How We Get Our “Knee Jerk” Responses When We’re Awake

As of late, I’ve been collecting studies related to my latest work in progress, Brainstorm Trifecta, a music album that programs specific intentions during the waking state. Mainstream neuroscience studies have uncovered interesting data concerning our minds during the waking state.

The following graduate study work by Timothy Bardouille has ground breaking implications which I attempt to elucidate for you:

Title: Studies of Cortical Synchrony and Coherence in the Human Sensorimotor System
Authors: Bardouille, Timothy (Don Juan)
Advisor: Ross, Bernard
Department: Medical Science
Keywords: magnetoencephalography motor somatosensory beta
Issue Date: 4-Aug-2010

The spatiotemporal dynamics of ongoing beta band (15-30 Hz) cortical oscillations and the modulation of this neural activity by tactile input and movement provide insight into how the brain achieves proper sensorimotor processing. Earlier studies have shown that the synchrony of the cortical beta rhythms within and between central and peripheral neuronal populations is modulated during and following somatosensation or movement, and correlated with effective motor control.

In addition, abnormal levels of beta oscillations in the basal ganglia are correlated with motor dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Numerous functional roles for the beta rhythm have been proposed – ranging from inhibition to the facilitation of long-range communication.

However, the neural network that generates the sensorimotor beta rhythm and the functional significance of this activity have not been fully specified. Thus, I used magnetoencephalography to complete three studies of the beta rhythm in healthy right-handed adults.

In the first study, I hypothesized that finger vibration at beta frequencies would generate stimulus-coherent neuronal firing in the neural network that generates the beta rhythm – thus revealing the nodes of this network. Data were analyzed for nineteen subjects (10 females).

The coherent activity was revealed using a novel analysis technique that generated whole-brain maps of inter-trial synchrony during passive repetitive finger vibration at 23 Hz. These maps identified contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI), posterior parietal cortex, supplementary motor area and primary motor cortex (MI), and ipsilateral brainstem as nodes in the network.

In the second study, I correlated changes in focused attention with modulations in beta band cortical responses to specify the functional significance of this activity. Data were analyzed for twelve subjects (7 females). With increased focused attention to the stimulus, I hypothesized that the beta band responses to finger vibration would be enhanced in areas involved in somatosensory processing. A transient increase in the magnitude of beta oscillations in MI (event-related synchronization) following vibration offset was significantly enhanced by attention, as compared to passive stimulation.

In addition, attention caused the suppression of beta oscillations (event-related desynchronization, ERD) in ipsilateral SI beginning 1 second prior to vibration offset. Strong attention-modulation of the beta rhythm outside of contralateral SI implies that these changes are indicative of higher-order processing of afferent information.

In the third study, I tested the hypothesis that synchrony between beta rhythms in contralateral MI and the relevant muscle supports effective neuronal communication. I correlated changes in task performance with corticomuscular coherence (CMC) during the sustained application of force to match a visually-presented target. Data were analyzed for eighteen subjects (9 females).

As predicted, CMC in MI was significantly increased during improved performance in this task. This suggests that central-peripheral synchrony plays an important functional role in sustaining isometric muscle control. Concurrent beta ERD in bilateral SI and primary visual cortices during the contraction indicates the importance of afferent feedback in this task.

Gender-related effects were not investigated in these studies. Beta band neuromagnetic responses to movement and somatosensation identify a pervasive neural network that is involved in processing the relevant properties of somatic input and regulating sustained motor output.

Appears in Collections: Doctoral

The above extract discusses our secondary autonomic functions or our “knee jerk” reactions during predominance of beta rhythms or the waking state. For example, when we watch graphic images of horror on TV (and the movie theatre and the web) during the waking state on a regular basis, we become desensitized; our “knee jerk” response is to do nothing.

Another example (in the U.S.) are drug commercials. When we watch these commercials with no education about their real intentions, our selective reasoning leans towards the happy images and music of fulfillment rather than the voice over of unpleasant, deleterious side effects of their drugs. Our “knee jerk” response is to ask doctors for more drugs.

Of course, our earliest “knee jerk” responses are learned from threatening parents, especially those that carry out emotional and/or physical abuse. Many if not most chronic ailments in people are a result of “physical” and “emotional armoring” of basic desires and feelings (mainly towards their sexuality;) this results in a chronically weakened state which, in turn, weakens the immune system thus leaving a person subject to degradation by all manner of pathogens.1 The psycho-somatic link is also a precept of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI).

As for the other levels, we are programmed during theta rhythms to learn psychic discipline. Most meditation programs train us to instantly go into alpha rhythms like the Jose Silva programs that train us to “go to level” to access further psychic information.

People like Dr. Jeffrey Thompson have excellent music programs based in alpha, theta, and delta rhythms for relaxation. The issue is that the real “knee jerk” response during the waking is at the somatic level when beta rhythms are dominant. Even I have a theta meditation album out there, OceanScape Ghostship, Altered States, which is more of a digital drug that has people “seeing things,” but when awake again, they’re back to their regular waking state.

Therefore, we also need to program our subconscious actions during the waking state – like athletes and musicians who program their subconscious actions through diligent practice. In fact, each type of brain wave accesses different neural pathways.

(The only meditation program that I’ve encountered so far that programs us at each level are the Remote Viewing and Remote Influencing programs from ARVARI. Gerald O’Donnell does these very interesting exercises where he has us literally jumping between different levels of consciousness.

He snaps his fingers and says, “OK, you’re in alpha (snap) you’re in theta (snap) you’re in delta (snap) back to waking (snap) back to theta (snap)…” It’s funny when he treats us like yo-yo’s. The goal of these exercises is absolute self control of our conscious/subconscious state, but I found that I don’t need the snapping to achieve any level. I’ll discuss remote influencing again in the next post.)

Since different neural pathways are accessed by each type of brain wave, we need to program ourselves at each level; The above study has uncovered that we program our somatic responses during beta rhythms, therefore, if we want to program life positive responses during the waking state, we need a life positive program.

Enter Brainstorm Trifecta

Brainstorm Trifecta is based on three facets of humanity. It is based on:

  1. Our physical responses during the waking state
  2. Our physical programming at different levels of beta rhythms
  3. Our physical link to the spiritual realm

There are three songs on Brainstrom Trifecta; they each have a somatic purpose and a spiritually driven purpose. Mainstream neuroscience will have nothing to with matters of the spirit; that’s where their usefulness ends, but where true healing begins. As I said in other posts, I wish I had this when I was a kid studying in school – I would have done so much better (because I would have shared it with the other kids too to help make this world a much better place much sooner):

  1. Physical: Concentration / Study Help
    Spiritual: Thought into Action
  2. Physical: Creative Focus for artwork, writing, reading, brainstorming
    Spiritual: Recognizing Design Beneath Disorder
  3. Physical: Mental Speed and Acuity (Neural Plasticity)
    Spiritual: The Big Picture + Fun Calypso Beat

I’m still working on The Big Picture, although I’ve been doing a few change ups to the other songs as well since I’m a perfectionist. Although, I’ve only provided samples to these songs, I would like your opinion on what changes need to be done, if any, to improve them for your benefit.

To that end, please click the above links to download the sample mp3’s listen to them while working, studying, cooking, playing, whenever, then please comment on them at this post. I love to hear your opinions, but reading them is the next best thing.

Thanks in advance,

Healing Thoughts,


1 The Cancer Biopathy; Wilhelm Reich; 1974

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