[Neuro] Eyes-open EEG stimulation via the ear canals

Mike Schachter mschachter at eigenminds.com
Thu Oct 11 19:20:31 UTC 2012

Thanks for the response Mr. Perry.

You cited an article where the authors genetically modified a monkey
to insert light-sensitive receptors into the cortex. Optogenetics is
the process of utilizing a virus to deliver a custom payload of genes
into a host cell. In this case the custom genes were for
light-sensitive receptors that are not normally expressed in the
cortex of the monkey that were sensitive to light. That has nothing to
do with what you're looking for, intrinsically light-activated
receptors in the cortex of the human brain. By "intrinsically" I mean
neurons in the cortex that, from their non genetically modified DNA,
express photo-sensitive receptors.

I brought up two points:

1) There is a conflict of interest in the Valkee paper. The authors
did not cite their conflict of interest. They also did not compare
florescence of OPN3, a photo-sensitive receptor protein, with the
control case, the florescence of retinal neurons immuno-labeled with
an anti-body for OPN3. They suspiciously left that bar out of figure
2c of their paper.

2) There is evidence that light may not be able to penetrate deep into
the brain from the ear canals.

Thanks for the plug about my industry experience. I study Neuroscience
in the Biophysics Department at UC Berkeley. That does not make me an
expert about anything we're talking about here, and I am not claiming
that I am.

Sorry for giving you a hard time about your project, I encourage you
to continue down that path and wish you luck!


On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM, Gregory Perry
<Gregory.Perry at govirtual.tv> wrote:
> Again, that is the intent of the project - an open source Linux-based experimentation platform with a uniform API that can be used for photic stimulation experimentation, ear canal-based or otherwise.
> I am also curious as to how your industry experience with integrating OpenCV and Amazon Web Services somehow qualifies you to interject an opinion about the cognitive sciences, unless I am missing something in your bio.
> ________________________________________
> From: neuro-bounces at lists.noisebridge.net [neuro-bounces at lists.noisebridge.net] on behalf of Mike Schachter [mschachter at eigenminds.com]
> Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:42 PM
> To: Sai
> Cc: neuro at lists.noisebridge.net
> Subject: Re: [Neuro] Eyes-open EEG stimulation via the ear canals
> Also, I just want to point out that the hypothalamus is pretty deep
> within the brain. The penetration depth of light in the brain may be
> pretty low, like less than 3mm, as noted by this paper:
> http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-42-16-3321
> That also means the cerebellum is probably not accessible by light
> from the ear canal. I'm no anatomy expert, but would be curious to see
> what part of the cortex, if any, is within range of the ear canals.
> Just to be clear - I don't want to discourage Mr. Perry or anybody
> from messing around with the brains of themselves or others! EEG and
> light therapy are fun things to play with. But it's not ok to cite
> questionable papers as scientific evidence and then ramble on about
> patenting things. There's no need to be so defensive if your goal is
> to actually find something that works.
>  mike
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM, Mike Schachter
> <mschachter at eigenminds.com> wrote:
>> Hey Sai,
>> I'm also quite skeptical of all this, but not completely dismissive of
>> it. Here's the published paper from the Valkee people about OPN3
>> immuno-labeling:
>> http://www.springerlink.com/content/y137358800436w51/
>> Using 10 rats, they immuno-label OPN3 protein and find it expressed in
>> cortex, cerebellum, and hypothalamus. It'd be interesting to see some
>> studies from people who aren't affiliated with a company that produces
>> in-ear light therapy products. That's what makes this study so
>> suspect. Some of the authors stand to make serious financial gain from
>> skewing their results. In most papers you see a small section where
>> the authors declare no conflict of interest. In this case, there is no
>> such section and a HUGE conflict of interest.
>> Also, the unecessary enthusiasm of Mr. Perry and his incorrect
>> citation of a paper that deals with optogenetics that has nothing to
>> do with light sensitive neurons in the brain makes me more skeptical.
>> Maybe you guys should tone it down a bit, you're just shooting light
>> into people's ears and hoping it works. Which is fine. But not
>> science.
>>  mike
>> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM, Sai <noisebridge at saizai.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM, LinkReincarnate
>>> <linkreincarnate at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Google Scholar thinks it's on the up and up...
>>>> http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=bright+light+therapy&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=
>>> Bright light therapy in general certainly is — I have a lightbox at
>>> home, prescribed by my doctor.
>>> But guess what: it works through the *eyes*. Which actually do have
>>> light receptors. :-)
>>>> The point is that the science behind it is sound. Sham studies of bright
>>>> light therapy are everywhere.
>>> Yes, for the kind that use lightboxes on eyes. Not for ears.
>>> - Sai
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Neuro mailing list
>>> Neuro at lists.noisebridge.net
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