Infrasound and It's Effects

This topic contains 34 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Tom Hite 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #8684
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    That sound that was played on yesterday’s calls intrigued me. I wanted to delve into the science behind sound a little more and see what kind of real world basis this could have.

    There is a frequency of sound known as Infrasound. This is sound below a frequency of 20 Hz (or cycles) per second, which is considered the lower limit of human hearing. Thus, this frequency can be hidden within other sounds and is undetectable to humans.

    The effects of these sounds have been reported to be all across the board. Some studies have reported these sounds can result in sleep disorders. Other studies reported feelings of awe, fear, sorrow, depression, anxiety, and hallucinations. Finally, almost all reported that these vibrations stimulated the vestibular system resulting in feelings of seasickness of nausea (exactly what Kristen reported would happen). It is thought that these low frequencies at high decibels (~80 Dbs) can effect internal organs and the inner ear, causing disorientation and hallucinations. Blood pressure and heart rate can increase, and as the participant cannot hear the sound, they are further confused at the sudden onset of these symptoms.

    As the mind receives this unusual information, it tries to explain what it is experiencing. It utilizes sight, sound, touch, smell, etc to try and explain the results. And since it can’t, the senses are heightened. The brain may misinterpret senses at this point, similar to sitting alone in the dark after watching a horror movie.
    Sounds at these frequencies have been proven to interfere with our emotions and perceptions, with even weapons being developed based on this technology (such as The Mosquito).

    So in terms of theory, I have three suggestions. I’ll list them in least likely to most likely:

    1) They are developing a militaristic weapon and want to use it on test subjects. I find this unlikely because such weapons already exist and this doesn’t fit within their current scope.
    2) They are using this technology to heighten our senses to get more accelerated reactions and emotions from us. This fits with the OSDM’s plan. At work, we accelerate the aging of our product so we don’t have to wait ten years to test aged samples. As the OSDM is already creating artificial situations for us, why not enhance our responses as well? However, I don’t think this is the case either, because they didn’t test any responses on the phone. They just asked questions.
    3) The sound was used to prime us to be more receptive to answering their question. As infrasound has been scientifically proven to adjust our mood, emotion, and disorient us, playing a sound like this would be helpful to remove our inhibitions by confusing us and then gathering data.

    While theory three does seem to be the prevailing theory for the call, I wanted to explore the basis of this in reality. And iConfidant is really doing their homework this time.

    To end, some fun facts: The brown note that people have been discussing has never been proven to exist. It’s currently an urban legend.

    Infrasound is the leading theory for paranormal sightings. It’s been attributed to vibrations of the eyeball or the brain creating images to try to explain the changes caused by the infrasound. “In presenting the evidence to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor Richard Wiseman said ‘These results suggest that low frequency sound can cause people to have unusual experiences even though they cannot consciously detect infrasound. Some scientists have suggested that this level of sound may be present at some allegedly haunted sites and so cause people to have odd sensations that they attribute to a ghost—our findings support these ideas.'”

  • #8687
     Brad Ruwe 
    Participant

    Oh man, I’ve always been fascinated with this stuff. I can 100% believe this (though after recent events, don’t know what to believe anymore).

  • #8692
     Chris 
    Participant

    Fascinating stuff, @taysavestheday, thank you for this. So say if I or someone within the OSDM wanted to make use of this phenomenon, what sort of equipment or device would be required to artificially create Infrasound at will? Would this require a lot of hardware, or something handheld? If I recorded Infrasound on my phone and played it back, would it have the same effect?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by  Chris.
  • #8694
     111error 
    Participant

    Errr…

    People could hear the sound, therefore it wasn’t 50Hz lower than most recordings featuring sub bass..

    .. phone speakers can’t reproduce anything much lower than 150Hz, and only frequencies above around 170Hz are often audible at all, and even then not very, which is why everything’s sounds tinny and shitty on your phone..

    … but other than that, rock solid research and I look forward to reviewing your data. o_O

  • #8696
     Maranda 
    Participant

    Interesting, @taysavestheday. Do you have a link to the Wiseman talk or a research paper?

  • #8698
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    @111error, I stated that “frequency can be hidden within other sounds and is undetectable to humans.” There’s plenty of research where where this sound is added to an audio track and the control and experimental groups are indistinguishable from each other. So it easily could have been hidden in the sounds people heard yesterday.

    You are correct that most phones can’t reproduce sounds below 100 Hz. So yes, the science behind them playing the sound doesn’t work, unless we suspend our belief for a moment. There’s no scientific backing for a sound in our audible frequency range to cause such a strong disorientation, so I believe this is what they were aiming for. They could have rented a location and prepared a space for full scientific accuracy–but it’s not needed. I got the effect without nitpicking every little detail.

  • #8699
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    @izryn

    Here’s the Wiseman talk: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3077192/#.WPF2htLytO8

    And here’s a good research paper entitled “The Ghost in The Machine” by Vic Tandy and Tony Lawrence: http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/ghost-in-machine.pdf

    And a second entitled “Something in the Cellar” by the same authors: https://web.archive.org/web/20110929142806/http://www.psy.herts.ac.uk/ghost/Something-in-the-Cellar.pdf

  • #8702
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    @macbethinabathtub,

    There’s tons of naturally occurring ways of creating infrasound, like storms, earthquakes, and animals), and these can be recorded and played back with pretty standard, albeit more expensive, headphones. To play it, you’d just need a larger subwoofer.

    To record is pretty easy, you just need the right microphone. Here’s one: https://www.bksv.com/Products/transducers/acoustic/microphones/microphone-cartridges/4193
    This one retails for around $150, which is way better than what they were 10 years ago.

    But to answer your question, it wouldn’t be that hard at all.

  • #8707
     Cristen 
    Participant

    To add: this one is fascinating and I’d been thinking of this all day yesterday too! Thanks for bringing it up Taylor.

    Infrasound Research

  • #8708
     Cristen 
    Participant

    Infrasound is used to create a sense of unease and disquiet at many live haunts. It stands that our situationbenefits from a sense of unease, no?

  • #8709
     111error 
    Participant

    Errr… …… errrrrrrrr….

    Even if it were possible to transmit that frequency on a phone call, it’s physically impossible to reproduce it on our devices..

    … so no, it wasn’t hiding in another signal..

    … because it didn’t exist …

    I have an invisible pile of gold here if you feel like diversifying your portfolio before North Korea’s nuclear test?

  • #8711
     Maranda 
    Participant

    @111error, you’re absolutely right. The signal everyone heard was likely nothing more than something to facilitate the power of suggestion. But if anyone does have the chance to meet their confidant in person, that would be a perfect opportunity to use a real signal.

  • #8712
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    @111error,

    You do understand this is a fictional game grounded in reality, right? I am (for fun) discussing the scientific backing so that those who enjoy learning about this stuff can discuss it as well.

  • #8713
     Anonymous

    I’m going to share a personal tidbit of info. Should the powers that be decide to use it going forward, so be it but it involves the infrasound.

    The first year I was diagnosed with Aspergers (now Autism Spectrum Disorder), I was involved in a study to test hearing and mood. My understanding is people with ASD have their senses affected in different ways (biology is funny). They used high and low sound frequencies to determine how, in the case of ASD individuals, it would affect their own moods. The only thing of substance that I can remember was that those who did react, reacted in a more extreme fashion mood wise.

    Now that I’ve diverged on this tangent, what @taysavestheday mentioned as his points 2 and 3 seems more plausible due to the science that has already been done on (mostly) neutrotypical people.

  • #8715
     Anonymous

    Though I am purely talking about in game and not actually what is really happening.

  • #8716
     Mike 
    Participant

  • #8719
     Megan 
    Participant

    @mike, don’t get me started on defining “reality.”

  • #8720
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    @mike, hahahaha! This is fantastic. @theladyj has some meme competition.

  • #8721
     Mike 
    Participant
  • #8722
     111error 
    Participant

    @taysavestheday Grounded in reality was *my* point, don’t steal my point. Come and take this ghost gold off my hands though, I’ll give you a great price.

  • #8723
     Maxwell R 
    Participant

    If anyone has ever experienced a sound bath you know that frequencies can send you into another world. I know that there are supposed “sound drugs” that some claim have driven them mad.
    The use of weaponized sound is completely plausible.
    We still don’t know exactly how the helmet worked and it definitely covered the users ears. could this be the same technology used to “reset” people who wore it?

  • #8724
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    One more thing I will throw out here. For those who are fans of the Mass Effect game series. The Reapers use a combination of Infrasound and Ultrasound in their technique Indoctrination. Hmm, why does that sound familiar?

    To quote from the wiki:

    The precise mechanics of the indoctrination effect are poorly understood. It is believed that the Reapers generate an electromagnetic field, waves of infrasound and ultrasound, or both in order to stimulate areas of a victim’s brain and limbic system. The resulting effect varies depending on the intent of the Reaper: the victim may suffer headaches and hallucinations, have feelings of “being watched” or paranoia, or come to view the Reaper itself with superstitious awe.

    Indoctrination, sound, paranoia, and superstitious awe? I see a lot of parallels here!

  • #8725
     Brad Ruwe 
    Participant

    I work at the Queen Mary for their Dark Harbor event (if you hadn’t guessed from my profile pic here, Samuel the Savage says hi!) and the ship is regarded to be one of the most haunted spots in the US.

    Been working there for 4 years, pretty sure it’s not haunted. Creepy as hell, totally. Weird stuff happens, yep. Actual ghosts? Don’t think so.

    So the thing with that ship is, she’s old, she’s metal, and she’s an odd shape. You’ll get hallways that slope as they go along, walls that converge to a point towards the ends of the ship. Basically, the way the metal walls are laid out, sound doesn’t bounce around like a normal place.

    So I decided to do some experiments. I’d walk through spaces of the mazes on the ship that were supposedly haunted (looking at you pool room) and I’d constantly talk to myself, and paid attention to how my voice sounded as I walked through the space. Sure enough, I’d hear fluctuations in how the sound was affected in those areas.

    Did I just disprove ghosts? Hell no. I didn’t even prove the Queen isn’t haunted. But just some food for thought. Because yes, you DO feel very uneasy when you walk through those areas of the ship. I def felt like I needed to leave. But I also noticed those feelings seemed to coincide with the fluctuations in sound.

    If you can learn to create those sounds and hit that sweet spot, you can ROYALLY fuck with people’s emotions.

  • #8727
     Megan 
    Participant

    @mike – hahahahahaha!

    ok well right now I’m trying to parse an excerpt on Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulations,” which actually might have quite a bit to do with Lust.

    “In “Simulacra and Simulations” Jean Baudrillard outlines four stages of an image: an image as a reflection of a reality, an image masking and perverting a reality, an image masking the absence of a reality, and the pure simulacrum, which has no relation to any reality.
    In Baudrillard’s construct, the fourth stage of an image as pure simulacrum is the stage in which the event strike comes to fruition. The notion of the event strike announces an era in which society is organized around and through a proliferation of images and spectacle that in effect serve as perfect substitutions for the real. Simply put, because images appear as the real, simulations become conflated with reality. Therefore, in Baudrillard’s fourth stage, representation is apparently no longer a viable means of understanding the relation between the real and the imaginary. Under the conditions of the event strike, events are weak and “on strike” in so far as they are subsumed into the programming and broadcasting of a capitalist culture of simulation. The postmodern society is one in which virtual and media entertainment and information technologies distribute “social” experience and proof of historical existence. An era of hyperreality is ushered in with the excessive and pervasive simulations of television, computers, shopping malls, advertising, and other models of reality that appear more real than reality itself”

    Sorry, @taysavestheday, nothing to do with Infrasound. 😉

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by  Megan.
  • #8728
     Brad Ruwe 
    Participant

    So we’ve gone from Portal now to Mass Effect. Damnit @taysavestheday our Lust theories keep hitting on all my favorite scifi video game franchises!!!

  • #8730
     Taylor Winters 
    Participant

    @nothenrygale, @moustachemax, I like the description of Indoctrination from Mass Effect:

    “a subtle whisper you can’t ignore, that compels you to do things without knowing why. Over days, perhaps a week of exposure to Sovereign’s signal, the subject stops thinking for themselves and just obeys, eventually becoming a mindless servant.”

    It definitely sounds like sound could be a huge component of helmet brainwashing.

  • #8731
     Jackie 
    Participant

    @taysavestheday
    Not competition, collaboration!
    @mike

  • #8732
     Mike 
    Participant

    @theladyj – Exactly!

  • #8733
     Anonymous

    Nothing to do with infrasound, but I found this equally interesting. mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/health/paralysis-limb-reanimation-brain-chip.amp.html

  • #8771
     Max Z 
    Participant

    @coryphella You did NOT just drop some Baudrillard up in here! And weren’t you the same person who I talked briefly with about Boal and Artaud? Bravo, Megan. God damn. Bravo. All we need to do next is bring in a little Eco on these boards and my life will truly be complete. Although to be fair I think Baudrillard overlaps with a lot of what Eco has to offer this conversation, hyperreality and all that, so it might be repeaty to bring him up…I just find Eco easier to read. Did you study pomo critical theory in school or something?

  • #8773
     Megan 
    Participant

    @maxzumstein – I have no Eco to bring up sadly but you feel free – I’m reading this one Baudrillard thing that was sent to me by a performance studies colleague based on a conversation we had about Tension, actually! And no, I just studied theater – the reason why I’m reading this stuff now is because of Tension & Lust. I’m primarily a designer (lighting & media, occasionally sets) who also writes about & researches alternate/augmented/mixed reality performance and immersive theater and the use of game mechanics in theater. And I’m a college professor but not a PhD one so not legit to most other professors, in their opinion. 😉 I’m an MFA which stands for uphill tenure battle I’m currently learning.

    Generally if it’s academic sounding on these forums it’s either myself or @prufrock5150 (if there are others and I’ve forgotten you I apologize).

  • #8786
     Max Z 
    Participant

    @coryphella Oh, Eco is so much fun, and if I’m not mistaken actually predates Baudrillard. The text I’m referring to specifically is his longish essay “Travels in Hyperreality”, wherein he explores the concept of hyperreality through, you guessed it, the simulacrum. The only difference is that (at least I find) the approach Eco takes is a lot easier to understand than something like what Baudrillard does, but it basically involves Eco traveling to all of these weird spots all over America, including Disneyland which he writes at length about, plus Knott’s, the Ripley’s museum, the Getty, the Madonna Inn, the list goes on. Here’s a free PDF: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR2/eco_travels.pdf

    The amazing thing to me about simulacrum and hyperreality is that the two most famous theorists of these concepts (that I’m aware of anyway), Eco and Baudrillard, were writing BEFORE the advent of the internet. It hardly even seems worth noting it’s so obvious but truly the digital age has made the general “confusion” of hyperreality an everyday thing. Frankly one of the reasons I was sucked into to Tension the first time around (albeit not til it was almost entirely over) was because it seemed like it was like a practical simulation of their work, creating a sense of hyperreality in ways that were previously sort of unfathomable. And man, Lust is paying that promise off even more.

    I also feel you on being a non-PhD college professor. MA in English here. But just starting out so tenure isn’t even on the table to have taken away yet.

  • #8804
     Megan 
    Participant

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
    OMG
    I’m going to PM you so we can nerd out more.

  • #8844
     Kimberly Stewart 
    Participant

    During “The One” event that took place September 2016, there was a very invasive sound playing. Depending on when we were brought into the space we would have listened to it non-stop anywhere from about 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Being in the space, it was pretty loud. I recall the floor vibrating from time to time. It was disturbing and unpleasant. Perhaps it was intentionally used for less obvious reasons than just creepy background noise. After all, OSDM was present.

    Here’s a copy of the complete The One periscope that had been posted by The Tension Experience. From the first moments, the sound is impossible to miss:

    The One periscope – The Tension Experience

  • #8953
     Tom Hite 
    Participant

    @taysavestheday – Thanks for bringing this up. The weird thing about soundwaves is that because we can’t see them, we tend to place them in the same category as other invisible things, and because we measure them in frequencies, they often get lumped in with the EMF spectrum (not that you’ve done this, but it just triggered the idea). Soundwaves are actually a physical vibration: they are disturbances of air caused by convection of molecules through direct force in the atmosphere, and as such are a function of touch. The lower the frequency, the more we can feel the sound (as anyone who has stood close to a marshall stack can attest to), and it always makes me question why we maintain that ultimately artificial separation of the senses… So, what information is being communicated in these sub-aural frequencies that we are able to detect? @111error is (with his lovable smarm) quite correct in his noting that they can’t be achieved through phone speakers, but as @electrichippo reminded us, there is a precedent for their use, of which we are wise to be reminded. What *did* happen at “The One” event? I remember an ecstatic transcendence, and the sense that there was a message somehow shared beyond words, but it’s quite impossible to quantify. The sound was so enveloping, so… warm. And now that we know that the OSDM was the hidden hand of power, doesn’t it make sense that they’d have some sort of brilliant sound engineer at their employment who is capable of using low-hertz audio to transmit data? It’s certainly food for thought worth a considerable brain-chew…

    @coryphella, @maxzumstein – Eco and Baudrillard were contemporaries, and while neither of them were considered scholars in the particular field of Semiotics, it bears mentioning that “One of the fundamental qualities of hyperreality is the implosion of Ferdinand Saussure’s (1959) model for the sign… The mass simulacrum of signs become meaningless, functioning as groundless, hollow indicators that self-replicate in endless reproduction”
    (http://csmt.uchicago.edu/glossary2004/realityhyperreality.htm)… It seems particularly salient in light of the recent application of this website’s iconography to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” by @thebuz, as the entire metaphor can be applied to a semiotic relationship between sign, signifier, and signified – or, since the pyramid shape played into that discussion, even the Aristotelian triangle of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos…

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