Profiling Professor Persinger – part 1

Prof_PersingerHuman brains and lightning-discharges – what might they have in common? Could there be potentially congruent scale-invariant quantitative properties connecting the two? These questions have been examined by professor Michael A. Persinger of the psychology dept. at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada. The professor presents his findings in the May 2012 edition of the scholarly journal Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience explaining that :

“The space-time characteristics of the axonal action potential are remarkably similar to the scaled equivalents of lightning.”

As the professor points out, connections regarding animals and electricity were hinted at as long ago as the 18th century by investigators such as Luigi Galvani. But Persinger jumps several steps beyond Luigi and his galvanised frogs’ legs, by examining and comparing the transient energies of lightning bolts and the brain’s neuronal firings.

“The energy and current densities from these transients within their respective volumes or cross-sectional areas are the same order of magnitude. Length–velocity ratios and temporal durations are nearly identical. There are similar chemical consequences such as the production of nitric oxide. Careful, quantitative examination of the characteristics of lightning may reveal analogous features of the action potential that could lead to a more accurate understanding of these powerful correlates of neurocognitive processes.”

The paper may be read in full here: Brain electromagnetic activity and lightning: potentially congruent scale-invariant quantitative properties

Other Prof. Persinger publications include :

Persinger, M.A., & Makarec, K. Exotic beliefs may be substitutes for religious beliefs. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1990, 71, 16-18.

Persinger, M.A., Balance, S., & Moland, M. Snow fall and heart attacks. Journal of Psychology, 1992, 127(2), 243-252.

Coming soon : Profiling Professor Persinger – part 2