[ibogaine] Re: AMON

paul jackamo pauljackamo at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 29 21:05:50 EDT 2003


I just checked out amon's site and i urge everyone to do the same and leave 
a thought in his guestbook.  i dont know why his death has affected me - 
especially as people dying was part of my  junky landscape for so long - i 
guess, its the "there but for the grace of god, go I" feeling...i remember 
his posts and he seemed like someone  i would have liked to get to 
know..another timetrack perhaps...

its a reminder that we are dealing with real life & death issues here (on so 
many levels, as iboga itself seems to take you to the death realms)

i would like to thank his mum for sharing her time with us here on mindvox 
and my thoughts are with her.

take care everyone

paul.

>From: "AMON" <amon at wetnightmare.com>
>Reply-To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
>To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
>CC: ibogaine at mindvox.com
>Subject: Re: [ibogaine] Re: AMON
>Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 08:09:06 -0700 (PDT)
>
>
>
>THANKyou to Allison and Curtis for expressing
>condolences re.death of my son Chris. He worked for
>Register.com , a povider of domanin names, and the
>company generously agreed to keep his website,
>amonworld.com in operation for the next ten years. A
>friend of Chris's and colleague at Register will be
>admininstering the site and provided me access to his
>email account a couple of weeks ago. By then there were
>over 350 postings and e-mails to sort through. I hope
>that members of this list will check out his website,
>which eventually will be updated with pictures of him,
>his eulogy, stories, etc.
>One of the saddest messages was from Daniel Pinchbeck.
>Chris refers to his book on the website and it was from
>reading the book Breaking OPEN THE HEAD, that convinced
>him ibogaine was the way for him to go. Thus, he wrote
>to Pinchbeck and on May 28, a month after Chris's
>death, a reply inviting him to participate in a
>film/documentary being produced in Mexico re. ibogaine
>treatment- aftercare to be provided on a ranch in
>California- all expenses paid-
>Chris would have been thrilled at the opportunity- but
>bad timing always seemed to be part of his life!
>Anyway, a memorial fund has been established in his
>name and it is my desire to use the money in a way that
>would honor Chris and pay tribute to his memory. I
>think somehow he is leading me to this whole ibogaine
>experience, and perhaps there is a way I could help
>someone in need of treatment. Chris was looking into
>going to Vancouver to the iboga therapy house, in fact
>was arranging for an Ekg. I won't continue with this
>topic, but I too am very excited about all I have read
>at ibogaine.org and sincerely want to further the cause
>in any way I can.
>thanks for providing this forum, his website can also
>be accessed through wetnightmare. com- check it out and
>sign the guestbook which has been added since his
>death.   mother SueOn Tue, 24 Jun 2003 00:12:27 +1200,
>"Allison Senepart" wrote:
>
> > Message-Id:
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> > From: "Allison Senepart" <aa.senepart at xtra.co.nz>
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> > Subject: Re: [ibogaine] Re: AMON
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> >
> > I just wanted to offer condolences to Amons Mum.  I
>saw
> > his messages here
> > but had no idea he had died.  I don't know that any of
> > this will make his
> > Mum feel better but a lot of addicts don't set out
> > intentionally to die.  I
> > have a number of friends now that have overdosed or
> > died accidentely while
> > using drugs which is an incentive   that helps my
> > partner and I try to fight
> > to keep clean.  Its not easy and the temptation is
> > always just around the
> > corner but so far we are staying good for longer than
> > we have done at any
> > other time.  We have tried and failed so many times,
> > had arguments, given
> > up, been sick and everything else that goes with it.
> > My daughter is now 22
> > and is very anti hard drugs after having to live with
> > my partner and I and I
> > am certainly not proud to have introduced her to
>things
> > she should never
> > have seen or been aware of.  All I can say is that its
> > like one part of your
> > mind is saying one thing and then another half is
> > talking you into the
> > opposite.  At times I was so determined not to do any
> > more morphine, poppies
> > etc. and then my partner would arrive home with
> > something and I would start
> > cramping in the stomach just anticipating it.  My
> > parents were horribly
> > upset when they figured out what I was doing.  I
> > managed to hide it for a
> > while but eventually everything feel to bits.  I would
> > turn up to visit and
> > nod off in the middle of a conversation and I guess it
> > was all too obvious.
> > They wanted to help me but I wouldn't let them.  My
> > answer was to keep
> > telling them everything was under control cos I didn't
> > want them to be
> > disappointed in me and also didn'twant to admit how
> > desperate and sick I was
> > when I needed a fix to get to work and function for
>the
> > day.
> > I wish Amons mum all the best and hope that she will
> > find some understanding
> > from people on this list.
> > Regards Allison.   PS  It all sounds so inadequate but
> > my thoughts are there
> > even if though the words are hard to write.
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "AMON" <amon at wetnightmare.com>
> > To: <ibogaine at mindvox.com>
> > Cc: <ibogaine at mindvox.com>
> > Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 11:04 AM
> > Subject: [ibogaine] Re: AMON
> >
> >
> > > On Sun, 22 Jun 2003 13:04:35 -0400, "preston peet"
> > > wrote:
> > > I"m not sure how to send a  message to this group-
>but
> > > I would like anybody who might have communicated
>with
> > > Amon to know that on April 26, he died suddenly. The
> > > cause of death is still being investigated, but he
>was
> > > in the company of drug dealers at the time. I am his
> > > mother and would appreciate hearing from anyone who
> > has
> > > insights or previous messages from him, as I mourn
>his
> > > death and try to understand his pain. I know he was
> > > trying desperately in his last two months to find
>help
> > > for his addiction. My agony is that I was not able
>to
> > > help him in time. If anyone out there can help me
>with
> > > understanding, I would be so grateful. thank you.
> > >
> > > > Message-Id:
> > > <003801c338e0$5be3ee80$7d60c118 at nyc.rr.com>
> > > > List-Help: <mailto:ibogaine-help at mindvox.com>
> > > > List-Unsubscribe:
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> > > > X-Priority: 3
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> > > > Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 13:04:35 -0400
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> > > 2003 10:05:14 -0700
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> > > > Content-Type: text/plain;
> > > > charset="iso-8859-1"
> > > > Subject: [ibogaine] (OT, but interesting) Fw:
> > > [drugwar] Savant for a Day
> > > > X-Received: 22 Jun 2003 17:05:14 GMT
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><ibogaine-return-4688-nodoff=wetnightmare.com at mindvox.com>
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> > > > To: <ibogaine at mindvox.com>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > From: Tim Meehan
> > > > To: drugwar at mindvox.com
> > > > Cc: mapster at coollist.com
> > > > Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2003 10:28 AM
> > > > Subject: [drugwar] Savant for a Day
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
>http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/22/magazine/22SAVANT.html
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > June 22, 2003
> > > > Savant for a Day
> > > > By LAWRENCE OSBORNE
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > n a concrete basement at the University of
>Sydney, I
> > > > sat in a chair waiting
> > > > to
> > > > have my brain altered by an electromagnetic pulse.
> > My
> > > > forehead was
> > > > connected, by
> > > > a series of electrodes, to a machine that looked
> > > > something like an
> > > > old-fashioned
> > > > beauty-salon hair dryer and was sunnily described
>to
> > > me
> > > > as a ''Danish-made
> > > > transcranial magnetic stimulator.'' This was not
> > just
> > > > any old Danish-made
> > > > transcranial magnetic stimulator, however; this
>was
> > > the
> > > > Medtronic Mag Pro,
> > > > and
> > > > it was being operated by Allan Snyder, one of the
> > > > world's most remarkable
> > > > scientists of human cognition.
> > > >
> > > > Nonetheless, the anticipation of electricity being
> > > > beamed into my frontal
> > > > lobes
> > > > (and the consent form I had just signed) made me a
> > bit
> > > > nervous. Snyder found
> > > > that amusing. ''Oh, relax now!'' he said in the
> > thick
> > > > local accent he has
> > > > acquired since moving here from America. ''I've
>done
> > > it
> > > > on myself a hundred
> > > > times. This is Australia. Legally, it's far more
> > > > difficult to damage people
> > > > in
> > > > Australia than it is in the United States.''
> > > >
> > > > ''Damage?'' I groaned.
> > > >
> > > > ''You're not going to be damaged,'' he said.
> > ''You're
> > > > going to be
> > > > enhanced.''
> > > >
> > > > The Medtronic was originally developed as a tool
>for
> > > > brain surgery: by
> > > > stimulating or slowing down specific regions of
>the
> > > > brain, it allowed
> > > > doctors to
> > > > monitor the effects of surgery in real time. But
>it
> > > > also produced, they
> > > > noted,
> > > > strange and unexpected effects on patients' mental
> > > > functions: one minute
> > > > they
> > > > would lose the ability to speak, another minute
>they
> > > > would speak easily but
> > > > would make odd linguistic errors and so on. A
>number
> > > of
> > > > researchers started
> > > > to
> > > > look into the possibilities, but one in particular
> > > > intrigued Snyder: that
> > > > people
> > > > undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation, or
> > TMS,
> > > > could suddenly exhibit
> > > > savant intelligence -- those isolated pockets of
> > > > geniuslike mental ability
> > > > that
> > > > most often appear in autistic people.
> > > >
> > > > Snyder is an impish presence, the very opposite
>of a
> > > > venerable professor,
> > > > let
> > > > alone an internationally acclaimed scientist.
>There
> > is
> > > > a whiff of Woody
> > > > Allen
> > > > about him. Did I really want him, I couldn't help
> > > > thinking, rewiring my hard
> > > > drive? ''We're not changing your brain
>physically,''
> > > he
> > > > assured me. ''You'll
> > > > only experience differences in your thought
> > processes
> > > > while you're actually
> > > > on
> > > > the machine.'' His assistant made a few final
> > > > adjustments to the electrodes,
> > > > and
> > > > then, as everyone stood back, Snyder flicked the
> > > switch.
> > > >
> > > > A series of electromagnetic pulses were being
> > directed
> > > > into my frontal
> > > > lobes,
> > > > but I felt nothing. Snyder instructed me to draw
> > > > something. ''What would you
> > > > like to draw?'' he said merrily. ''A cat? You like
> > > > drawing cats? Cats it
> > > > is.''
> > > >
> > > > I've seen a million cats in my life, so when I
>close
> > > my
> > > > eyes, I have no
> > > > trouble
> > > > picturing them. But what does a cat really look
> > like,
> > > > and how do you put it
> > > > down
> > > > on paper? I gave it a try but came up with some
>sort
> > > of
> > > > stick figure,
> > > > perhaps an
> > > > insect.
> > > >
> > > > While I drew, Snyder continued his lecture. ''You
> > > could
> > > > call this a
> > > > creativity-amplifying machine. It's a way of
> > altering
> > > > our states of mind
> > > > without
> > > > taking drugs like mescaline. You can make people
>see
> > > > the raw data of the
> > > > world
> > > > as it is. As it is actually represented in the
> > > > unconscious mind of all of
> > > > us.''
> > > >
> > > > Two minutes after I started the first drawing, I
>was
> > > > instructed to try
> > > > again.
> > > > After another two minutes, I tried a third cat,
>and
> > > > then in due course a
> > > > fourth.
> > > > Then the experiment was over, and the electrodes
> > were
> > > > removed. I looked down
> > > > at
> > > > my work. The first felines were boxy and stiffly
> > > > unconvincing. But after I
> > > > had
> > > > been subjected to about 10 minutes of transcranial
> > > > magnetic stimulation,
> > > > their
> > > > tails had grown more vibrant, more nervous; their
> > > faces
> > > > were personable and
> > > > convincing. They were even beginning to wear
>clever
> > > > expressions.
> > > >
> > > > I could hardly recognize them as my own drawings,
> > > > though I had watched
> > > > myself
> > > > render each one, in all its loving detail. Somehow
> > > over
> > > > the course of a very
> > > > few
> > > > minutes, and with no additional instruction, I had
> > > gone
> > > > from an incompetent
> > > > draftsman to a very impressive artist of the
>feline
> > > > form.
> > > >
> > > > Snyder looked over my shoulder. ''Well, how about
> > > that?
> > > > Leonardo would be
> > > > envious.'' Or turning in his grave, I thought.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > As remarkable as the cat-drawing lesson was, it
>was
> > > > just a hint of Snyder's
> > > > work
> > > > and its implications for the study of cognition.
>He
> > > has
> > > > used TMS dozens of
> > > > times
> > > > on university students, measuring its effect on
> > their
> > > > ability to draw, to
> > > > proofread and to perform difficult mathematical
> > > > functions like identifying
> > > > prime
> > > > numbers by sight. Hooked up to the machine, 40
> > percent
> > > > of test subjects
> > > > exhibited extraordinary, and newfound, mental
> > skills.
> > > > That Snyder was able
> > > > to
> > > > induce these remarkable feats in a controlled,
> > > > repeatable experiment is more
> > > > than just a great party trick; it's a breakthrough
> > > that
> > > > may lead to a
> > > > revolution
> > > > in the way we understand the limits of our own
> > > > intelligence -- and the
> > > > functioning of the human brain in general.
> > > >
> > > > Snyder's work began with a curiosity about autism.
> > > > Though there is little
> > > > consensus about what causes this baffling -- and
> > > > increasingly common --
> > > > disorder, it seems safe to say that autistic
>people
> > > > share certain qualities:
> > > > they tend to be rigid, mechanical and emotionally
> > > > dissociated. They manifest
> > > > what autism's great ''discoverer,'' Leo Kanner,
> > called
> > > > ''an anxiously
> > > > obsessive
> > > > desire for the preservation of sameness.'' And
>they
> > > > tend to interpret
> > > > information in a hyperliteral way, using ''a kind
>of
> > > > language which does not
> > > > seem intended to serve interpersonal
> > communication.''
> > > >
> > > > For example, Snyder says, when autistic test
> > subjects
> > > > came to see him at the
> > > > university, they would often get lost in the main
> > > quad.
> > > > They might have been
> > > > there 10 times before, but each time the shadows
> > were
> > > > in slightly different
> > > > positions, and the difference overwhelmed their
> > sense
> > > > of place. ''They can't
> > > > grasp a general concept equivalent to the word
> > > > 'quad,''' he explains. ''If
> > > > it
> > > > changes appearance even slightly, then they have
>to
> > > > start all over again.''
> > > >
> > > > Despite these limitations, a small subset of
> > > autistics,
> > > > known as savants,
> > > > can
> > > > also perform superspecialized mental feats.
>Perhaps
> > > the
> > > > most famous savant
> > > > was
> > > > Dustin Hoffman's character in ''Rain Man,'' who
> > could
> > > > count hundreds of
> > > > matchsticks at a glance. But the truth has often
> > been
> > > > even stranger: one
> > > > celebrated savant in turn-of-the-century Vienna
> > could
> > > > calculate the day of
> > > > the
> > > > week for every date since the birth of Christ.
>Other
> > > > savants can speak
> > > > dozens of
> > > > languages without formally studying any of them or
> > can
> > > > reproduce music at
> > > > the
> > > > piano after only a single hearing. A savant
>studied
> > by
> > > > the English doctor J.
> > > > Langdon Down in 1887 had memorized every page of
> > > > Gibbon's ''Decline and Fall
> > > > of
> > > > the Roman Empire.'' At the beginning of the 19th
> > > > century, the splendidly
> > > > named
> > > > Gottfried Mind became famous all over Europe for
>the
> > > > amazing pictures he
> > > > drew of
> > > > cats.
> > > >
> > > > The conventional wisdom has long been that
> > autistics'
> > > > hyperliteral thought
> > > > processes were completely separate from the more
> > > > contextual, nuanced, social
> > > > way
> > > > that most adults think, a different mental
>function
> > > > altogether. And so, by
> > > > extension, the extraordinary skills of autistic
> > > savants
> > > > have been regarded
> > > > as
> > > > flukes, almost inhuman feats that average minds
> > could
> > > > never achieve.
> > > >
> > > > Snyder argues that all those assumptions -- about
> > > > everything from the way
> > > > autistic savants behave down to the basic brain
> > > > functions that cause them to
> > > > do
> > > > so -- are mistaken. Autistic thought isn't wholly
> > > > incompatible with ordinary
> > > > thought, he says; it's just a variation on it, a
> > more
> > > > extreme example.
> > > >
> > > > He first got the idea after reading ''The Man Who
> > > > Mistook His Wife for a
> > > > Hat,''
> > > > in which Oliver Sacks explores the link between
> > autism
> > > > and a very specific
> > > > kind
> > > > of brain damage. If neurological impairment is the
> > > > cause of the autistic's
> > > > disabilities, Snyder wondered, could it be the
>cause
> > > of
> > > > their geniuslike
> > > > abilities, too? By shutting down certain mental
> > > > functions -- the capacity to
> > > > think conceptually, categorically, contextually --
> > did
> > > > this impairment allow
> > > > other mental functions to flourish? Could brain
> > > damage,
> > > > in short, actually
> > > > make
> > > > you brilliant?
> > > >
> > > > In a 1999 paper called ''Is Integer Arithmetic
> > > > Fundamental to Mental
> > > > Processing?
> > > > The Mind's Secret Arithmetic,'' Snyder and D. John
> > > > Mitchell considered the
> > > > example of an autistic infant, whose mind ''is not
> > > > concept driven. . . . In
> > > > our
> > > > view such a mind can tap into lower level details
> > not
> > > > readily available to
> > > > introspection by normal individuals.'' These
> > children,
> > > > they wrote, seem ''to
> > > > be
> > > > aware of information in some raw or interim state
> > > prior
> > > > to it being formed
> > > > into
> > > > the 'ultimate picture.''' Most astonishing, they
> > went
> > > > on, ''the mental
> > > > machinery
> > > > for performing lightning fast integer arithmetic
> > > > calculations could be
> > > > within us
> > > > all.''
> > > >
> > > > And so Snyder turned to TMS, in an attempt, as he
> > > says,
> > > > ''to enhance the
> > > > brain
> > > > by shutting off certain parts of it.''
> > > >
> > > > ''In a way, savants are the great enigma of
>today's
> > > > neurology,'' says Prof.
> > > > Joy
> > > > Hirsch, director of the Functional M.R.I. Research
> > > > Center at Columbia
> > > > University. ''They exist in all cultures and are a
> > > > distinct type. Why? How?
> > > > We
> > > > don't know. Yet understanding the savant will help
> > > > provide insight into the
> > > > whole neurophysiological underpinning of human
> > > > behavior. That's why Snyder's
> > > > ideas are so exciting -- he's asking a really
> > > > fundamental question, which no
> > > > one
> > > > has yet answered.''
> > > >
> > > > If Snyder's suspicions are correct, in fact, and
> > > > savants have not more
> > > > brainpower than the rest of us, but less, then
>it's
> > > > even possible that
> > > > everybody
> > > > starts out life as a savant. Look, for example, at
> > the
> > > > ease with which
> > > > children
> > > > master complex languages -- a mysterious skill
>that
> > > > seems to shut off
> > > > automatically around the age of 12. ''What we're
> > doing
> > > > is
> > > > counterintuitive,''
> > > > Snyder tells me. ''We're saying that all these
> > genius
> > > > skills are easy,
> > > > they're
> > > > natural. Our brain does them naturally. Like
> > walking.
> > > > Do you know how
> > > > difficult
> > > > walking is? It's much more difficult than
>drawing!''
> > > >
> > > > To prove his point, he hooks me up to the
>Medtronic
> > > Mag
> > > > Pro again and asks
> > > > me to
> > > > read the following lines:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > A bird in the hand
> > > > is worth two in the
> > > > the bush
> > > >
> > > > ''A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,'' I
> > > say.
> > > >
> > > > ''Again,'' Snyder says, and smiles.
> > > >
> > > > So once more: ''A bird in the hand is worth two in
> > the
> > > > bush.'' He makes me
> > > > repeat it five or six times, slowing me down until
> > he
> > > > has me reading each
> > > > word
> > > > with aching slowness.
> > > >
> > > > Then he switches on the machine. He is trying to
> > > > suppress those parts of my
> > > > brain responsible for thinking contextually, for
> > > making
> > > > connections. Without
> > > > them, I will be able to see things more as an
> > autistic
> > > > might.
> > > >
> > > > After five minutes of electric pulses, I read the
> > card
> > > > again. Only then do I
> > > > see
> > > > -- instantly -- that the card contains an extra
> > > ''the.''
> > > >
> > > > On my own, I had been looking for patterns, trying
> > to
> > > > coax the words on the
> > > > page
> > > > into a coherent, familiar whole. But ''on the
> > > > machine,'' he says, ''you
> > > > start
> > > > seeing what's actually there, not what you think
>is
> > > > there.''
> > > >
> > > > Snyder's theories are bolstered by the documented
> > > cases
> > > > in which sudden
> > > > brain
> > > > damage has produced savant abilities almost
> > overnight.
> > > > He cites the case of
> > > > Orlando Serrell, a 10-year-old street kid who was
> > hit
> > > > on the head and
> > > > immediately began doing calendrical calculations
>of
> > > > baffling complexity.
> > > > Snyder
> > > > argues that we all have Serrell's powers. ''We
> > > remember
> > > > virtually
> > > > everything,
> > > > but we recall very little,'' Snyder explains.
>''Now
> > > > isn't that strange?
> > > > Everything is in there'' -- he taps the side of
>his
> > > > head. ''Buried deep in
> > > > all
> > > > our brains are phenomenal abilities, which we lose
> > for
> > > > some reason as we
> > > > develop
> > > > into 'normal' conceptual creatures. But what if we
> > > > could reawaken them?''
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Not all of Snyder's colleagues agree with his
> > > theories.
> > > > Michael Howe, an
> > > > eminent
> > > > psychologist at the University of Exeter in
>Britain
> > > who
> > > > died last year,
> > > > argued
> > > > that savantism (and genius itself) was largely a
> > > result
> > > > of incessant
> > > > practice
> > > > and specialization. ''The main difference between
> > > > experts and savants,'' he
> > > > once
> > > > told New Scientist magazine, ''is that savants do
> > > > things which most of us
> > > > couldn't be bothered to get good at.''
> > > >
> > > > Robert Hendren, executive director of the M.I.N.D.
> > > > Institute at the
> > > > University
> > > > of California at Davis, brought that concept down
>to
> > > my
> > > > level: ''If you drew
> > > > 20
> > > > cats one after the other, they'd probably get
>better
> > > > anyway.'' Like most
> > > > neuroscientists, he doubts that an electromagnetic
> > > > pulse can stimulate the
> > > > brain
> > > > into creativity: ''I'm not sure I see how TMS can
> > > > actually alter the way
> > > > your
> > > > brain works. There's a chance that Snyder is
>right.
> > > But
> > > > it's still very
> > > > experimental.''
> > > >
> > > > Tomas Paus, an associate professor of neuroscience
> > at
> > > > McGill University, who
> > > > has
> > > > done extensive TMS research, is even more dubious.
> > ''I
> > > > don't believe TMS can
> > > > ever elicit complex behavior,'' he says.
> > > >
> > > > But even skeptics like Hendren and Paus concede
>that
> > > by
> > > > intensifying the
> > > > neural
> > > > activity of one part of the brain while slowing or
> > > > shutting down others, TMS
> > > > can
> > > > have remarkable effects. One of its most
>successful
> > > > applications has been in
> > > > the
> > > > realm of psychiatry, where it is now used to
>dispel
> > > the
> > > > ''inner voices'' of
> > > > schizophrenics, or to combat clinical depression
> > > > without the damaging side
> > > > effects of electroshock therapy. (NeuroNetics, an
> > > > Atlanta company, is
> > > > developing
> > > > a TMS machine designed for just this purpose,
>which
> > > > will probably be
> > > > released in
> > > > 2006, pending F.D.A. approval.)
> > > >
> > > > Meanwhile, researchers at the National Institute
>of
> > > > Neurological Disorders
> > > > and
> > > > Stroke found that TMS applied to the prefrontal
> > cortex
> > > > enabled subjects to
> > > > solve
> > > > geometric puzzles much more rapidly. Alvaro
> > > > Pascual-Leone, associate
> > > > professor
> > > > of neurology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
> > > > Center in Boston (who,
> > > > through
> > > > his work at the Laboratory for Magnetic Brain
> > > > Stimulation, has been one of
> > > > the
> > > > American visionaries of TMS), has even suggested
> > that
> > > > TMS could be used to
> > > > ''prep'' students' minds before lessons.
> > > >
> > > > None of this has gone unnoticed by canny
> > entrepreneurs
> > > > and visionary
> > > > scientists.
> > > > Last year, the Brain Stimulation Laboratory at the
> > > > Medical University of
> > > > South
> > > > Carolina received a $2 million government grant to
> > > > develop a smaller TMS
> > > > device
> > > > that sleep-deprived soldiers could wear to keep
>them
> > > > alert. ''It's not 'Star
> > > > Trek' at all,'' says Ziad Nahas, the laboratory's
> > > > medical director. ''We've
> > > > done
> > > > a lot of the science on reversing cognitive
> > > > deficiencies in people with
> > > > insomnia
> > > > and sleep deficiencies. It works.'' If so, it
>could
> > be
> > > > a small leap to the
> > > > day
> > > > it boosts soldiers' cognitive functioning under
> > normal
> > > > circumstances.
> > > >
> > > > And from there, how long before Americans are
> > walking
> > > > around with humming
> > > > antidepression helmets and math-enhancing ''hair
> > > > dryers'' on their heads?
> > > > Will
> > > > commercially available TMS machines be used to
>turn
> > > > prosaic bank managers
> > > > into
> > > > amateur Rembrandts? Snyder has even contemplated
> > video
> > > > games that harness
> > > > specialized parts of the brain that are otherwise
> > > > inaccessible.
> > > >
> > > > ''Anything is possible,'' says Prof. Vilayanur
> > > > Ramachandran, director of the
> > > > Center for Brain and Cognition at the University
>of
> > > > California at San Diego
> > > > and
> > > > the noted author of ''Phantoms in the Brain.''
> > > Snyder's
> > > > theories have not
> > > > been
> > > > proved, he allows, but they are brilliantly
> > > suggestive:
> > > > ''We're at the same
> > > > stage in brain research that biology was in the
>19th
> > > > century. We know almost
> > > > nothing about the mind. Snyder's theories may
>sound
> > > > like 'The X-Files,' but
> > > > what
> > > > he's saying is completely plausible. Up to a point
> > the
> > > > brain is open,
> > > > malleable
> > > > and constantly changing. We might well be able to
> > make
> > > > it run in new ways.''
> > > > Of
> > > > those who dismiss Snyder's theories out of hand,
>he
> > > > shrugs: ''People are
> > > > often
> > > > blind to new ideas. Especially scientists.''
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Bruce L. Miller, the A.W. and Mary Margaret
>Claussen
> > > > distinguished professor
> > > > in
> > > > neurology at the University of California at San
> > > > Francisco, is intrigued by
> > > > Snyder's experiments and his attempts to
>understand
> > > the
> > > > physiological basis
> > > > of
> > > > cognition. But he points out that certain profound
> > > > questions about
> > > > artificially
> > > > altered intelligence have not yet been answered.
> > ''Do
> > > > we really want these
> > > > abilities?'' he asks. ''Wouldn't it change my idea
> > of
> > > > myself if I could
> > > > suddenly
> > > > paint amazing pictures?''
> > > >
> > > > It probably would change people's ideas of
> > themselves,
> > > > to say nothing of
> > > > their
> > > > ideas of artistic talent. And though that prospect
> > > > might discomfort Miller,
> > > > there are no doubt others whom it would thrill.
>But
> > > > could anyone really
> > > > guess,
> > > > in advance, how their lives might be affected by
> > > > instant creativity, instant
> > > > intelligence, instant happiness? Or by their
> > > > disappearance, just as
> > > > instantly,
> > > > once the TMS is switched off?
> > > >
> > > > As he walked me out of the university -- a place
>so
> > > > Gothic that it could be
> > > > Oxford, but for the intensely flowering jacaranda
>in
> > > > one corner and the
> > > > strange
> > > > Southern Hemisphere birds flitting about -- and
> > toward
> > > > the freeway back to
> > > > downtown Sydney, Snyder for his part radiated the
> > most
> > > > convincingly
> > > > ebullient
> > > > optimism. ''Remember that old saw which says that
>we
> > > > only use a small part
> > > > our
> > > > brain? Well, it might just be true. Except that
>now
> > we
> > > > can actually prove it
> > > > physically and experimentally. That has to be
> > > > significant. I mean, it has to
> > > > be,
> > > > doesn't it?''
> > > >
> > > > We stopped for a moment by the side of the roaring
> > > > traffic and looked up at
> > > > a
> > > > haze in the sky. Snyder's eyes contracted
> > > inquisitively
> > > > as he pieced
> > > > together
> > > > the unfamiliar facts (brown smoke, just outside
> > > Sydney)
> > > > and eased them into
> > > > a
> > > > familiar narrative framework (the forest fires
>that
> > > had
> > > > been raging all
> > > > week).
> > > > It was an effortless little bit of deductive,
> > > > nonliteral thinking -- the
> > > > sort of
> > > > thing that human beings, unaided by TMS, do a
> > thousand
> > > > times a day. Then, in
> > > > an
> > > > instant, he switched back to our conversation and
> > > > picked up his train of
> > > > thought. ''More important than that, we can change
> > our
> > > > own intelligence in
> > > > unexpected ways. Why would we not want to explore
> > > > that?''
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Lawrence Osborne is a frequent contributor to the
> > > > magazine.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
><]=-----------------------------------------------------------------------=[
> > > > >
> > > >   [           Moderated by: Preston Peet |
> > > > .drugwar.com           ]
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> > > > drugwar-subscribe at mindvox.com ]/=-
> > > > |
> > > >   |             To Unsubscribe:
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> > > > |
> > > >   [   DrugWar List in Digest Format:
> > > > ugwar-digest-subscribe at mindvox.com   ]
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
><]=-----------------------------------------------------------------------=[
> > > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
>
>

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