am also extremely frustrated because I can’t find any additional
    : information on this topic.
    :
    :
    : Thanks,
    :
    : Radium


    Even the blind, deaf, tactileless, tongueless and odourless know
    when they are hot or cold. That's more than five senses; maintaining
    body temperature is the first requirement for survival of the individual.
    Taste and smell are linked, both require the presence of a molecule
    of the substance being tasted or smelt and are essentially the same sense.
    As a laboratory subject I can vouch for being unable to "remember" taste,
    smell or touch, but I can remember visual scenes and music. Yet I do
    have the memory of the taste of beef or ice cream or pickled onions
    so that I recognise them when I taste them. I just cannot recall that
    taste in their absence.
    If there is some way in which a mechanical vibration of the neurons
    and/or synapses can trigger memory of past tastes, colours, audio
    frequencies or other sensations then I don't know how it works but
    would not rule out the possibility of it doing so, although I'd expect
    to find it hallucinatory in its nature and therefore undesirable.
     
  3. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Sounds to me like horse-puckey! (I guess that accounts for the
    senses of hearing and olfaction, at a minimum... <g>)

    Even if we suppose that their ultrasound system can target
    the brain at very fine resolution, and that it can stimulate any
    neurons it focuses on, that's a *looong* way from having a
    useful system. My suspicion is that they are simply able to
    produce the same sort of random sensations that neurosurgeons
    elicit by direct contact or stimulation during neurosurgery.
    If they aim for the visual cortex, they get visual sensations,
    auditory from the auditory cortex, and so on. If the stimulation
    apparatus is really nailed down tight to the subject's head,
    they may even be fairly repeatable distinct sensations, such
    as "smell of violets" or "moving bar of red light". But they won't
    be the same for the next subject, nor even the same subject
    on another day unless the setup can be reattached exactly the
    same. That's partly due to the limits of trying to locate any
    given brain region by "stereotaxis" (measurements relative to
    known landmarks on the skull or whatever), and partly due to
    the fact that brains are all different at fine enough detail (because
    they have been shaped by different experiences as well as
    heredity).

    So to use this in any practical way would involve some sort of
    semi-permanent attachment to the subject, followed by a
    *looong* learning period of tweaking the controls, and mapping
    out the response regions. In essence, it would be a larger-scale
    version of what cochlear prosthesis recipients have to go through
    to eventually achieve what can be called "hearing". The device
    can be adjusted to adapt somewhat to the subject, but the
    subject has to do a large amount of learning to interpret the
    output of the device.

    Best regards,


    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
    Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Signal Generator
    Science with your sound card!
     
  4. Randy Poe

    Randy Poe Guest

    Crossposting trimmed somewhat

    Few details. Exactly.
    "New Scientist says in its Saturday issue that it was denied an
    interview with the unnamed inventor..."

    Hmmm. The inventor of this brilliant idea doesn't admit
    to having a name, and they won't let the press talk to
    the supposed inventor.

    "Elizabeth Boukis, the Sony Electronics spokeswoman, said
    that the work was a "prophetic invention" and no experiments
    at all had been performed on it. 'It was based on an inspiration
    that this may someday be the direction that technology will
    take us,' she told the magazine."

    Hmm. They don't have any idea how it would be possible.
    They just want to get the royalties if anyone ever does
    figure out a way to do it.
    That would be because there isn't any. Somebody unnamed
    had a science-fiction idea without details, and Sony management
    decided to pay to file a patent on it.

    I can think of only one plausible technology that might have
    prompted these speculations. There's something called
    "time reversal" in signal processing. It has nothing to do with
    making time run backward. The name has to do with the
    fact that the technique involves reversing the time order
    of a recorded signal.

    When coherent waves (such as ultrasound) hit a body
    with a complicated structure, they experience a lot
    of scattering and the signal becomes severely
    decoherent. By measuring the scattering and using
    time-reversal techniques, you can compensate for
    that scattering in such a way that you could cause
    the sound wave to come to a sharp focus at any
    desired point inside the body. Such a technique has been
    successfully applied to noninvasive destruction of kidney
    stones.

    I suspect somebody asked "if you apply time reversal
    techniques to focus ultrasound on specific neurons,
    can you stimulate them to fire?" And probably somebody
    found the answer was "yes".

    - Randy
     
  5. Benj

    Benj Guest

    Sorry "Radium" but your spamming stupid posts are well known here.
    While this one is considerably improved over most, why would you have
    the chutzpa to think that we should fall all over ourselves because
    YOU are "really interested" in something. How about you CONTRIBUTE
    something "interesting" here instead? Just who are you to tell ME to
    be "reasonable"?
    I dunno. Seemed to have worked with the Laser!
     
  6. Guest

    Balance. Don't forget the sense of balance.
     
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