Sand faces and Eigenmaps

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Each sunrise in a person’s life brings changes into the face in subtle ways. The changes are apparent on FaceBook watching pictures of children reaching different thresholds. The minds eye captures only the last image of a face. If a year or two suddenly passes,  the innocent picture taken at breakfast of a proud Mother beside her son, catches the observer, remarking with, ‘His face is fuller, he’s becoming an adolescent, way past that baby face stage.’

FACE aging OBAMA Each progressive decade has a criteria performing these dynamic changes sweeping over our faces. We scratch then pull on our face, smiling at our reflection in the morning mirror gazing back at our reflections. New lines, new wrinkles, new stress lines around the eyes, the nose and mouth appear as if an artist has painted in new features.  But is it all just skin sagging by drooping with the tug of constant gravity? William Shakespeare repeatedly called the face a mask of mobile motion revealing the angst inside,

Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under’t. ”

ShakespeareFaceRecreation

But all mere mortals suffer the motion within the bones of the face, which underlies facial aging. A digital recreation of Shakespeare’s face stares at the reader. But Shakespeare  did not know the underlying shifting bony dimensions that lay as the cause for facial features to be read like a book. The face mask appears as all of skin,  muscle and fat. Those Hollywood starlets seeking facial rejuvenation at one point are told by their plastic surgeon, ‘I can’t pull things any tighter, you won’t have any face mobility, you’ll only have a mask of expressionless features.’ Behind this assessment are recent  studies suggesting that the bony aging of the face is primarily a process of contraction plus morphologic change within the very bony density of the facial bones.

Think of the face as if designed by an artist who has cleverly draped over a scaffolding this elastic soft tissue envelope. The scaffolding strength is determined by measuring the bone density within the facial bones using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans. The earliest suggestion of an association between osteoporosis with facial bone loss was made in 1060 by Groen, Duyvensz and Halsted. I will be quoting from The Aesthetic Surgery Journal on Facial Bone Density: Effects of Aging and Impact on Facial Rejuvenation authored by Robert Shaw, Evan  Katzel, Peter Koltz, David Khan, Edward Puzas and Howard Langstein: 2012, 32:937-942.

“The bones of the face are formed by intramembranous  ossification without cartilaginous precursors, which differs from the rest of the axial skeleton and long bones. Thus, the
growth and bony resorption of the face may be regulated by different factors. This has led many to believe that the facial bones and long bones age differently. Deguchi et al, however, analyzed this question by studying 134 subjects in 3 separate age categories based on mandibular cortex erosions and the lab values of serum bone-specific alkaline
phosphatase (S-BAP) and urinary N-telopeptide cross-links of type 1 collagen (U-NTX). He found that mandibular inferior cortical erosion on radiographs was associated with increased
levels of S-BAP and U-NTX and that there was a strong association between mandible and general bone metabolism.”

“It is well known that subjects with tooth loss undergo significant alveolar bone loss, but decreased mandibular bone density has also been found in multiple studies independent of
dental status. D’Amelio et al analyzed the mandibles of 15  men (ages 34-85 years) and 16 women (ages 23-82 years) with an X-ray densitometer. He found a significant bone
density decrease in the ramus for both sexes with increasing age.”

RAMUS Gray176

“Eighteen  postmenopausal women over 2 years  showed more bone loss in the mandible by DXA compared with the femur trochanter and phalanges. Thinning of the mandibular cortices of ❤ mm has also been associated  with low skeletal bone mass.16 In this study, we hoped to expand upon the previous research by including both sexes  and by analyzing the largest number of subjects to date. Various imaging modalities are utilized to measure BMD. In this study, we used DXA imaging, as it has been shown  to best predict patients who are at risk of osteoporosis”

FACE FRACTAL code 7046728-0-large

A fractal mask can be superimposed over the face mask creating the mapping points to build the surface features that make up the envelope of skin. We do not think of the shape of the bone as determining the shape of the face but that is the dynamic motion as if the tissue is a stretched mobile fabric membrane of flesh across the bone scaffolding beneath the surface. Facial recognition algorithms can now employ a rapid scanning capacity toward the creation of a individual facial biomarker unique as a fingerprint. But the use of the face shape itself as its own biomarker of aging is only just beginning to be considered.

Eigenfaces The very edges of shape features termed eigenmaps are able to be grasped by the brain as recognizable faces like ghosts of dreams on the cusp of memory. These mathematical mapping treatments come from an authored paper by  Si Si, Dacheng Tao and Kwok-Ping Chan 2010 IEEE entitled : Discriminative Hessian Eigenmaps for Face Recognition

“A key role for face recognition is the distance or similarity
between face images which can be solved via dimension
reduction, as dimension reduction performs the recognition
by enlarging the similarity among the intra-class samples
and maximizing the difference among the inter-class samples in a subspace rather than the original feature space. A dimension reduction algorithm projects the original high-dimensional feature space to a low-dimensional subspace, where specific statistical properties can be well preserved. For example, principle component analysis (PCA) [1], one of the most popular unsupervised dimension reduction algorithms, maximizes the variance of the data in the projected subspace; Fisher’s linear discriminative analysis (FLDA) [2], the most traditional supervised dimension reduction algorithm, minimizes the trace ratio between the within class scatter and the between class scatter so that the Gaussian distributed samples can be well separated in the selected subspace; locality preserving projections (LPP) [4] preserves the local geometry of samples by processing an undirected weighted graph that represents the neighbourhood relations of pairwise samples; Marginal Fisher analysis (MFA) [12] considers both the
intra-class geometry and interaction of samples from different classes; Discriminative locality alignment (DLA) [5] preserves the discriminative information by maximizing the distance among the inter-class samples and minimizing the distance among the intra-class samples over the local patch of each sample. However the geometric and discriminative information in these dimension reduction algorithms are not well modeled, e.g., LDA does not consider the geometric information; MFA ignores the discriminative information of non-marginal samples from different classes. By using the patch alignment framework [6], we can model both the intra-class local geometry and the inter-class discriminative information conveniently. In particular, for each sample and its associated patch (neighbours of the sample), it is important to consider the following two properties: 1) the intra-class local geometry can be represented by the local tangent space, which is locally isometric to the manifold of the intra-class nearest samples of the patch; and 2) the inter-class discriminative information can be represented by the margin between the intra-class neighbor samples and the inter-class nearest samples of the patch. Because the method used for local geometry representation is similar to Hessian Eigenmaps [7], the proposed dimension reduction algorithm is termed the Discriminative Hessian Eigenmaps or DHE for short.” (The interested reader may consult the equations pertinent to the facial algorithms from their paper.)

sand-ds FRACTAL PATTERNAs Nature carves fractal patterns into the sand the image is essentially amorphous in terms of a lack of connection to the layers beneath the surface features. Yet faces can be carved into the sand loam.

FACE OF SAND 121123496_640But their unattached dimensional platform- the structure of an unseen scaffolding separates in any strong wind gusting dissolving into antishape.

tensegrity SURFACE -floating-tension-webNature always designs using the integrity of both shape holding tension within its stretched connectedness both locally into distance connections. It is all about attachment in a flexible stretched membrane that is a Snelson floating tension/compression sequence. So when we speak of the human face we are not used to seeing the elements of features which Shakespeare said are carved into the mobile motions of emotions that play across the face surface. The face is much more than that stretched skin that we pay so much attention to. The face is attached within itself tethered beneath to the bony structures. As the facial bones age they change contours, they deform hence the aging face reflects this as a shadow reflects a building’s shape. It is the unfolding shapes skirting over time that determine how the face ages.

TENSEGRITY IN SAND elev_view_FINALb

Which can now be mathematically modelled as a tension net respecting local neighbourhood geometry of positions relative to each other so that the statistical coherence of this intactness can now be blended into mathematical compressed forms that are just barely recognizable as edges of coherence that determine our recognition of a frowning face shape or a smiling face shape or any of the immense subtleties in between a la Shakespeare’s poetic descriptions.

The combined skin envelope with the connected integrated structure beneath are dynamically linked in time as the bone changes shape with aging. The skin reflects this shifting tension displacement across the surface, into what we call the wrinkled face.

Facial depressions with aging-front

The skin is the stretched Snelson floating tension envelope across the surface that we watch so intently for expressions of conversation of understanding of compassion of hatred. In the diagram above the zones of shape change happening as we age are highlighted at the blue arrows.

TENSEGRITY ENVELOPE 46486_470232419687350_1351397705_nAs you study a face think at the same time of a stretched envelope over the surface that at the same time reflects the integrity of the supporting scaffolding beneath the surface that changes shape in measured time as the face bones evolve in their shape distorting the Snelson floating tension/compression skin envelope.

FACE pinart-toy-profile-of-human-faceLike a pin art, the tension rises from the displacing Snelson floating/compression from below hidden from sight. As we age our face is the quality, the integrity of our bone density. As we age we lose this inherent strength this ability of bone density to reveal healthy facial features. As we age our face is our compass of health. If astronauts prematurely age and concurrently suffer accelerated bone loss at the same time, you will see their changing facial features as aging lines drawn at the stress points onto their stretched Snelson tension/compression face membranes. If concussions are also severely affecting the aging process then those afflicted  with multiple concussions will have that change from impacts recorded directly written into their facial structure.
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Baby yawns

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Inside the mother’s womb this baby is yawning. At around the 20th week into gestation the baby starts the elaborate sequence of yawning. The muscles involved inside a yawn begin a priming sequence that lasts for 10 weeks perfecting this elaboration, this coordination of all the muscles in the head and neck including the diaphragm. ” A yawn is a coordinated movement of the thoracic muscles in the chest, diaphragm, larynx in the throat, and palate in the mouth. By yawning, we help distribute surfactant (wetting agent) to coat the alveoli (tiny air sacs) in the lungs. Generally speaking, we cannot yawn on command.” (The Library of Congress-Science Reference Services)

Yawning is the most democratic of reflexes. Dictators, saints,old, young, every person of every nationality to live on Earth yawns at least 1/4 million times during their lifespan. The display is so common as to be missed as being so regular, so normal. Except for autistic children, who neither yawn inside their mother’s womb nor outside as children. What is the difference, what is the significance for all mammals to yawn? All fish, all birds, all snakes, all alligators, all dogs, all cats, all rats every single creature yawns each and every single day. What can this harmonizing activity be so important what is the most significant necessity to have all mammals trigger a yawning sequence? It looks like the answer is gravity sensing.

GRAVITY REVERSE tumblr_mbkxiq2gBg1r6uijdo1_500The vector of gravity has always been present since life first established the essence of coherence on Earth. The sensing of down has been a stable imperative since the beginning of evolution as life as we know it originated. Until this generation of humans no other group of humans has been able to rise out of the grasp of gravity, except during the first few flights of aircraft as pilots suddenly had to adapt to massive accelerations inside tight turns sometimes blacking out to crash as the forces pulled their consciousness into oblivion. Since the first astronauts began losing the grip of gravity as if they were cloaked over their bodies entire metabolism by altering their very vestibular sense of determining direction. Living inside zero gravity is a gravity storm vortexing into the brain especially within the vestibular system. Inside that vestibular system our own inborn accelerometers, accurately establishes a coordinate reference of X-Y-Z within each sense of head position- each sweep of the eyes is now jaded into a new pattern of adaptation within the astronauts’ brain, as if free-falling inside their space ship. Evolution has always had gravity as the pinnacle of reference until the first astronauts began to experience weightlessness.

Astronaut  ISS s_i25_09691164As the astronaut rises silently past the air lock into the glare outside of the passing event horizon he scans the majesty of the vista around him. Overcome with the extraordinary ink blackness surrounding him he prepares for his assignment. Yet he is violently dizzy yet he soldiers on despite the turmoil in his sense of position within his consciousness. He can’t escape that his brain will adapt to this perception as it always does. He feels as if he is hanging upside down even though the Earth is just below his feet. His brain is cloaked as if in the veil of an autistic child trying to comprehend something just within his grasp. The astronaut wants to spin on his axis to make sense of this confusion flying inside his minds self conversation.

Let’s take a leap of comparison into the brain of the autistic-brain-260x130astronaut with the brain of the autistic child. Where might these two brains overlap? It’s like trying to line up tracing paper of one brain image zone over the other. The referencing points might be not completely overlapping but this approach is tantalizingly similar as to make the observer gasp at the craziness of the idea comparison. What characteristics might these two overlaps share? First, there is the vestibular anomalies the autistic child senses, as if untethered to the reference to gravity as is the similar sensation within the vestibular apparatus of the floating astronaut. Both of their eyes are deceiving their individual interpretation to their immediate sensations. In time both the autistic child and the astronauts bones are thinner than they should be. That is the beginning of the query how to make the comparison. They both share vestibular derangement and the effect can be seen inside their bones very structures. (J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Jul;43(7):1623-9 Bone density in peripubertal boys with autism spectral disorders by Neumeyer AM, Gates A, Ferrone C, Lee H, Misra M, Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and J Autism Dev Disord. 2008 May;38(5):848-56. Reduced bone cortical thickness in boys with autism or autism spectral disorders by Hediger ML, EnglandLJ, Molloy CA, Yu KF, Manning-Courtney P, Mills JL. Division-of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA.)

Faced with the terror of a vestibular storm inside the upside down world of the astronaut he begins to feel the grip of panic. In this type of stimulus his best response would be to yawn, to prepare his brain to engage, yet he can’t yawn. ” …Dr. Robert Provine in 2005 suggests that yawning is “associated with the change of a behavioral state- wakefulness to sleep, sleep to wakefulness, boredom to alertness…” The autistic child when faced with a similar panic entrapment will also not have the capacity to yawn within his reflex repertoire.  Another subtle clue in these overlapping brains is the parental anecdotal remark that …’ when our child has a fever it is as if the cloak of autism rises temporarily.’ “Generations of parents of autistic kids have reported that when their child runs a fever, the symptoms of autism seem to abate. When the fever goes down, the symptoms return. In 2007, a paper in the journal Pediatrics reported on that phenomenon and confirmed that, yes, the parents’ observations are right.” (TIME April 7 2009-Jeffrey Kluger) “What no one had done before, at least not formally, was tie it to the brain zone, the locus coeruleus — that is, until Drs. Dominick Purpura and Mark Mehler of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in the journal Brain Research Reviews.  The brain region that drew the attention of the authors is known as the locus coeruleus, a small knot of neurons located in the brain stem. Not a lot of high-order processing goes on so deep in the brain’s basement, but the locus coeruleus does govern the release of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, which is critical in triggering arousal or alarm, as in the famed fight-or-flight response. Arousal also plays a role in our ability to pay attention — you can’t deal with the lion trying to eat you, after all, if you don’t focus on it first. And attention, in turn, plays a critical role in such complex functions as responding to environmental cues and smoothly switching your concentration from one task to another. Those are abilities kids with autism lack. “

So we begin to see the overlap between the panicking astronaut and the panicking autistic child within their brain stem circuits involving the locus coeruleus, each facing the fight or flight response. It is not the basement of the brain as the TIME author reported it is the most ancient portion of the brain what can be termed the reptilian brain that deals with stress. One system that controls fever, stress and it would also implicate yawning too.

LOCUS CERULEUS visionremota09f_05

” We came to the conclusion that there could only be one system that would both ameliorate the effects of autism and govern fever.”

“It’s not often that a mere flash of insight — as opposed to a formal, controlled study — commands much space in a medical journal, and Purpura and Mehler readily concede that a good deal of empiricism will have to be applied to their theory before it can become anything more than that. Still, they’re convinced that the idea deserves attention. If the locus coeruleus is indeed malfunctioning in autism, the problem could involve hundreds or even thousands of genes. The researchers are careful to avoid the shooting war over what damaged those genes, suggesting that environment and toxic chemicals — but not vaccines — may have a role. They also, tellingly, think stress is involved.

Stress is thought to have a significant impact on the ability of the locus coeruleus to regulate noradrenaline properly, and Mehler and Purpura cite an improbable 2008 study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders showing that mothers who lived through a hurricane during their pregnancy — particularly at the mid-gestational point — had a greater likelihood of giving birth to an autistic child than other women. “What would be involved here would be the mother’s level of [the stress hormone] cortisol,” says Purpura. “Between fetus and mother, the placenta acts as a very good barrier for maternal cortisol, except when the stress is extreme.”

“More recent studies have suggested that yawning might be connected to brain temperature (Gallup and Gallup, 2008). When the brain becomes warmer than the homeostatic (stable) temperature, we might yawn to cool the brain. It is theorized that cooler blood from the body floods into the brain and the warm blood circulates out through the jugular vein.”

Both the panicking astronaut and the panicking autistic child can’t contain the swirling stress inside their brain stem, they both need to yawn to start their containment reflex, both can’t yawn. The autistic child has a destabilized vestibular apparatus and the astronaut is not sensing gravity, which is also a destabilized vestibular apparatus. Gravity sensing is the common link between these two panicking people. Therefore gravity sensing is the reflex of yawning.

astronaut gravity Paintings-by-Jeremy-GeddesThink of an autistic child untethered to gravity, think of their helplessness their constant panic. They are teaching us a very precious lesson. The sensing of gravity is the pinnacle that orients all are brain’s behaviour to all sensory input, including our very bone structure. Think of the autistic child as a disabled astronaut who desperately needs our resources to deal with his predicament. We have to nurture them back into the gravity field of sensing life within their brain. That is all our challenge.

One of Commander Chris Hadfield’s biggest challenges upon returning to Earth after his 5 month stint as International Space Station Commander was to try to reestablish bone density following the severe bone loss experienced as a consequence during his time in weightlessness.

hadfieldfitness-csa-8colMy question to Commander Chris Hadfield is this: Did you keep track or notice the number of times you yawned during those 5 months on the International Space Station? I bet you yawned a lot less than you usually do in gravity. Now that you’re back on Earth gravity I bet you yawn more regularly, or maybe not?

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Silk island

Night falls into the friction of orange energy shattered into the billowing cloud, sail masts piercing the evening mood.

DSC_0536Next morning at the early rise of Earth light the dazzle of spider thread captures the sparkle of dew.

DSC_0558Are these just random web lines scattered across the surface pine hedge ? No this design is an elaborate web of sensing vibration stretched over piercing supports like the night masts of sailboats resting on the lake envelope in a sheltered cove. How do these tents of stretched fibers get built ? What forms are they ? What hidden mathematics float around their  woven extension ?

1948, a student Kenneth Snelson presents his design of floating tension into the realm of creativity, proudly elegant in its entirety of simple yet balanced form containing suspended elements attached to each other but a mimic to Nature’s spider support of a ordinary web.

tensegrity008Human design is always a mirror to what influence if not the ordinary things that Nature has scattered around us like shells on a beach. It is not the design that catches the eye of the observer it is more the story behind the shell, the rise of evolution in a solitary shape. Shape is the essence of the story of evolution. Shape can transform any surface into a spider’s web. A stretched antenna capable of catching the minute flying insects onto the sticky surface features yet essential to the survival of the spider as food to provide nourishment for another day of existence. It is this design that Snelson magically captured as if inspired by the spinning spiders web into first recognizing how forces can merge then suspend to flex. How a spiders web can behave like an antenna shape as if listening to the chatter of available insects flying over this capture zone, vulnerable to its purpose. The web is like a bull’s eye shape waiting for an arching insect sweeping into its form. Like an alive weapon efficient in its capture, this spider’s web is an extension of its brain capable of attracting food to it by the design of its silken tent stretched across a pine hedge. The design accomplishes the sensing of shape into an intelligence within the spider a shape of floating tension necessary for the spider’s survival. Shape is not only design it is a sensing capacity to interact with the surroundings, to accomplish a goal of teaching us that design is not just for unique artists like Snelson. Shape is used in Nature to accomplish tasks from snaring food from the air from sensing the very essence of force for sensing the primal force for sensing gravity. Nature has accomplished this since the fog of ancient time as Earth was first progressing one DNA one RNA shape at a time building  with design. Building shapes that capture information that capture survival ensuring more designs more floating tensions to experiment with.

When we think of floating suspension we tend to think of rigid attachments, the sort of angled components of a bicycle.

floating suspension 6a00e008c44bfc883400e54f353fb98834-800wi

We tend to perceive fixed supports at hinges translating rotating forces by absorbing energy. Yet the spiders tent accomplishes this balance with much more flexibility more absorption of forces more sensing of forces. This bicycle does not sense its surroundings as a floating tension web. We as riders sense its vibrations, but the bicycle is mechanical, without sensing capacity. The spider senses its surroundings through the antenna shape of its web.

GAUDI UPSIDE DOWN TENSION GRAVITY

The Sagrada Familia Basílica y Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familiawas created by the genius Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi used elaborate inverted cables of suspended bags hanging to the effect of drooping lines following the catenary curves to establish his Barcelona cathedral’s central shape upside down first to mimic how Nature senses shape in a gravity field. Gaudi’s genius was to employ floating suspension as a design for first creating the convoluted shapes upside down as a floating tension respecting the shape that gravity gives to the overall flow of curves to support the weight of the cathedral. Gaudi would uproot trees and bushes to study how they were supported in gravity under the ground. Gaudi like Snelson intuitively understood that Nature designs by using gravity to establish the floating tension network that supports the entire cathedral. Yet the design of floating tension can also be made in the absence of gravity, the way all objects need to be constructed in outer space since support based design will not function in a zero gravity environment. Gravity Storm

In the matrix of chaos within a gravity vortex we are not familiar with the singularity of space how gravity really behaves. We lose the coherence that a familiar spiders web affords us. We drift easily into incoherence trying to grasp unfamiliar shapes unfamiliar forms we are not prepared to gaze on except for selective observers like mathematicians or physicists not afraid to venture into this different realm. But that is the fabric hidden in the spider’s web this glimpse at the universe outside of our horizon outside of our experiences. Where gravity looms as the sensing force of the universe.

We have the Sagrada Familia cathedral to gaze at the floating tension ceiling above our heads the soaring arches that thrill the eye starring from below.

SAGRADA FAMILIAAs if Aztec designs are swept into concrete clouds shapes hover overhead, shapes of billowing clouds colored into navigation stars  to become useful landmarks in the ceiling.

TensegrityComposite

Mathematicians pose the query, are strings mathematical support? Doesn’t the answer lie within a spiders lines tented over a pine hedge?  ” Scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have devised two mathematical tools considered to be a major contribution to the optimal design of a new generation of deformable bridges, buildings, shape-controllable airplane wings, radio antennas, and other alternatives to current structural technologies. Two reports will be published in the International Journal of Solids and Structures, with the first appearing in the April issue.  The deformable characteristic is made possible with strong, ultra-light truss-like arrangements of rods suspended by strings or wires. The resulting structure incorporates tensegrity, a combination of “tension” and “integrity.”

“Although tensegrity structures are not yet part of mainstream design engineering, we think their amazing properties explain why you find this arrangement in spider webs, the protein cytoskeleton of cells, and many other biological structures,” said Robert E. Skelton, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering.”

“Skelton and his students have pioneered the development of rigorous scientific tools to analyze the balance of forces and movement in many types of tensegrity systems. Unlike the arms and legs of a puppet, which hang from strings, the rods within a robotic tensegrity limb would be held in tension by a system of cables. Built-in actuators could pull those cables to direct the robot to wave or pick up a block.”

“Skelton and postdoctoral fellow Milenko Masic describe in the April issue of the International Journal of Solids and Structures a mathematical method for optimizing the initial tension of strings within defined extremes of motion.”

“In a second paper in the International Journal of Solids and Structures, which is available online, Skelton, Masic, and UCSD mathematics professor Philip E. Gill describe an optimization algorithm that will help tensegrity designers maximize the strength and minimize the weight of the rods and cables. A new generation of tensile-element materials has mechanical properties that are superior to those of traditional compressive elements, and the optimization algorithm by Skelton, Masic, and Gill incorporates the strength constraints of those materials. That information is used to help specify how to design a structure with the least material while retaining the desired stiffness as the structure changes shape.”

“A tensegrity-based wing could change shape as an airplane gains speed, but if the stiffness was relaxed the wing would fall off” said Skelton. “In mathematical terms, our algorithm directs the tensegrity structure to maintain its stiffness as it moves from one equilibrium position to another. The beauty of this approach is we don’t have to continually use energy to maintain the shape at each new equilibrium position.”

Snelson coined the term floating tension to describe  the integrity of tension within a network of tension held together within compression elements. Nature builds objects with these identical characteristics both at the nano level within RNA and DNA scalable up to  protein molecules scalable further to shapes familiar to the human eye, like bone forces shaping bone cell shape configurations.

Snelson never imagined that his artistic vision would 70 years later transcend the elegance of two tension compressed suspended floating elements that would become essential images for how Nature builds shape as its design imperative.

bambooLike a cell assembly resting on a surface the inner matrix is a series of elements connecting within a tension net that not only connects each element of the entire assembly can move about this surface as if a self moving robot. Our cells can perform similar motions yet when linked together they behave in coherence since they are linked both to themselves and into their surroundings. That is the kind of observation that is the beginning of understanding how our brain is actually designed, how it has elastic shape how our brain moves. To understand how a spider web teaches us the importance of design in its survival in its thinking we can spin that observation onto a floating tension communication web that is running our brain. To begin to understand how our brain moves during a concussion a tented spider web begins the exercise to observe first how the brain is designed, what makes the brain hold its own shape. The spider web teaches us the importance of the shape of design that shape can transform itself into a self sensing entity.

tensegrity floating tension webThe mathematical version of tension elements within a floating tension surface.

Actin geodome structures (tensegrity) form in cells as they attach to a surface as shown in this fluorescence micrograph of actin in an adherent epithelial cell

Actin geodome floating tension structure (tensegrity) form in cells attached to a surface revealed by fluorescence micrography of actin in an adherent epithelial cell

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The Broglio gravity reaction test for detecting concussions

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This important blog post comes via the New York Times : AUGUST 14, 2013, A Simple Device to Detect Concussions written by Gretchen Reynolds concerning the reaction test to detect the presence of a concussion. Here’s how it works from a validated clinical study published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Steven P. Broglio, director of the University of Michigan’s NeuroSport Research Laboratory with his colleague Dr. James Eckner, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan.

“After some noodling, Dr. Eckner came up with the idea of attaching a hockey puck via adhesive to a long wooden dowel, and marking centimeters in ink along the length of the dowel.”

“To use the device, an evaluator simply holds it in front of an athlete who is seated at a table with one arm resting on the surface and his hand at the table’s edge. The evaluator aligns the puck with the bottom of the athlete’s hand and lets go. The athlete catches the falling stick. The evaluator marks where his hand lands, and, voila, a coach or trainer has a baseline measure of someone’s reaction time. Theoretically, should a player later be suspected of having sustained a concussion, the trainer could pull out the dowel-puck, repeat the test, and, if the player’s reaction time were slower, conclude that he or she likely was concussed.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Think of a hockey stick with cm markings along the length of the stick. If a trainer holds the stick vertically the player, seated beside the trainer, the testing for a concussed player has his forearm resting on a table. A start line from a baseline mark is placed just at the level of the preferred grasping hand of the player. Without warning the trainer releases the hockey stick from his grasp. The player must grasp the stick now rapidly falling through his/her open grasp. The distance to the grasped measurement is marked. The test can be repeated 5 times to establish reaction distance accuracy, the range of points is also marked on the stick.

If the baseline range is exceeded, this distance will be statistically representative for a longer reaction time known to be associated immediately following a strong enough concussion. No complicated computer -no blood test, simplicity in its finest element. Plus the player can’t hide the symptoms now, the baseline distance can’t be fudged, since its the reaction time that will have changed.

What is happening here?  I will attempt an explanation. The concussion may or may not involve a separate rapid deceleration of the eyes themselves. The eye is attached with muscles in the bony orbit. Behind the eye structures the nerves controlling the iris, the eye muscles and the visual nerve all course their way into the various entry points to the brain, usually at the level of the upper brain stem. These are all tethered nerves stretched during the violent deceleration impact, depending on the extent of direction and rotation into the head. The positional X-Y-Z information is also corrected according to the head position of the facing forward of the head via the vestibular system. Virtually most of the brain is used to process this information watching while grabbing a falling hockey stick through one’s fingers. It is within this entire response loop that the hand to grasp onto the gravity directed hockey stick must be accomplished. Dr Broglio and his colleagues were stunned to differentiate a delay of as much as 1 second extra after a concussion. Performing a rough test in my garage of 1 second extra is about 20inches of extra drop along the shaft of the hockey stick !

Forget all the fancy elaborate expensive testing trying to determine if a concussion has happened. It’s now using any hockey stick for testing. Also each player can establish their own grasping distance before their season starts. Then in the unfortunate event of suffering a concussion the baseline fall distance is compared to the post concussion distance. Thank you Dr Broglio for bringing simplicity into the diagnosis of a brain concussion.

Broglio concussion gravity measuring device

Broglio concussion gravity measuring device

 
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Experiment number 1

Concussions, what are they ?

concussion 694940094001_1409784734001_640-brainInstead of explaining concepts with words, I will try to write this essay visually. So here is what I know about concussions after researching them for the last two decades trying to grab what happens. We are used to seeing transparent brains with the brain essentially moving violently bashing into the confining shape inside the brain case. That is a very rough view of a concussion. But before we talk of brain motion how is our brain actually built? How does the brain really move?

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This image is of another observation of Yakovlevian torque. Our human brain is lop-sided. It’s not a perfect mirror image of the left with the right as if a mirror was right down the middle, having equal volumes of brain mass on each side in perfect relationship with each other. Since we are verbal mammals we have developed specific verbal language skills that have actually expanded our bone around the brain to accommodate our verbal skills, a bone change called petalia expansion. In the transverse plane of the image the lop sided cortex mass associated with language skills causes rotation within the brain. Swing two buckets of water with very unequal amounts of water in them with your arms and spin about your vertical axis, What do you feel through your arms? You feel torque twisting into your torso, acting at the center of your body mass. This sensed rotation is the physics of translating a force from one direction into another circling in on itself force. Everything works because we are in a gravity field.

spacetime-frame-draggingGravity Space Time is bent around our planet. All life orients within this acceleration to Earth gravity, except when astronauts venture into space flight.

ASTRONAUT UOSIDE DOWN 090905-spacwalk-hlg-4p.grid-6x2Orientation to up is no longer sensed within the gravity sensing apparatus of the otoliths. Yuri Gagarin the first Russian astronaut when asked,” What do you feel?” Answered with, ” I feel upside down,” even though he was looking at Earth below him. But the huge advantage that spaceflight changes which is mimicking a strong concussion is the change in sensing gravity. All manner of autonomic changes occur to adapt to this loss of gravity sensing. The heart changes pacing, the body aging process accelerates, the very bones of the astronaut become thinner over time. These are huge autonomic changes wreaking havoc on the billion years old mammalian reliance on shape based sensing in a gravity vector. All life senses the basic direction to gravity, everything relies on this sensing. Spaceflight and concussions are a gravity based injury, that is where their metabolic signatures overlap. The vestibular system is primal into establishing the very alertness of our perceptions to run our autonomic system so efficiently. How do we sense shape in gravity?

Gravity Storm Nature has many shapes but fractal shape as a vortex of attraction appears universal in dimension yet practical in it’s accomplishments no matter how bizarre the design may appear this is the kind of template of gravity based construction balancing tension with compression. I have referred to Kenneth Snelson the outstanding artist who first constructed suspended shapes which are the design blueprint within Nature ttensegrity_pull-1oward assembly according to all the efforts of Harvard’s Donald Ingber to describe such biological assembly into coherent meshes of support within cell groups. Watch the Snelson floating tension model in the gif video. What is a particular characteristic is the inherent spin of the compression shape change twisting onto the central axis. When I asked Donald Ingber, ” Is our brain a tensegrity structure?” he replied with the wisdom of his expertise that, ‘yes it essentially is.’ Now we have Yakovlevian torque plus the inherent torque of a Snelson floating tension mesh structure. Place this whole design performance into the pulsatile motion of a beating brain what do you get with a concussive blow? You get essentially rotation into the central brain structures of the brain. Forget about a wobbling jello analogy of how our brain moves. The mammalian brain has evolved over hundreds and hundreds of millions of years from a floating tension balance with compression elements scaled both at the cellular level all the way up to the entire shape of a human brain. Our brains are not homogenous jello that wobbles around in our brain case. They are a based on a Snelson net of immense integrity that consume shape changes into communication nets capable of integrating vast quantities of sensing into a staggering level of channels of coordinated output like controlling our emotions, our desires, our memories, our fractal heart pacing, our very bones YAWNING BABY 148-12moving- all dependant on the presence of a gravity orientation vector.

Where might the impact of a gravity injury affect the human brain? Where should we look – what behaviour might give us a clue as to the gravity injury that involves both space flight or concussion. The answer lies tantalizingly inside the womb as our brain self builds using a calibration process that synchronizes our sense of gravity to a very poorly understood reflex, why we yawn. As a pre-term baby practises the yawning coordination, a huge communication sequence gets established in the display of the muscles involved with yawning. Yet yawning, we are taught, is because we are tired or bored. Yawning is so much more. Yawning is the reflex to coordinate our brain within the gravity field. I call this the Gravity Space Time reflex, it’s so overlooked yet to be such a significant part of all mammalian behaviour. All mammals yawn, birds, lions, giraffes, wolves, sharks and the big apes including us humans. All babies yawn in the womb except autistic children. We have much to learn about yawning.

LOCUS CERULEUS 1-s2.0-S0166432802002693-gr6The zone of vulnerability for both the astronaut and the concussed can be viewed concentrated at the susceptible level of the brain stem zone surrounding the locus coeruleus marked LC in the diagram above. As the first morning light enters the retina to commence the awakening sequence, this changing level of light invokes the yawning reflex to re-coordinate the coordinate sense of the brain to its position in space time harmonized to the gravity vector within a 3 dimensional volume, what we call our concept of matrix space around our body form.

Medulla_oblongata

 

tensegrity008The floating tension compression that Kenneth Snelson first created in 1948 was the first glimpse of how Nature actually arranges things in 3 dimensional space. Here in 2013 we are only beginning to grab the significance of his genius insight into how Nature makes things fit together. Implicit within this elegant first floating tension suspension is the concept of handedness of chirality of a left and a right. Twisting into the structure will reveal its innate resistance but also its elastic compliance to return to its resting position of balance by rotating onto itself in the main axis from the reference frame of being inside a gravity field. The surprising aspect about Snelson’s sculpture is that it can be assembled in  zero gravity like in space above the Earth. In fact all space structures can only be assembled under compression tension balance in outer space. Below, the Snelson structure appears unbalanced yet it can still maintain its shape without gravity. So shape becomes both the balance of compression with floating tension in the final balance of form.

snelson-02

So if we return to our original question what is a concussion ? We invoke a huge shift in our understanding that first and foremost that a concussion depends on how the shape of our brain dictates it’s response motion, especially where that motion is most vulnerable within the anatomy position of the Snelson floating tension design toward revealing its position. That is how in our lab where we are beginning to study where a concussion starts.

astronaut selfportraitAs the floating astronaut gazes at himself in the vacuum of space suspended in the absent gravity expanse of space surrounding him, he is without the tether to gravity support orienting all life signalling in the floating Snelson tension/compression mesh that is the structure within his brain now not functioning properly in the absence of the gravity vector well.

gravity_well_cartography_2_by_lordsong-d5lrxwsThe very special relationship within the back bone of the astronaut can be transferred with the artistic Spanish architect,  Santiago Calatrava use of tensegrity styling to mimic the very backbone of the torso alignment of the human vertebrae.

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The same back bone vertebrae when exposed to the absence of the tethering support of a gravity well reduce the very density of the astronauts bones once his five month mission has elapsed.

So that is the Nature of beginning to unravel the complexity of a concussion . How the quest becomes the signalling of shape -the form of shape itself in self assembly beginning with hard form like the stress absorbed patterns seen inside bone relating to the very soft shape of brain and how it elastically behaves in its anatomical form. To be the viewer of this concussion the observer must take the context of gravity influencing onto the space time continuum.

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Gravity and how we stabilize our head

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We awake each day inside a gravity force completely absent in our consciousness. Since the history of life started on our planet we have been under the influence of this acceleration force. Every single human action, all change is affected by this attractive force stabilizing our very surface presence shuffling on our way to the first moments of each and every moment. We live continuously in space affected by time and gravity. Great astronauts like Chris Hadfield teach us the significance of suddenly finding themselves returning to gravity toward their re-adaptation that can take upwards of six months to shuffle smoothly across a flat floor. We see in the image above that gravity’s pull is not the same over the surface of our planet. We are just learning that as dust clouds are attracted to each other in the deep recess of the universe a vortex of motion is the beginning of the attraction sequence that eventually builds a spinning galaxy of stars and planets. All life is a result of this drifting into a spiral dance of attraction as we shuffle along on our way, blind to the gravity reactions running silently in our brain until we collapse  by colliding, then displacing this sensitive inner balance by damaging our head in a deceleration concussive blow. Now the world appears tilted to our perceptions. We compensate to get back to sensing the normal gravity vector yet we are mismatched as if a compass needle inside our head could no longer find the right direction toward down.

The brain has been assembled over time as if a series of running Apps, all blended together. This inner control on the automatic sequencing of billions of neurons communicating over time have been interlaced into a cooperative mesmerizing intranet of communications, our very own inner Internet. The essence of this cooperation which is only now being contemplated is the very necessity of gravity in the outcome of how the design is built-in to accommodate the direction of gravity as the primal point of departure for the entire system to pivot upon. Gravity is truly at the center of the vortex that spins life into patterns of coherence as the singularity establishing the standard vector toward how all assembly within Nature occurs. Objects that can be built in the absence of gravity must be balanced under tension with compression. These rules of assembly apply to all our cellular networks that run so effortlessly inside our bodies as we shuffle along on our way.

gravity_trailerActress Sandra Bullock gazes into the morning sunrise in the upcoming film with co-star George Clooney in a film to be released in October 2013, entitled, GRAVITY.

http://www.salon.com/2013/05/09/watch_the_gravity_trailer/

I will be taking some great reflections from a review paper from the Journal of Behavioural Brain Research 231 (2012) 371-377, Head and eye movements in rats with pontine reticular lesions in comparison with primates : A scientific memoir and a fresh look at some old and ‘new’ data by David W. Sirkin.

Compensatory movements in response to passive angular acceleration are seen in all classes of vertebrates. A fish will swim in a circle counter to the motion of a rotating vessel containing it.” 

The same author in a three decade earlier report at the beginning of his vestibular studies remarked, ” Perhaps input from the gravity sensors, the otolith organs, are also antagonistic to input from the semicircular canals during anticompensation movements. Thus input to the central nervous system arising from contact from a firm support dominates the input from the semicircular canals during anticompensatory movements.” But what is meant by these anticompensation movements ? Again may I suggest to think of them as an App of motion behaviour since the reaction movements are on a surface. So have you caught the drift here? In a gravity field the compensation App will sense the direction of acceleration within the head in comparison to the gravity vector as an orientation to head reaction in terms of stabilization as the motion is seen by an observer in the response to the stimulus. Mammals without surface contact including fish and birds react to either water or air spinning around the mammal by sensing in their otoliths this spinning of a mass by turning their bodies into the opposite direction with their entire bodies coordinated to turn against the vortex spinning around them. They spin against the vortex of this gravity suspended mass of either air or water. That counter spin is their built in response App that humans also share. We respond with our bodies to turn against the gravity centered vortex not spinning with the vortex unengaged in our response except when things are compensating like after a brain concussion.

So that is the core of the dilemma concerning the adaptability that smoothly compensates the sensing of a flawed gravity direction. We know little of how our brain progressed from living in the aquatic environment as the heritage linkage to dynamic motion sensing that all mammals shared first in the seas then erupted onto the surface of land. Gravity is very much a part of life within the oceans. I have had the wonderful opportunity recently to dwell on this perspective being aboard the Celebrity ship Eclipse during a 14 day trip into the Baltic Sea. I kept gazing at the surface of those rolling waves trying to fathom the panoply of life forms in the sequence of life history taking place inside the liquid laboratory of shape evolution. We are comfortable toward appreciating shape as a solution to movement in water as fish schools flash their forms in the dance of their daily life flow.

dolphin

Fish are both sleek and stiletto streamlined to fly in the water. Yet this flight is like partial gravity motion since the buoyancy of their positions in all the various combinations of motion depends on that gravity vector to orient all motion. Do fish suffer concussions ? They must since accidents are always a part of the contact with immovable objects in a deceleration event. We are comfortable of thinking of shape as a streamlined device to accomplish efficient motion in  water. Shape and evolution drive the shape form toward sleekness of smoothness. We are not comfortable when thinking of shape at the core of the signalling inside the brain to accomplish this evolution of design on the outside. If you have shape driving the performance of a fish form you also have shape as a design net inside at the cellular level to accomplish this evolution of form driving in time running. Shape is the essence of assembly to match the outer form to the inner functioning. Shape is determined without gravity. The design of shape is universal in the cosmos. The singular rules of assembly of building something, what the physicist term accretion, as the minute starting off coalesces into mass that builds and builds from nothing but nano particles into clumping particles that attract within the gravity field. This motion of building particles colliding, binding, sticking together grows in the density of attraction within a gravity force dimension field.

star field Milky Way 7476483308_5b403ff80f_z

We are at the moment of reflection of this accretion dependent on gravity toward defining mass toward defining the very essence of molecules, atoms all in a vortex dance of attraction down at the nano level of interaction all the way up to a scientist gazing at the surface waves of  an ocean sweeping alongside the vessel gazing at the unseen fish dancing in his minds eye. Shape is both form of motion as the fish reveals its motion yet shape is magically linked within the tension-compression net of signalling that Nature uses to run at its core of intelligence. It’s all about the time space continuum that we find ourselves immersed into. Gravity is at the core of shape evolution in all mammals as external form which is appreciated from a design frame of reference. So as fish also stabilize their heads they are reacting within a gravity field. Fish automatically sense up from down in terms of light changes at the surface interface. Fish automatically sense temperature currents in the 3 dimensional highways of their migration patterns. The orientation of the fish is within the flow of gravity. The sensing of the flow of gravity evolved in the world of the oceans as life forms erupted in the diversity of the Cambrian burst when all manner of aquatic complexity began to evolve. Gravity shaped the tiniest bacteria the smallest of amoeba the accretions that became the larger forms in primeval time moving at the pace of evolution one motion, one attraction as a continuous accomplishment. The scale embraces the elements of the water itself on a circling planet assembled from attracting particles in a swirling galaxy above the ocean floor seen as stars reflect on the surface waves at night in the tiny darkness of the midnight sun circling overhead.

Paleozoic era spores from Cambrian explosion of life diversity

Paleozoic era spores from Cambrian explosion of life diversity

Evolution is the expression of shape, shape of form, shape as function. Micro shape performs at the essence of assembled cells into balanced structures with purpose of response. Shape is sensing within the gravity vector.

tensegrity rabbit 2 img_0265When we reconsider a rabbit shape assembled using inner tensegrity  based as a bone suspension net, we see a shape of function combining hard material with soft material. Bone is hard material, brain is soft material, both work in a tension gravity based vector net of communication. Surface motion is sensed as a direction  automatically within the otolith structures which are housed within bone. To paraphrase Marshal McCluan’s famous, ‘ the medium is the message,‘ now warps as a floating tension balance description into, ‘the shape is the message.’

from Wikipedia : An otolith, (οτο-, oto-, ear + λιθος, lithos, a stone), also called statoconium or otoconium is a structure in the saccule or utricule of the inner ear, specifically in the vestibular labyrinth of vertebrates. The saccule and utricle, in turn, together make the otolith organs. They are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration. Because of their orientation in the head, the utricule is sensitive to a change in horizontal movement, and the saccule gives information about vertical acceleration (such as when in an elevator).

otolith_cross_sec

The semicircular canals and sacs in all vertebrates are attached to endolymphatic ducts, which in some groups (such as sharks) end in small openings, called endolymphatic pores, on the dorsal surface of the head. Extrinsic grains may enter through these openings, typically less than a millimeter in diameter. The size of material that enters is limited to sand-sized particles and in the case of sharks is bound together with endogenous organic matrix that the animal secretes.”

“In mammals, otoliths are small particles, composed of a combination of a gelatinous matrix and calcium carbonate in the viscous fluid of the saccule and utricle. The inertia of these small particles causes them to stimulate hair cells when the head moves. The hair cells are made up of 40 to 70 stereocilia and one hair cell, called the kinocilium, which is connected to an afferent nerve. When the body changes position or begins a movement the weight of the membrane bends the stereocilia and stimulates the hair cells. Hair cells send signals down sensory nerve fibers, which are interpreted by the brain as motion. The brain interprets the orientation of the head by comparing the input from the utricules and saccules from both ears to the input from the eyes, allowing the brain to discriminate a tilted head from movement of the entire body. When the head is in a normal upright position, the otolith presses on the sensory hair cell receptors. This pushes the hair cell processes down and prevents them from moving side to side. However, when the head is tilted, the pull of gravity on statoconia shift the hair cell processes to the side, distorting them and sending a message to the central nervous system This theory may have to reevaluated because of an experiment on SpaceLab 1984 which a blindfolded owl in zero gravity was able to keep its head level while a handler was rocking its body back and forth.”

” There is evidence that the vestibular system of mammals has retained some of its ancestral acoustic sensitivity and that this sensitivity is mediated by the otolithic organs (most likely the sacculus, due to its anatomical location). In mice lacking the otoconia of the utricle and saccule, this retained acoustic sensitivity is lost.  In humans  vestibular evoked myogenic potentials occur in response to loud, low frequency acoustic stimulation in patients with sensioneural hearing loss. Vestibular sensitivity to ultrasonic sounds has also been hypothesised to be involved in the perception of speech presented at artificially high frequencies, above the range of the human cochlea (~18 kHz). In mice sensation of acoustic information via the vestibular system has been demonstrated to have a behaviourally relevant effect; response to an elicited acoustic startle reflex is larger in the presence of loud, low frequency sounds that are below the threshold for the mouse cochlea (~4 Hz), raising the possibility that the acoustic sensitivity of the vestibular system may extend the hearing range of small mammals.”

The otolith image above is a polished version of the sort of fish otolith that can be extracted into the appearance of almost abstract art object. But what is fascinating about the shape has recently attracted the attention of scientists from the Max Planck Institute working in collaboration with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). Scientists from the Max Planck Institute and the ESRF have teamed up to study how a single gene in fish influences the biomineralisation of otoliths. The stone-like otoliths are located in the fish’s inner ear and are involved in the balance and hearing processes. The previously unknown gene has been given the name starmaker as a reduction of its activity results in star-like otoliths. Humans have a similar gene, which is also implicated in hearing, as well as teeth formation. Synchrotron light was used to uncover changes occurring in the structure of otoliths following gene alteration. An article on this research was recently featured on the cover of Science magazine under the title: “Control of crystal size and lattice formation by starmaker in otolith biomineralization” (Science, Vol. 302, 282-286 (2003)). Here is a portion of their abstract:

“We report that a previously unknown gene, starmaker, is required in zebrafish for otolith morphogenesis. Reduction of starmaker activity by injection of modified antisense oligonucleotides causes a change in the crystal lattice structure and thus a change in otolith morphology. The expression pattern of starmaker, along with the presence of the protein on the growing otolith, suggest that the expression levels of starmaker control the shape of the otoliths.”

When the gene for the otolith was tampered with the shape of the otolith changed radically becoming a bunch of attached crystals, assembled by what the scientist term biomineralization.

The experiment consisted of reducing the activity of the starmaker gene and hence its encoded protein in order to see how it influenced the otolith formation in zebra fish. As a result of this modification, their otoliths, which are normally smooth, round, stone-like structures became elaborate star-shaped crystals. That is the reason why the gene has been named starmaker. Synchrotron radiation experiments showed that this change is also associated with a change in calcium carbonate crystal structure. After the reduction of starmaker activity, most of the fish had difficulty in orienting themselves quickly in fast-moving water. This is the first time a change in the otolith has been induced and tested for behavioural defects in live animals.

Let me emphasize these subtle findings. Since the fish no longer sensed the orientation to the gravity vector these fish immediately lost their orientation sense within the moving water they were swimming against. Since the shape of the otolith had changed the shape design is the imperative to perform the correct interpretation of the direction of the gravity vector. Shape alone determines the sensing of gravity. Shape is designed around the external cosmos universal building code to create the roundness of the normal structure. At the core of signalling Nature is revealing to use that shape sensing of gravity especially through a hard substance construction like bone which is biomineralization, follows rules of assembly that exist throughout the universe and are not necessarily only found on Earth. For a mammal to sense gravity this starmaker gene is critical to create the shape of the otolith in order to calibrate to the gravity vector, to specifically sense gravity. For our brain to function, at the very core of all signalling priority, is this sensing of the gravity vector. Everything in our autonomic systems orients to this core signalling attractor that is the sensing to the direction of Earth’s gravity. Loss of the gravity sensing vector happens during early concussive deceleration. Immediately following such a gravity sensing injury which is what a concussion is, our brain will try to establish compensation repairs to reveal a flawed source of the direction of gravity. Our inner compass of orientation has taken a hit following a concussion, the effects which are translated through hard substances like bone.

What is also becoming apparent in our laboratory is that sensing gravity is at the core of all signalling in terms of hierarchy of cellular prioritizing. We used to think that the autonomic system, comprising the sympathetic system balanced with the parasympathetic system was at the apex of prioritization. As usual Nature reminded us of our own fallibility.  The autonomic system takes orders from the vestibular system. Just ask astronaut Chris Hadfield how important gravity is to the human body in terms of how he had such a difficult adaptation back to earth’s gravity is, how his bone density prematurely aged during his five months in microgravity as Commander aboard the International Space Station.

What we have also learned is that since the vestibular system is housed inside a bony case encompassing the otoliths. We interpret that bone signalling within a shape sensing organization is critical to beginning to understand how gravity is always sensed, in how we position our head how, we stabilize our head position to the gravity field. It is also now apparent to us that concussions are first and foremost a gravity based vestibular injury. Since we as mammals all have gravity sensors in our otoliths, concussions in the very first few milliseconds are sensed within the otoliths first before getting distributed signal wise into surrounding brain circuits. It is also now apparent that concussions are a shape distorting event sensed within the otoliths then into the brain as concurrent events. But first to understand how a concussion disturbs the brain networks of soft tissue we have to become experts on the hard tissue, those bone signals that actually are assembled around the otoliths, assembled in a floating tension Snelson net of communication. We expect concussions to actually alter the very bones within the body themselves as a consequence mimicking the effects of microgravity. The opportunity affords us to study spaceflight affects on the brain as a mimic of a metabolic concussion in space time, since both are gravity altered changes impacting into brain signalling at the shape horizon linking within all communication nets. Starting in the upper brain stem the signalling cascade reveals itself in a domino effect. The beginning of an understanding is found in how our brain sleeps, how we immobilize our connection to the world as sleep starts. If we have to disengage from the sensation of the world around us. Surely isn’t there a reflex to orient us back into the world around us? As we both enter and exit sleep we yawn. We yawn to orient our head into the gravity space-time matrix. It’s our own individual matrix of three-dimensional space that we all interact with inside a gravity field. We yawn to calibrate the Gravity Space Time into 3 dimensions of coordinates X-Y-Z dimension that orients our otolith gravity sensing to line up to Earth’s gravity vector as what I term the GST reflex. Both concussions and space flight alter the GST reflex. That’s the most important discovery that I have stumbled onto in my research on brain injury.

DUNG BEETLE_2461355bWe live in a magical world, even the lowliest dung beetle can navigate by the stars. Nature surrounds us in infinite space and through the vortex of accretion inside a gravity field all life is capable of interpreting its surroundings.

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Commander Chris Hadfield’s readaptation to Earth Gravity

hadfield-landing 852-cp-04425582-8col

Commander Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station sits in a Russian field after a fiery re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere. It will take approximately two weeks before Commander Hadfield can stand on his own feet after his lengthy 5 month space mission. All returning astronauts experience severe fainting when attempting to stand up since their bodies have adapted to the zero gravity aboard the International Space Station. Blood rushes away from their heads in uncontrolled syncope, what the scientists call orthostatic hypotension. What happens to our human ability to orient to the gravity vector on our Earth when you are an astronaut, where does the balance go when gravity orientation disappears?

As I have stated before look again at Commander Hadfield’s face, he looks very fatigued from his ordeal, he looks like he has a concussion, which is what space flight appears to mimic. So as Commander Hadfield readapts back to the gravity he originally left what does it tell us about how the body organizes all its resources to live in its one gravity force field? I am going to outline a little understood pacing within the very oldest part of Commander Hadfield’s brain, the part that is called the reptilian brain. This is where you begin to look for what his gravity readaptation is located within his anatomy, the most important driving orientation to gravity. The start is within his vestibular system including the internal accelerometers comprising the utricules and the saccules structures on each side that sense Commander Hadfield’s head position within the gravity vector.

One of the parameters that is measured in an astronaut that has returned to Earth is the blood pressure pulse. Essentially for Commander Hadfield, changing from a horizontal position to a vertical position is a control sequence of fluids maintaining their capacity to stay in the upper part of the human body. A freshly returned, to one gravity force, astronaut does not have the lower body muscle tightening capacity to maintain both fluids and circulating blood in the upper body regions. This gravity based reflex is lost from exposure to micro gravity from 5 months gravity free-living in the International Space Station. Where do these gravity based signals originate to control body fluid regulation?

These signals originate within the vestibular apparatus to coordinate the heart pumping to maintain adequate perfusion, but travelling in space is equivalent to experience a hyperaging of a variety of physiological processes. The bones of Commander Chris Hadfield aged as if he were in his late sixties. His blood vessels got stiffer. His eyes changed shape, losing their roundness, flattening out in the back, creating tension onto the nerves at the back of the eyes.  His leg muscles atrophied. His heart pacing changed subtly. But actually measuring his blood pulse is not as simple as one would expect. Think of the human pulse as a series of waves together converging onto a beach. You watch the crests sweep onto the sand before you, but what drives the waves to form, what determines their character their true character their height the distance between successive waves ? Waves contain harmonics that ride in step and also interfere with each other within a series. Some waves have very long peaks that are mixed in with shorter peaks, how do you make sense in all this mixing and merging ? That is exactly what researchers are beginning to probe. One of the earliest investigators was a German who in 1876 described the influence of what became to be known as Mayer waves. ( Mayer, Siegfried 1877 Studien zur physiologie des herzens und der blutgefasse. V. Uber spontane blutdruckschwankungen. Sitzungsberichte Kaiserlich Akad Wissenschaft Mathemat-Naturwissenschaft Classe 74:281-307) The waves running into the shore of Hadfield’s heart hold patterns from both chambers of his pumping heart, from his lungs with their waves of inspiration and expiration and the especially long waves, the gravity waves that both hold fluids within his body and cycle these fluids back upwards to return again and again in the tides that pulse to the rhythm of the gravity defining our planet. All of these patterns are seen in the pulse of Hadfield’s beating heart. But it is the gravity pulse that is trying to reestablish itself in the cluster of rhymes that will determine when Commander Hadfield can rise onto the surface not to stumble back into his chair as blood drains rapidly from his brain.

Mayer waves can be defined as arterial blood pressure (AP) oscillations at frequencies slower than respiratory frequency and which show the strongest, significant coherence (strength of linear coupling between fluctuations of two variables in the frequency domain) with efferent sympathetic nervous activity (SNA). In humans, AP oscillations which meet these properties have a characteristic frequency of aprox. 0.1Hz; 0.3Hz in rabbits and 0.4Hz in rats.

The hemodynamic basis of Mayer waves are oscillations of the sympathetic vasomotor tone of arterial blood vessels, because Mayer waves are abolished or at least strongly attenuated by pharmacological blockade of alpha-adrenoreceptors.  Within a given biological species, their frequency is fairly stable; in humans it has been shown that this frequency does not depend on gender, age or posture. It has been suggested that Mayer waves trigger the liberation of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (NO) by cyclic changes of vascular shear stress which could be beneficial to end organ functioning.

Mayer waves are correlated with heart rate variability. Takalo et al. (1999) stated, “the frequency shift of Mayer waves to lower frequencies is associated with an increased risk of developing established hypertension. “

The human body has a center of gravity during upright standing. Magically as we sway gently back and forth in our normal one gravity we sway as if to a very slow metronome  with approximately 60 second rhythm if this postural body sway is measured by sensitive balance plate stabilometry as one of the indicators of equilibrium function according to  Inamura’s group at Nagoya University of Japan in 1984. Inamura named this cyclic body sway, ‘one-minute rhythm’ as a one minute oscillation in postural sway. I find this cyclic body sway too technical it’s a gravity based body sway, I’ll call it temporarily, the Einstein Body Sway, which has more humanity to this gravity description for the sake of this essay. I would venture that Commander Hadfield’s Einstein Body Sway was considerably more erratic, less fine tuned, faster especially different after his five month space flight if compared to his preflight Einstein Body Sway. But measuring body sway oscillation before and after space flight is not something currently measured by the Canadian Space Agency nor NASA nor the Russian Space Agency. Let’s examine why the human body sways as if in beat to the pulse of gravity. Take a look at Commander Hadfield’s face again doesn’t it look older than just five months compared to the following picture.

hadfield_chris preflightFrom his pre flight picture take a good look at the just landed picture of Commander Hadfield’s face compared to the extra lines beneath his eyes, his forehead creases especially with the frown lines diving deeper down each side of his mouth. All of these extra facial features are evidence of hyper aging occurring. It is said that the face reflects the brain that the face is the brain in its moment of health. As we age our faces age as a sign of the inner brain health. Commander Hadfield’s face at landing looks much older than five months when compared to his cleaner pre flight face picture. Something serious has happened inside Commander Hadfield’s brain by not having gravity to equilibrate his body rhythms for five months, it’s written all over his face.

But why would humans sway in the first place to a 60 second rhythm ? The human body needs to maintain blood distribution throughout the human body in concert with the omnipresence of a gravity force always acting down. Our body sway is linked to our cardiovascular cycle to provide this equilibrium toward maintaining blood distribution throughout the entire body’s length. Not only is the cardiac cycle synced to the body sway so too is it to our breathing rhythm. As we stand in a one gravity force our body sways to communicate with our heart’s pacing coordinating with each breath to maintain blood pressure as fluids shift downwards when we attempt to stand from either a sitting or lying horizontal position. The one minute rhythm is also found in segmented body compartments as if our bodies were stacked sections one on top of each other from ankles all the way to our head in segments of division.

A plastinated and sliced human body is seen at the "Body Worlds" exhibition by Gunther von Hagen in Tegucigalpa

” When a human body takes an upright standing posture, venous blood is pooled in the lower part of the body due to gravity. Since one-minute rhythms were found not only in the postural sway but also in the cardiovascular variables, we have postulated that the one-minute oscillation in postural sway and the one-minute waves in the body fluid volume change in an upright standing position (will) contribute to maintain cardiovascular homeostasis.” (sourced from One-minute wave in body fluid volume change enhanced by postural sway during upright standing by Inamura, Kinasaku, Tadaaki, Satoshi Iwase, Yoshimitsu Amagashi and Sadako Inamura J. Appl. Physiol. 81(1): 459-469, 1996) Take away gravity and what do the astronauts notice most in space flight? They all report pooling of fluids around their upper body especially the head regions all getting puffy and bloated. The brain can’t sway itself when there is no down direction to sway to. Einstein taught us that to sense gravity you need to be accelerating at the same rate as on Earth when gravity is absent, that acceleration is first felt inside our brian’s own accelerometers, within the succule and utricule apparatus. When no acceleration is sensed our brain reacts instantaneously to compensate. Our sense of gravity when taken away is like a blow to the head, the sense of direction is lost. Our pacing through our eyes through our cardiovascular system through our bones begins to act as if the clock of time passing has snapped a mainspring, it’s as if our internal time ticking goes onto a logarithmic pace. This is the effect of hyper fast aging that flying weightless for 5 months does to the body of Col. Chris Hadfield.

After his first on-line news conference back on Earth Hadfield’s doctor had this to comment on with readaptation to Earth’s gravity from the CBC website:

Raffi Kuyumjian, the Canadian Space Agency’s chief medical officer and Hadfield’s flight surgeon, described some of the temporary problems Hadfield is dealing with as he readjusts to gravity. They include shuffling his feet when he walks, soreness in his back, difficulty walking around corners and sometimes even bumping into corners.

The physician said in a statement that his patient feels dizzy and finds it challenging to walk up or down stairs. Also, his manual dexterity is a bit off.

“Although he does not feel it, his hip and back bones are not as dense as before his flight since they lost calcium in weightlessness.” That sounds like a person suffering from a brain concussion, no?

I’ll leave with one final picture I found yesterday on how the bones of our face shift with aging. So if Col. Chris Hadfield looks haggard on that first photo I contemplate another of the quotes from his great observations along the lines, ” If we didn’t do all that exercise aboard the space station our bodies would age 50 years in the 5 months aboard.” Sometimes we speak of the mask of the face. But it is so much richer than that, our faces reflect our brain. Our face is our brain in terms of its state of health. Gravity is very much necessary for our brain to function properly. Take away the gravity vector imperils the aging process toward accelerating the very absorption of bones within the face.

Facial depressions with aging-frontWhat Col. Chris Hadfield has courageously reveled with his 5 months in space is the rapid aging effects that swept into his body while he floated, untethered above the Earth. This amazing picture of the bone erosion is what happens to the human face as the decades slide by. The paper is from Aesth Plast Surg (2012) 36:753-760 entitled Changes in the Facial Skelton With Aging: Implications and Clinical Applications in Facial Rejuvenation authored by Bryan Mendelson and Chi-Ho Wong.

Space travel is a huge accelerant onto the aging process of the human body. Col. Chris Hadfield has revealed the very bones of his face to expose them to this accelerated aging metabolic effect as if he had entered a time travel machine, acting as if his 5 months aboard the International Space Station were compressed into adding 5 years effects onto his face. The bone lens focuses onto the processes within his brain into the shifting skeleton of his face. We learn from his courage that to understand something as soft as Maxilla_imagethe brain you have to understand first the hardest substance of the body, the bones, to grab the significance that gravity has for making everything function. It’s as if we are eavesdropping between the conversation of the brain signalling witnessing bone strength density fading away during the absence of gravity.

But how actually does the human face age, is it just sagging and dropping or is there more? The aging facial skeleton is actually rotating around the eyes as reported by authors Michael J. Richard, Carrie Morris, Byron F Deen, linda gray and Julie A. Woodward all working at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. In their 2009 report in Opthal Plast Reconstr Surg Vol. 25, No 5 titled Analysis of the Anatomic Changes of the Aging Facial Skeleton Using Computer-Assisted Tomography. 

If you look at the bones of the face it’s hard to imagine they are in motion as if continental tectonic plates sliding around the surface of our planet. Most changes of the face are descriptive of landmarks altering of the soft tissues the kinds of sagging that has made Botox treatments so popular to pull the face ask into a more smoother youthful appearance. In the diagram above the red colored bones are called the maxilla. In the case of aging the bony acute angles at the junction above and below the nose get tighter as if the angles are of a book cover coming more together, in the words of the authors, “…. which effects on the position of the overlying soft facial tissues.”

It is a general concept that once adulthood is achieved the growth of the face stops. Amazingly the earliest observation that the adult face continues to change relative positions throughout life was made in 1858 by Humphrey in his Treatise on the Human Skeleton. Pessa, another observer, formulated a face moving algorithm termed the Lambros Algorithm as the ideas of Enlow came to be studied concerning growth fields as descriptors of how the facial bones matured using the concept of motion drift among the bone segments making up the face during the sixties. ” The Lambros hypothesis states that the bones of the facial skeleton rotate clockwise around the eye-opening, the orbit, when the face is viewed from the right side. ” The forehead if viewed in a time-lapse speed up of time would reveal the changing drift of the bones as a motion field centered around the eye-opening rotating forward, anteriorly, but also descending slightly, inferior, while at the same time the midface rotates toward the back of the skull, a posterior direction and rising at the same time, inferior,  as if following the curve of a circle. Essentially what these authors are saying is that as facial bones drift in a circular pattern causing the soft tissue to loosen its support which in regular observations describes the tissue sagging and descending over time as the facial muscles and ligaments also progressively become looser.

So when we look at Col Chris Hadfield’s face we know there has been general body bone loss throughout the entire 5 months aboard the international Space Station. We would expect perhaps this bone loss to be at his hips or on his legs but not involving his facial bones which are not commonly thought to be affected by lengthy stays in space without gravity. The human face is not a mask something static as if painted on each day to show the world our emotional range of expressions. The very bones underneath are drifting in a tight choreography of elegant motion that are only now becoming apparent. As we age the face rotates into old age with a tension drop seen in the soft tissues of the face. The loss of gravity is a huge change affecting the central mechanism of general bone metabolism. So when we look at the landing picture of Col Chris Hadfield’s jubilant face we are seeing the effects of gravity on his face bones smiling, beaming back at all of his admirers here on Earth.

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Dr. David Mulder

Montreal has had it’s share of public tragedies. Stephanie Lanthier writes, “On December 6, 1989, a young man, Marc Lépine, burst into a class at Montréal’s École Polytechnique armed with an automatic weapon. He separated the male and female students and fired point blank on the latter screaming, “You are all feminists”. Fourteen young women were murdered and 13 other people wounded. Lépine then turned his gun on himself and committed suicide. Later, a list of eminent women was found whom he had identified as “feminists to slaughter”. Then at Dawson College, on September 13, 2006 Kimveer Gill was the Canadian perpetrator of the shootings in Westmount, Quebec. He killed one student and wounded nineteen others before committing suicide. Kimveer Gill had a fascination with 9/11 conspiracy theories, the war in Iraq, and the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

Dr David Mulder

Dr David Mulder

The head of the Trauma Center during both of these tragedies was Dr. David Mulder at the Montreal General Hospital. Dr. Mulder in both instances was the best of the best saving as many lives as possible with his team of dedicated surgeons and nurses. My youngest son was one floor above the Dawson College shootings. He managed to escape down a stairwell as Gill started shooting below. My wife and I spent frantic moments in total panic trying to comprehend this unfolding nightmare, then to wait in desperation as my son’s text message to us ended mid sentence abruptly. I had a personal reaction to the whole incident not the usual bystander type of role. I cried for months for the innocent victims as if they were my children. For me Dr Mulder is a saint.

Last week was Brain Awareness Montreal Week in which Dr Mulder was a participant in a public discussion on Brain Concussion by Miriam Beauchamp, Elaine de Guise, Hugo Theoret as part of a panel of  PhD participants, yet as the last speaker his words resonate in my head. “We still know nothing about brain concussion. We don’t know what they are. We can’t accurately measure them. We don’t know how to treat them. ” These are chilling words from such a man of knowledge. Dr Mulder started his talk amiably with, ” I have 9 grand-children with 5 of them having suffered concussions. Two boys were involved in hockey, one in baseball and two girls with skiing accidents. They were all wearing helmets so helmets don’t prevent concussions. My next door neighbour suffered a concussion six weeks ago during a winter fall. He can’t function at work as a lawyer, he can’t handle his job. He may no longer be able to go back to work. Concussions aren’t only in the news concerning professional athletes, concussions affect everyone.”

Paccioretty 6a00d83451bd1369e2014e5fd08bfb970c-800wi

Dr. David Mulder was at Max Pacioretty’s side after the devastating hit by Boston Bruin’s defenseman Zedno Chara. As can be seen in the picture the hit took Pacioretty off his feet as his head contacted the stanchion, fracturing one of Pacioretty’s vertebrae at the impact ferocity. Notice the slight braking spray on Chara’s left foot plus the placement of his left hand just above Paciorrety’s head as the hand guides along the glass. Chara is facing forward as if the collision with the stancheon is not meant to be.

The hands on the left are Dr David Mulder

The hands on the left are Dr David Mulder

Max Pacioretty was fortunate that Dr Mulder was at his side so quickly. All the right protection was done to preserve his neck from further trauma by Dr Mulder with the able help of the trainers of the Montreal Canadiens. According to the Huffington Post, Paciorrety said,

“I sincerely appreciate all of the support that I have received since my injury,” he said in a statement. “I was disappointed that the NHL did not suspend Zdeno Chara. However, I have no desire for him to be prosecuted legally. I feel that the incident, as ugly as it was, was part of a hockey game.”

Cathy Gulli wrote of the Pacioretty impact in Maclean’s magazine. “But to truly marvel at the dangerous blow that Pacioretty survived, one must watch a precise five-second black and white video just created by scientists at the University of Ottawa. Led by Blaine Hoshizaki, director of the elite Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory, researchers have reconstructed a hit similar to the Pacioretty-Chara one. The footage shows a dummy head wearing a helmet similar to the one Pacioretty uses. A metal rod covered in two-inch foam mimics the padded stanchion that Pacioretty struck. An air compressor unleashes the rod on the head form, which is pummelled at the exact same speed and location as when Pacioretty rammed into the post. The impact launches the dummy into a sideways extension—the neck stretches until it’s perpendicular to the rod, before the head form snaps back and slightly rotates.”

Max Pacioretty incredibly recovered from this ferocious hit in record time to play again unlike Dr Mulder’s neighbour who is still out of work. The decades of wisdom of Dr Mulder settles on the imperative to make progress on concussion research. Mulder spoke  optimistically that one day, ” We will make some real progress understanding how concussions actually happen, what we can learn to measure that determines the changes that happen with a concussion. One day in a lab somewhere progress will be made.” That progress will happen in a research lab doing regular investigative high quality work. That is the reason we should always stress strong research funding to allow the energy and passion of someone somewhere to break through the fog of confusion that is the current state of affairs with brain concussion. ”

What was also mentioned during the conference was the fact that previous athletes without any symptoms after their university careers decades after showed disturbing changes within their brains that they were not aware of.

A neuroscience student researcher, Ian Maher on the 2012 Brain Awareness Montreal web  site who was at the Pacioretty hit March 2011 Montreal/Boston game wrote,  “A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury, in which a sudden impact causes the brain to compress against the inside of the skull, resulting in a temporary loss of brain function. The majority of concussions do not result in loss of consciousness. Roughly 1% percent of the population will suffer from a concussion at some point, although this statistic is likely an underrepresentation of the true prevalence. We used to view concussions as relatively minor events, but some disturbing recent studies have shown that they can have serious consequences.

Common side effects of a concussion are headache, nausea, loss of motor coordination, and sensory dysfunction. These usually dissipate without requiring treatment acutely after the injury. However, with post-concussion syndrome, symptoms may not disappear for months or years, or even at all, and there is currently no treatment except rest.

We are also learning a rapidly increasing amount about the effects of concussion on emotional and cognitive function. Recent studies in National Football League players have shown an association between concussion and depression, as well as memory deficits and general cognitive impairment.  Tragically, traumatic sports injuries have even been linked with suicide.  These effects have been attributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition in which multiple head injuries lead to aggregate damage to the brain; boxers that are termed ‘punchy’ suffer from one form of CTE.

Pacioretty will hopefully recover from his injuries avoiding these particular issues, although his future career is in doubt. However, the primary issue is that millions of young athletes engage in contact sports on a regular basis, putting developing brains at risk for serious neuropsychological consequences. It is imperative that future research determines how best to mitigate the risk of concussion-related injuries in these vulnerable individuals.”

This is what legondary Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette wrote about Dr Mulder.

“The titles are there, mirroring in part the accomplishments of a person’s dedication to the care of the injured and the sick.

David S. Mulder: two terms as surgeon-in-chief at the Montreal General Hospital; Mulder: a prominent player in the development of a trauma-care system for the province of Quebec; Mulder: medical director of the McGill Sports Medicine Centre.

He has been a significant contributor as the leader of many professional societies, including service as president of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Central Surgical Association, Canadian Association of Clinical Surgeons, International Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care, Canadian Society of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Sureons and the Canadian Association of Surgical Chairmen.

The list goes on and on, so why is this soft-spoken, special person who late this afternoon is being honoured by the Montreal General Hospital with the Dr. David S. Mulder Chair in Trauma Care, still looking after men who play a boys’ game as the team physician of the Montreal Canadiens?

The Game makes him do it, he says.

Dr David Mulder at ice level of the Bell Center as physician of Les Canadiens de Montreal

Dr David Mulder at ice level of the Bell Center as physician of Les Canadiens de Montreal

Hockey does.

“I played hockey in a little farm town in Saskatchewan … in Eston,” Mulder said. “It’s a grain farming town of 1,500 people. My father was a farmer. He immigrated from Holland. He played soccer. We didn’t even know what soccer was in this little town, but everybody played hockey, and I got into playing at all levels: atom, peewee … all through the ranks.

“I was going to be the next Gordie Howe,” he added with a tight, little smile.

Say what?

“Really … I mean … I played amateur hockey at a fairly good level … played up to junior,” Mulder said. “A man named Clark Burlingham was our coach. He was a goalie … played in the Olympics for Canada at one point. He was a very, very good teacher. I was about to sign a letter of intent with the Regina Pats and he said: ‘Dave, you aren’t ever going to make it in the NHL. You should go to university.’

“I was mortified. I was destroyed.”

Medicine was the big winner.

“I don’t know what you’d call it: serendipity or luck, but when I came to Montreal in 1963 to do my training in surgery, one of the first people I met was (former Canadiens team physician) Doug Kinnear,” Mulder recalled. “He said to me: ‘I’m looking after the Montreal Canadiens. The junior Canadiens need someone. Could you put together a group of surgical residents who would go down there and help them out?’

“There were three of us, and we would form a schedule that didn’t conflict with our own schedule. The hockey was fantastic … the days of Gilbert Perreault, Rejean Houle and Marc Tardif. It taught me a little bit about discipline and about who’s playing on the team, which is what I do now in the operating room.

“I play on a team. I learned about team sports and the value of working with a team. I think from that point of view, it was an enormous help. I think the discipline of working in a sport helps you in whatever you do.

“I got to know people like Sam Pollock. I got to know Toe Blake. When I was a resident and the three of us … he would invite us to his tavern for lunch. He’d let us bring as many residents as we wanted for as much beer and pig’s knuckles as we could eat – and there was never a bill.”

“That was Toe. He was a class act. He was a tough S.O.B. I was always terrified when he came prowling down the hall into the dressing room, but he was my friend. He was a marvellous guy.”

Claude Ruel was another member of the Canadiens organization Dr. Mulder got to know and like. One day, he accompanied Ruel to Burlington, Vt., to scout a college game. Ruel was there to watch a prospect named John LeClair.

“Let’s compare notes after the game,” Ruel suggested to Mulder. “I’ll tell you how you did.”

After the game, Mulder, the one-shot amateur scout, handed over his notes to Ruel, who made his living as a scout. Ruel studied them for a few moments, sighed deeply, and grunted:

“Doc, don’t give up your day job.”

But for a shiny Stanley Cup ring on your finger what is the sacrifice for many concussions? Here in the words of Los Angeles Kings defenseman, are the reflections from Willie Mitchell during an interview concerning his many recoveries from concussions written by Jesse Spector on aol.sportingnews.com June 1, 2012.

willie mitchell kissing stanley

“Oh, he got his bell rung.” Anytime you feel dizzy, headache, got your bell rung, that’s a concussion. That’s what it is. We downplay it instead of actually embracing it for what it is and giving it significance. The brain’s everything, right? You don’t have that, you don’t have life, you don’t have happiness, you don’t have your day-to-day. There’s not much good in life without it.

The first two were similar—four-or-five week episodes, where I started to feel better after about three weeks. The last one was more complex. They’re different, and I try to explain that to guys, how their different. Eight months, a year, it becomes chronic. It becomes like almost you’re terminally ill. You have an illness that’s not going away, because every day you wake up, it’s the same thing. It gives you a little snippet of people who live that in daily life. It becomes not only a physical injury, but emotional, as well. You’re dealing with something that you think is never gonna get better, and you’re turning everywhere to get help, saying “who can help me?” No one can. There’s no answer for it.

I’d try anything to try to get healthy. Hyperbaric chamber, I was doing that. Craniosacral work. I did alternative medicine, where I tried neural therapy. You name it. I had neural therapy on my neck, where they take your carotid artery, and they move it over to the side, and they freeze the nerves near the back of your neck for a quick second. It’s alternative medicine—the idea behind it is like starting a computer. Your nervous system, it’s the same way—if it feels the same way all the time, what do you need to get out of it? Sometimes, it needs to reboot.

(Neural therapy is) actually just procaine and water. They put it in there, and it freezes it for a bit, and restarts like a computer and you hope it gets the bugs out. A lot of times, the pain and pressure you feel in your head is nervous-system related. So I even tried that. It’s not fun, sitting on a table and having someone move your artery over, and shoving that needle in there. You’re 100 percent awake. It’s alternative medicine, but you’ll try anything when you’re in that much pain and you don’t feel normal. So, that’s what I try to explain to people, that it’s something to be taken serious. That’s why I talk about it, and that’s why I have all the time in the world for people like you who want to write about it. I feel like that’s my obligation after what I went through—to, like I said, protect my peers.

It gave me a whole new appreciation for people who go through life-threatening diseases and stuff like that—what they go through physically and emotionally. It allows you to appreciate life a lot more when you feel good. Your brain’s your computer, right? You tell it to write a story, it writes a story. You tell it to move a hockey puck, it moves a hockey puck. You tell it to do whatever you want, it will do whatever you want. When that ability gets taken away from you, it’s pretty darn scary. You don’t have the ability to tell it to do something, because it’s overheating, it’s overloading.

A concussion like that, of that magnitude, it’s almost like you’re autistic, on the higher end of the spectrum—the autistic kids, when they hear loud noises and stuff, it overloads them, right? It’s too much for them. That’s what a concussion is like. Too much bright lights, noises and stuff, it shuts you down. You can’t do anything. So you’ve got to go chill. You’ve got to go sit in a room, no TV, no reading. You can’t read. It overloads it. It’s like too many programs running on your computer, the computer slows down. You’ve got a bug, can’t run those programs. The brain is the same way. You get hit and have a brain injury, it’s basically a bug. It slows you down, and it’s not better until it gets better.

I don’t wish it upon any of my peers. I know a guy on the other side (Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador), I’m happy to see him out there. It’s a great story. With the NHLPA, we have a concussion working group. Bryce is on it, I’m on it. It’s pretty cool, considering he was out a year, and I was out eight months, we’re both here, playing the Stanley Cup Finals against each other. It’s pretty significant, pretty cool. Myself, I like to talk about it, because I think it’s important for the health of people, my peers and sports.”

EYES MOUTH 03-30-18_shifting-pronouns_original.

To reply to your observation, Dr Mulder about,..’ we don’t know what a concussion is’ let’s take the words from concussed Willie Mitchell to heart. Before I start I want to also say since you are a surgeon you have been so busy with just the horrendous work load plus the public visits like the other Brain Awareness night, how would you have the time to dwell on, ‘ what is a concussion?’ The answer to perhaps help guide you will come from researchers such as our little group in the same city that you protect who are truly passionate about the biology that is different following a concussion. I will speak not in certainty but in the intuitive language coached in doubt but nevertheless following the path of the changes in the brain that are revealing themselves to us. We are first and foremost seeking zones of vulnerability within the brain structure, within the anatomy to begin to outline where does the concussion reveal itself as a measurable point of reference?

The similarities of a seriously concussed brain are pointing to an autistic brain that acts as if it were in zero gravity yet hasn’t left the influence of gravity on Earth.

What does this last sentence imply? Autistic children have flawed social interactions. The positioning of their eyes when viewing the face has shown these children to dwell more on the mouth rather than the eyes. That is the reason I chose the drawing above with the disjointed eyes detached as well as the mouth detached from the face. Our faces are our souls so if the constant messaging is inappropriately centered away from the eyes, perhaps the eyes themselves are not coordinated in the dimension of attentional concern. It may not be the  focusing that is in error it may be on the positioning of the eyes themselves that is involved.

“A number of recent studies of autism have suggested a deficit in eye gaze that may underlie problems in joint attention in this disorder. Autistic patients appear to attend
more to the mouth than the eyes of faces, unlike typically developing populations. Dr. Nim Tottenham, in collaboration with Margaret Hertzig of the Department of Psychiatry, is examining this ability in individuals with autism. Dr. Tottenham has developed a paradigm that cues patients to the eyes of face stimuli and is examining changes in orientation and neural systems with extended training on this paradigm. This work has served the basis for a recent grant application to National Alliance for Autism Research.” (sourced from Annual Report of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology Weill Medical College of Cornell University July 2006)

The very latest observations of Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, President of the Brain Trauma Foundation, New York City are pointing along those lines. His documented analysis of visual specific disturbances following brain concussion in the form of eye saccades that uses eye positioning with infra red scanning show error excursions within only the vertical dimensions of eye pursuits. Horizontal eye motions are not in error but vertical eye positioning is in error. The autistic child may automatically prefer the horizontal mouth over the vertical eye above the mouth, that’s one perspective. But the more significant observation is that autistic children indeed do have errors in performing vertical eye movements. This is the beginning of why I find Willie Mitchell’s descriptions so compelling. He appears to be saying as he received more concussions his eye moving ability deteriorated to the point that all the ‘stimulus’ as he termed it was like being in an autistic space with just too much stimulus happening. He wanted to shut down the world around him to isolate himself from the noise and light. But the singular essence of this observation is reported from within the perturbed vestibular system to smoothly track a visual vertical direction. If Willie Mitchell’s multiple concussions are a vestibular injury, a swing into the visual balance aspect of his interaction with the world, his words are revealing intimately the vulnerable zones within his brain to coordinate such vertical eye positioning errors. This is the start of looking at the overlap of repeat concussion syndrome with autism changes within the brain axis, let’s investigate some more.

In the Bone Density in Peripubertal Boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders journal J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Nov 4 the authors Neumeyer AM, Gates A, Ferrone C, Lee H, and Misra M wrote in the abstract, ” We determined whether bone mineral density (BMD) is lower in boys with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) than controls, and also assessed variables that may affect BMD in ASD. BMD was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 18 boys with ASD and 19 controls 8-14 years old. Boys with ASD had lower BMD Z-scores at the spine, hip and femoral neck, and differences at the hip and femoral neck persisted after controlling for maturity and BMI. Vitamin D intake from food and in serum were lower in ASD subjects, as was exercise activity. We conclude that BMD is lower in peripubertal boys with ASD and may be associated with impaired vitamin D status and lower exercise activity.” Surprisingly this is the same kind of summation about either vitamin D and exercise language from NASA reports concerning astronauts despite very demanding bone loading during exercise protocols during space missions with vitamin D supplementation. Could it be that autism spectrum is also mimicking the bone loss that accompanies long terms missions in zero gravity aboard various space flights? Is it possible, like I have suggested earlier, that autism spectrum is like a physiological microgravity effect on central bone metabolism, by reducing bone density? Where might such bone loss be originating, what are the brain signals that might push this effect? 

The answer is found in microgravity exposure. ” Bone remodeling allows the conservation of normal bone mass despite constant changes in internal and external environments. The adaptation of the skeleton to these various stimuli led credence to the notion that bone remodeling is a true homeostatic function, and as such is under the control of specific centers in the central nervous system (CNS). Hypothalamic and brainstem centers, as well as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), have been identified as regulators of bone remodeling. However, the nature of the afferent CNS stimuli that may modulate CNS centers involved in the control of bone remodeling, with the exception of leptin, remains unclear. Based on the partial efficacy of exercise and mechanical stimulation regimens to prevent microgravity-induced bone loss and the known alterations in vestibular functions associated with space flights, we hypothesized that inner ear vestibular signals may contribute to the regulation of bone remodeling. Using an established model of bilateral vestibular lesions and microtomographic and histomorphometric bone analyses, we show here that induction of bilateral vestibular lesion in rats generates significant bone loss, which is restricted to weight-bearing bones and associated with a significant reduction in bone formation, as observed in rats under microgravity conditions. Importantly, this bone loss was not associated with reduced locomotor activity or metabolic abnormalities, was accompanied with molecular signs of increased sympathetic outflow, and could be prevented by the β-blocker propranolol. Collectively, these data suggest that the homeostatic process of bone remodeling has a vestibulo-sympathetic regulatory component and that vestibular system pathologies might be accompanied by bone fragility. © 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.” Sourced from Bone Remodeling is regulated by inner ear vestibular signals from the Journal of Bone MineralResearch by authors  G Vignaux, S Besnard, J Ndong, B Philoxène, P Denise, F Elefteriou

So you see Dr Mulder there is big hope that we will better understand brain concussions. We are learning that the sense of gravity is one of the most important senses within our brain networks. There appears to be a overlap that autism is teaching us that as the brain is concussed the visual/balance system is injured which affects the perception through the visual system of our world within our balance of the world literally how the horizon appears for us in our sense of the 3 dimensional shape that we are interacting with in the earth’s gravity vector. The effects are also spread into our bones as if we are drifting away from gravity as if we are on a space ship above Earth. Magically Dr Mulder, getting a brain concussion is like being in outer space in terms of how our physiology reacts both within our vision within our sense of balance within our very bones. Getting a brain concussion Dr Mulder, is like we lose our sense of gravity within our brain’s signalling systems, that’s what we are starting to learn in this city that has overcome tragedies.

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If Einstein were to design a reflex it would involve harmonizing gravity-space-time

chris_hadfield space suitWhen Commander Chris Hadfield is on the International Space Station what happens to his brain during his mission? What are the physiological changes that scientists are concerned about for attempting long voyages into the final frontier? What have we learned from all the brave men and women during the decades of human space exploits ? We have learned the perspective of two very important views on our world. The first is the social aspect of seeing our own planet Earth from space, from men standing on the moon. We have seen the orb of life in the blackness of infinity. We have not seen the absent gravity but the entire signalling systems have been seen by the cells of all the astronauts in the absence of gravity. These cells don’t actually see but they sense. Our cells sense shape only when we are in a gravity force field. What is gravity ?

GRAVITY EINSTEIN elevatorsEinstein revealed to us the observers experience within a closed elevator with an atmosphere inside this small room, gravity is felt on Earth as our position standing on the floor of the elevator. Everything seems normal for the observer. Position the same elevator into travelling in space the elevator would have to be continuously accelerated at    32ft/sec2 in order for the observer to stand upright inside the elevator. The observer would not be able to distinguish either experience from inside the closed elevator. We can experience brief episodes of approximately 20 seconds of micro-gravity during the flight profile of parabolic flight, the swooping diving surge into a soaring upwards into a  flinging arc that permits participants to be accelerated just like being in the accelerating elevator against the acceleration of the pull of Earth’s gravity. All the accelerations of the participants match in the opposite direction to the Earth’s acceleration cancelling out to zero releasing the participants to float free. What is the usual thing that happens next to participants? They usually vomit.

parabel12_exp

During parabolic flight for those brief 20 seconds of simulated micro-gravity various experiments have been performed as an alternative to sending these experiments into outer space. One such experiment was for mice with one side of their labyrinths surgically disabled. How did these animals behave in micro-gravity, how did they make vestibular compensation to their behaviour?

Vestibular decompensation in labyrinthectomized rats placed in weightlessness during parabolic flight in Neuroscience Letters 344 (2003) 122-126 by Annie Reber, Jean-Hubert Courjon, Pierre Denise and Gilles Clement provides the answers to this particular question. The authors casually remark that, “It is well-known that after a lesion of the vestibular apparatus on one side (only), there is asymmetry in posture and eye movements.” Remember from previous essays I have drawn the hypothetical neurological  observation that micro-gravity stimulation provokes the cascade of concussion like effects starting first within the brain’s gravity sensing apparatus, our own accelerometers within the saccules and utricules. As a blow hits the head, the head is decelerated as if behaving within a changing gravity field of acceleration. Gravity is a continuum complete within microgravity linked to magnified gravity. If you want to learn what happens to a human head at the instant a concussion is happening you have to slow every thing down as if it were happening in a slow motion video of the event. Parabolic flight affords the observer of the opportunity to watch the vestibular changes in a less compressed format of cascading events. If you want to watch dominoes hitting one after another watch them in a fluid that slows down the contact motions, as long as the fluid is not too buoyant. Think of gravity as a fluid retarding the acceleration uniformly. Notice also the authors stress changes in posture and eye movements. What do concussed people complain about? They complain about loosing their balance easily and they have trouble reading or watching television, they have trouble with the coordination of their eyes.

The interesting thing about lesioned ears (one sided labyrinthectomy) is that the head tilts toward the side of the lesion when compensated animals are placed in darkness. In other words in the absence of visual cues vestibular compensation occurs. The specific elegant observation from this is that vestibular signalling has a higher priority than visual signalling in terms of proprioception. Vestibular decompenstaion is also present within lesions of relay structures of the central nervous system that relay how the body positions itself on surfaces, the sense of space in 3-dimensional space that has the ever present gravity vector pointing as a reference direction.

Plants also sense gravity

Plants also sense gravity

“We therefore compared the posture of compensated animals during free-floating in weightlessness with that of lesioned animals at an acute stage (2–7 h after surgery) during water immersion. Both weightlessness and water immersion alter tactile cues (no cues during free-floating; cues distributed all over the body during water immersion) and challenge processes such as navigation and spatial orientation. We also compared the surface righting response of compensated animals at the end of the weightlessness phase during parabolic flight when the animals hit the ground with that of acute animals after a short free-fall on land (drop test).”

“The bulla tympanica was exposed through a ventral approach, the vestibulum was opened and the organs of the inner ear were mechanically destroyed. The wound edge was sutured and repetitively infiltrated with 1% xylocaine for 2 h after the surgery.”

“For the water immersion test, the animals were placed in the prone position at the surface of an aquarium (0.85×0.6×0.7 m) filled with water heated to body temperature for a period of about 20 s repeated three times.”

“For the drop test, the animals were held in the prone position about 60 cm above a cushion and then dropped. Each animal was tested three times.”

“For the parabolic flight test, parabolic flight was conducted on-board the CNES airplane during a series of three flights, including 22 parabolas each. In each parabola, a period of level flight (1 g) was followed by a pull-up phase of 1.8 g for about 20 s, a 0-g phase lasting 20 s, a pull-out phase at 1.8 g also lasting 20 s, and a return to 1 g for 1–2 min. The animals were placed inside a transparent box (0.5×0.5×0.5 m) with a cushioned surface on its bottom for seven consecutive parabolas. Before being introduced in the observation box, the animals were restrained in a smaller enclosure, which prevented them from free-floating.”

“For gaze deviation, the animals were gently restrained in a tissue bag that limited body movements. The head was fixed, pitched 30° nose-down so that the utricle was approximately horizontal. Movements of both eyes were recorded in darkness with a search coil technique. Each animal was tested during seven parabolas.”

As you can verify the researchers were rigorous in their methodology of measuring the variables that were important for their study, except one that they missed. Despite video taping all the procedures they missed one subtle measurement. Here is more from their detailed report.

” In all other conditions (water immersion, drop, parabolic flight) the experiment was performed in ambient light. For posture analysis, the animal’s swimming or free-floating behavior and surface righting reflexes were videotaped at 50 frames/s. Lesioned animals generally responded by a rotation of their bodies around the longitudinal axis (roll motion). Both the percentage of time spent rotating for each condition and the rotation frequency were measured using frame-by-frame analysis. After the drop test and at the end of the weightless period, the latency required for the animals to ‘right’ themselves and resume an upright posture was measured using slow motion playback of the videotapes.”

“Just after surgery, the UL animals showed the typical symptoms of postural and ocular imbalance after unilateral labyrinthectomy. The postural symptoms were characterized by a tilt of the head and a twist of the body toward the lesioned side, a flexion of both hind- and forelimbs on the side ipsilateral to the lesion, and an extension of both limbs on the contralateral side. BL rats had a more symmetrical posture, with a reduced muscular tone compared to control animals.” ( UL is a unilateral labyrnthectomy lesion or one side only and BL is bilateral labyrnthectomy lesions, or both sides)

“After 40–43 days following the surgery, when the animals’ posture was tested during the 1-g phase of parabolic flight, there was no difference between the normal and lesioned animals. During the 0-g phase, normal and BL animals extended their four limbs and occasionally rolled on themselves at a frequency of about 1 Hz. By contrast, when free-floating the UL animals twisted and turned at a velocity that exceeded 2000°/s in one animal. Their head was tilted toward the lesioned side (left) and they rolled around their long body axis in the counter-clockwise direction. When the UL animals tenaciously grasped at the cushion on the bottom of the cage in weightlessness, they adopted the typical asymmetrical static posture observed just after labyrinthectomy, with a deflection of the head on the lesioned side, and a full extension of the contralateral fore- and hind limbs. The same posture was also observed when the airplane began its pull-out maneuver. However, a return to the normal (i.e. compensated) posture was observed after 4.5 s on average.”

“By comparison, between 2 and 7 h after surgery, during the water immersion test, the lesioned animals spent most of the time rolling, at a frequency ranging from 1.2 to 3.2 Hz (velocity from 430 to 1150°/s). UL animals always rotated toward the lesioned side, whereas BL animals rotated either to the right or to the left. After a drop, which simulated a transient weightlessness on Earth, the BL animals resumed a prone posture almost immediately, whereas the latency for the surface righting response was about 3.5 s on average for the UL animals.”

“During the parabolas, the UL animals rotated for about half of the duration of a parabola on average  because they were able to grasp at the cage bottom surface for the other half (whereas there was no surface to grasp during water immersion). It is important to note though that they immediately started to roll over when they released their support. By contrast, both the BL and normal animals could spend a considerable time free-floating without rolling. The latency of the surface righting reflex of the UL animals at the end of the 0-g phase was not significantly different from that measured after the early drop tests. The frequency of rotation of the UL animals was also comparable in weightlessness and during the early water immersion test. “

RATATOUILLE_Django

“When the UL animals were restrained and the head fixed, during parabolic flight at 0 g and in the dark the left eye was deviated by 26.1°±6.6° downward and the right eye was deviated by 26.4°±4.5° upward compared to their position in normal gravity (mean and SD of three rats during 21 parabolas). The direction and amplitude of these eye deviations are comparable to those observed in UL rats at an acute stage. By contrast, the changes in eye deviation in 0 g compared to 1 g never exceeded 3° in BL and normal animals.”

As the researchers remarked any vertebrate when exposed to weightlessness reveals a temporary spatial disorientation. As I mentioned earlier in this essay humans suffer motion sickness and the illusion of being upside down. Across species including fish, our primate ancestors and humans, ‘ changes in reflexive eye movements occur.’ Animals when they are – either in space or parabolic flight microgravity no longer have the tactile contact cues from being on a surface to give automatically the down position. “One commonly observed response of animals in weightlessness is to react as though they are upside-down and to initiate a repetitive righting response. Typically the animal rolls over and over, since in weightlessness there is no vestibular confirmation that the action was successful. This roll movement was casually seen in our normal and BL animals, and was directed toward either the right or the left. However, when the animals grasped at surfaces and tactile cues were present, they eventually came to perceive themselves as upright in an upright aircraft and the roll motion stopped.” When the authors use the roll term, it is the spinning around the body axis head to toe, like rolling yourself holding a blanket, you get completely wrapped up like a big FedEx package.

“By contrast, the UL animals showed a continuous roll motion in weightlessness, in the direction corresponding to the lesioned vestibular apparatus. Although the parabolic flight took place late after surgery, when normal posture was observed in a 1-g environment, the acute symptoms of unilateral labyrinthectomy were again apparent in weightlessness and continued for 4–5 s after the end of the weightless period. The similarity between the response pattern of UL animals during parabolic flight at a compensated stage and on Earth at an acute stage is suggestive of a vestibular decompensation in weightlessness.”

GRAVITY PARABOLIC Todd_Romberger2

“Recent electrophysiological studies in frogs have shown that after unilateral section of the VIII nerve, the asymmetry that resulted was compensated by a functional reorganization of the somatosensory map in the vestibular recipient structures. This reorganization was manifested by an expansion of contralateral afferent vestibular signals onto the deprived ipsilateral neurons. It led to an increase of excitatory commissural inputs from the intact side and a decrease of inhibitory commissural responses. In very much the same way, following unilateral labyrinthectomy in rats and guinea pigs, an increase in spontaneous discharge and excitability has been observed in the vestibular neurons on the operated side. This increase in the resting discharge could be responsible for the consequent recovery of static vestibular function. During the 20 s of weightlessness, the static gravitational force no longer stimulates the otolith organs of the intact ear, thereby weakening temporarily their excitatory inputs on the vestibular neurons on the operated side. In 0 g, their resting discharges would presumably not be strong enough to allow the activation of the vestibular neurons on the lesioned side, hence a temporary return to the acute vestibular deficits.”

“In the absence of a surface support, a return to an imbalanced posture in decompensated animals would generate rotation in the direction of the lesioned, i.e. flexed, side. Indeed, in normal gravity, the postural tone maintains an attitude or posture in relation to the acceleration of gravity. Postural control is determined by the overall balance of muscle forces acting on the head, limbs, and torso. According to Newton’s first and second laws of biomechanics, an asymmetrical posture with an extension of the right limbs and a flexion of the left limbs creates a momentum as soon as the body is released from the surface support. In weightlessness, this momentum generates a rotation to the left (i.e. toward the lesioned side in our animals) which continues unless new forces (such as grasping reaction) impress on it and rebalance the posture.”

” Postural decompensation has been reported for various species and experimental conditions. For example, UL animals placed in the dark at a compensated stage exhibit asymmetrical posture, but normal posture is immediately restored when animals are again placed in the light. Postural decompensation also takes place during handling of operated animals. In our study, the fact that the UL animals also present the typical postural asymmetry even when they are in contact with the floor in 0 g (during grasping at the cage surface) suggests that tactile cues are not primarily responsible for the vestibular decompensation. Nevertheless, tactile inputs sensitive to body weight are not stimulated when the animals grasp at a support surface in the weightless condition, and the muscle groups involved during grasping and standing are different (flexor vs. extensor, respectively). It is therefore possible that the vestibular decompensation observed in weightlessness could also be due to the changes in tactile and proprioceptive cues in the free-floating animals.”

” It is interesting to note that the upright posture was restored well before the end of the hypergravity phase (4.5 s compared to 20 s). In addition, no decompensation was observed during the hypergravity phase prior to the 0-g phase. Therefore, it seems that it is not hypergravity per se that caused a decompensation. The decompensation seen during the first few seconds of hypergravity following zer0 G presumably is an after-effect of the decompensation triggered by the removal of gravitational information in weightlessness. It is also possible, however, that in our experiment the recovery of a normal posture after the transient vestibular decompensation provoked by weightlessness is even faster because the animals are exposed to hypergravity after the 0-g phase of parabolic flight. Indeed, recent studies have shown that guinea pigs stimulated with 2 g on a centrifuge following unilateral labyrinthectomy showed faster compensation in head deviation than when maintained in normal gravity.”

Here are the conclusions from these authors. ” Our results support the hypothesis that an imbalance in the otolith system underlies the ocular and postural asymmetry observed after unilateral labyrinthectomy. In the compensated UL rats, weightlessness uncovered an asymmetry in the otolith system, which was previously cancelled on Earth. These results are in agreement with those obtained in perinatal rats gestated during space flight which suggest a direct effect of gravity on the development of the vestibular system due to a reduction of the otolith input. They also suggest that vestibular compensation after unilateral lesion can be disrupted momentarily and is a fragile state during which the otolith system in the remaining vestibular apparatus plays a continuous role. This finding is consistent with the fragility of the vestibular compensation also observed in humans during the early phase of recovery following unilateral vestibular loss. The decompensation is less evident after bilateral lesion, because since there are no longer otolith inputs, vestibular compensation would predominantly be achieved based on proprioceptive, somatosensory and visual cues.”

The amazing advantage that parabolic flight affords the observer is that despite the induced nauseous state toward the inclination to vomit the observer reflects on the scene of people performing experiments flying through the cabin space untethered to the acceleration force of gravity then the abrupt transfer to doubling the force of gravity. This pattern repeating itself close to two dozens times in the duration of the series of parabolic porpoising motions through air space. The constant changing effects within the otolith structures, the one-sided labyrinthectomized rats roll spinning in free flying with their eyes twisting into different eye saccade positioning into aberrant directions as the animal rearranges it’s sense of where is up. But here are some fresh observations from a curious observer.

As the aircraft settles into the bottom of the descent phase the scientists catalogued the animals lay turned toward the side of the otholith lesion, lying immobile for 4.5 seconds average. From the previous essay citing Ilan Golani in the Behavioural Brain research 231 (2012) 309-316 from the review: The developmental dynamics of behavioral growth processes in rodent egocentric and allocentric space, this rat is not  just revealing a resting reaction this rat behaviour is the start of a recovery display of movement re-capture of the cartesian coordinates. Despite the lack of otoliths on one side of the cranium the rat is trying to establish the start of a recovery sequence at the origin of a 3 dimensional starting point, the rat’s X-Y-Z. But the researchers didn’t wait long enough past the resting position they were more concerned about the next phase of the parabolic flight. They also didn’t pay attention to the individual rat who was yawing at this point. In the back of their minds if questioned by a curious observer, “Why didn’t you measure how many times the rat may have yawned during the entire parabolic sequence? Their collective reply would be along the lines of, ….”Why should we be concerned if the rat yawns, perhaps he’s tired or stressed, I don’t know….” Their report clearly misses the most critical aspect of their experiment, the observation that yawning is associated with nausea. As the gravity vector experienced by both the humans and little mammals aboard the aircraft swooped and dove their otoliths reacted as a vestibular challenge. We are taught to not pay attention when someone yawns, we literally don’t see it as important, it’s such a regular occurrence for both the rats onboard and the humans, except when the gravity vector disappears which affects the central pattern generator for yawning. There is only one startling observation now in a closed environment with changing gravity levels, yawning is triggered by gravity change, yawning is the Einstein Reflex.

Gravity is always present on Earth except briefly when the observer performs parabolic flight to release for 20 seconds into microgravity

Gravity is always present on Earth except briefly when the observer performs parabolic flight to release for 20 seconds into microgravity

What this experiment using parabolic flight reveals is the omnipresence of a one gravity vector that has affected all central brain shape signalling by singularly dominating cellular communication orienting as a vestibular reference to which the entire cellular net signalling of every single life form has evolved to pivot around since the beginning of coherent signalling first appeared on planet Earth. Our brain is first and foremost based on the vestibular sense of the direction of Earth’s gravity. Our heart our lungs our muscles our sense of life the total of totals spirals around the sensing of gravity. We yawn to continuously perfect where gravity has its vector to orient to this source of direction that shapes the entire signalling diversity on life as we know it on our planet Earth. When we are concussed we lose the acute sense of our position in 3 dimensional space. We are unbalanced, we stagger, we sway we can even vomit at times. Our eyes are no longer coordinated to our body we see the horizon as no longer being flat it is now banked. We are tilted we lean trying to find the gravity that has guided us so effortlessly up until this moment. We are adrift, we have lost our sense of position on Earth, we are lost. Our brain will attempt to find the gravity, we will yawn. That is why yawning is the Einstein Reflex. We sense within the continuum of space time warping around gravity, we sense gravity all species sense gravity except the autistic children. Autistic children do not yawn.

http://www.cerebrovortex.com © published on April 26, 2013

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Vestibular re-entry into the cardinal axes of 3-D space as the brain recovers

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http://www.montrealgazette.com April 9, 2013 SPORTS: According to Montreal Canadiens NHL Coach, Michel Therrien, the return of forward Rene Bourque to active playing status is imminent after missing 21 games caused by a concussion. Therrien stated, ” Bourque is going to have to be patient to work on getting back into game shape.”

Bourque was expected to return to play around March 23 against Buffalo but suffered a setback in his healing recovery. Bourque took a plane to Atlanta to be treated by the GyroStim roll-spin-yaw axis computer controlled chair that looks like a jet pilot flight simulator in the treatment center of Dr. Ted Carrick. Dr. Carrick, a concussion specialist has used the GyroStim 3-axis chair with previous NHL patients Sidney Crosby, Guillaume Latendresse, Claude Giroux. Here in Latendresse words are his recollections from his treatment.

Latendresse “When I went to Atlanta to see Dr. Carrick, the treatment went great for me, but the way his machine works is it makes you spin…

SL: Like a gyroscope? How was it for you when you went into the machine, because, I believe you go in 30-second sequences, right?

Latendresse : Yes, exactly. On the first day, they give you a pair of special glasses and you don’t really know what to expect. They make you do plenty of tests, like for example, they made me walk a straight line and they made me recite the months of the year, but I had to skip one of two (January, March, May and so on), so that way, I had to use my brain and when that happened, I lost all my reflexes on the left side of my body, my arm stayed straight while I was walking so he (Dr.Carrick) said ”Ah! It’s something on the left side”. So then, I put on my glasses which had cameras in them unbeknownst to me. Then he told me to follow the green line and there were results for that, then I had to follow a wavy line and I struggled to do it, I would go straight when I needed to go like this (makes a wave-like gesture with his hand), then it was a saw-like line and I just couldn’t stay on the line. With the results of those exercises, he was able to determine that the response from my left side was sluggish.

So then, what that machine does (the gyroscope-like machine, which is called a GyroStim, is one of only three in the US, according the people at GyroStim and it is a multi-axis rotating chair. You can find out more at their website, you could go in, they would spin you like this, you could go in, it would spin you the other way, I went in and they spun me this way (forward motion). I did it 3-4 times a day, 30 seconds at a time for one week. By the second day, I looked at my girlfriend, she was with me, I said to Annie (Villeneuve, a Quebec professional singer) ”I felt a trigger, I haven’t felt this way in 5  months, but I felt a trigger, my brain is back on, it’s ready, I felt it”. I went to bed at 10pm that night and I woke up at 8 the next day, went for my treatment, took a nap from 8:30 to 11, went for another treatment, took another nap from noon to 5, went for treatments again and then I went to sleep and slept through the night. The next day I felt perfect.”

The words that Latendresse used to speak to Annie, were, “J’ai sorti de la brume!” which translates to, “I’m out of the fog !”

fog

What is the sensation of ‘being in the fog?’ How do we interpret that very accurate expression that describes being in concussion? But notice the significant descriptions of not being able to track along beside a line as if our body was on a canted bicycle with a bent frame. Being in concussion is essentially loosing your innate center of gravity. But the key word here is: gravity. Brain concussions are gravity sensing injuries. Let’s explore that sentence. First how does an animal recover itself from a brain concussion does it just get up to stagger around or is there something else going on, as a built-in sequence of repair, a repertoire of recovery? Is there a dance sequence, a kind of step by step as if the animal were learning to tango dance? I’m exaggerating here, but there is a miraculous built-in repair sequence of how the gravity vector is repositioned within the working of the body motion of the animal. The animal relearns the basics along a very strict regime of repair. First to return is the facing forward motion, what’s directly in front to what’s behind. Once this motion retraining like a baby crawling only in one direction then back along the same path. This motion is exhausted until the motion is smooth. This is one axis. The next motion is the side to side, at exact perpendicular to the first path. This is the hand over hand that a baby makes going sideways first to the left then to the right. The distances increase slowly, then the pace picks up practising. That is the next, second perpendicular axis in the same plane. The final axis of repair is the axis perpendicular to both other axes, the vertical axis. The animal rears up against some surface, repeating up then down. It practises until the moment comes when the animal can jump up and down vertically smoothly. How is this possible that a built-in sequence as if an animal version  App For Recovery is performed? Here is the paper that I found this astonishing information revealed yesterday. The animal repairs its orientation to gravity in the X then Y then Z axis. The animal recovers its relationship to the omnipresent gravity vector in the sequence of first one direction along the plane then the perpendicular plane direction finally with the vertical plane perpendicular to the other 2 planes, the essential Cardinal axes of X-Y-Z. That sequence I believe is at the heart of the treatment of the GyroStim vestibular chair that Latendresse was describing. Check his recollections. First he wobbled off-balance, he couldn’t stay course on a wavy line he lost his vertical, he had lost his gravity vector in his space matrix surrounding his inner impression of where he was. That’s what the day by day treatment helps recover in sequence the return to the merging of all 3 axis of that is the gravity vector of orienting our matrix space immediately surrounding us, ” Annie j’ai sorti de la brume !”

Let’s examine the research paper that describes this incredible automatic repair sequencing from an injured brain. The article is authored in a review by Ilan Golani in the Behavioural Brain research 231 (2012) 309-316. The title of the review is: The developmental dynamics of behavioral growth processes in rodent egocentric and allocentric space. Various researchers had started to notice the mathematical nature of the motion of movements after brain trauma in research animals. The stunning conclusions were that the animals concentrated their recovery motion in the words of these scientists as, …..’ along geometrical dimensions.’ The recovery was following a distinct pattern. The first sequence occurred along a pure horizontal movement, an exploration style of back and forth returning always to a safe starting point. The next sequence involved forward movement, again practising this specific direction until practiced motions became smooth in terms of their coordination. The next movement was vertically a rearing on the hind legs against a vertical surface. Finally as a completion of the sequence they noticed a vertical movement away from walls, a backing away from a vertical surface. Each segment involved both a build up of an amplitude specific to the practised dimension in a head to tail recruitments of the entire body. the animals were performing a recalibration of the axes of geometry, the classic way that a high school teaches geometry. Such a teacher might explain with, ” If we are to start somewhere we have to have a frame of reference which will have axes at 90 degrees to each other at the intersection of the 3 axes that make up 3 dimension space, the X-Axis, the horizontal, the Y-axis which is perpendicular to the horizontal, the direction immediately in front plus directly behind then finally there is the vertical Z-axis, the up[ and down. The scientists realized to their astonishment that the animals were reorienting their bodies movements to the gravity Z-axis of the planet in their recovery.

How is it possible that the animal performs this sequence of recovery of motion, how do they do that? How do birds migrate ? How do turtles navigate through the longest distances within the ocean ? Nature has solved the capacities over evolution to perform all these types of activities smoothly and accurately. Recovering from a head injury is among the repertoires for animals to recalibrate back onto the gravity vector as the Z-axis by first recalibrating the horizontal axis then into the forward, backward movement with the vertical as the final segment of the sequence. They re-enter the axes of X-Y-Z to align with Earth’s gravity vector. In other words, in order to recover their movements they don’t just stumble around randomly they realign to the Earth vector first on the flat horizontal then the perpendicular to that, facing forward finally in sequence the vertical up-down in parallel to Earth’s gravity vector. The animals instinctively recover to reorient to gravity. The damage to their brain shifts the body matrix off the gravity orientation, the brain is lost in true direction. The brain repairs itself to the direction to gravity.

Personally I am dancing with excitement to this stunning capacity toward inherent recovery capacity. It means Nature can recognize damage to the gravity vector to kick start it’s own re-entry sequence since all the genes are aligned to the gravity vector. There is a unique and primal orientation which is the existence of the force of attraction that is gravity since the very start of all evolutionary processes. In it’s purest description the scientists describe the recovery process sequence with….” exhausting a dimension, or a degree of freedom, before moving to the next dimension.” I believe that is the sequence that the hockey players like Guillaume Latendresse have been exposed to in terms of vestibular stimulation. It’s not just about spinning somebody around in X-Y-Z directions and ‘pooof’ you’re recovered. No the recovery process is spread out over at least five days of dizzying spinning accomplishes per day to mimic the selective recalibration to the Earth’s gravity vector. In the beginning I kept saying to myself,” Could this vestibular chair thing be just a placebo could that be the reason hockey players are being rehabilitated? I was genuinely confused, what could the vestibular motions be doing what did the concussion symptoms resolve? The thoughts kept bugging me month after month. I wanted to understand. But what I first had to understand was the flow of gravity. How very important that vector of direction is to absolutely everything in terms of cellular signalling. If I have not written a lot of cerebroveortex essays recently that is the reason that I was dwelling on trying to understand how important gravity is to the entire evolution within cellular signalling. When you have to break your mind free to truly see you have to go into unfamiliar territory which is really not very pleasant since all the conventions, the safe base of familiar thoughts no longer are there as the references. For awhile you get completely utterly lost. Then and only then can you begin to re-see anew.

The other spectacular confirmation of the sequencing of axes unfolding step-by-step within the natural geometry of recovery using a sophisticated statistical methodology was demonstrated completely in a reverse sequence when the same rats were given a dopamine agonist, apomorphine. The order was reversed with vertical first then forward/backward then horizontal. It was if the repair App, the built-in recovery motion mode was running backwards. The first time the scientists witnessed this behaviour they were stupefied.

VESTIBULAR EYE HEAD MOTION PICFor this coordination to happen the entire sequence must be correctly tuned to the gravity vector which is never displayed in diagrams, it’s one of those things that is always assumed. So how did those scientists notice the pattern of repair? The first inkling happened with exploratory behaviour. ” Then, a mother rat once rushed out of its nest, dragging along an infant that was attached to her nipple. At some point the infant was scrapped off the nipple, finding itself in the middle of nowhere. It immediately became immobile and then performed a full-blown version of the (repair) sequence, first pivoting in place like a (spinning) top, then gradually superimposing on the horizontal dimension forward and then vertical movement.” The behaviour was captured on film. The conclusion from the frame by frame analysis was termed, ..’ a ‘warm-up’ so that in both ontogeny and recovery of movement. Ontogeny is the sequence of morphogenesis from the origin to mature development of an organism. The shape of how the embryo develops within the floating tension network is linked to the shape orientation to the cardinal axes during recovery of movement, ….” immobility embodies the origin of the axes for the unfolding of the ‘warm-up’ process.”

So what may be this ‘warm up’ sequence within the recovery of movement, what is so important about cardinal axes of orientation to the omnipresent gravity vector, what is this neurovestibular system doing? For the first time in history scientists are able to subtract the normal vestibular gravity reception using mutant mice with gene knock outs which lack the macular otoconia, the gravity accelerometer sensing gravity changes. These mutant mice, called C57BL/6JEi-het lack the small crystals of calcium carbonate in the saccule and utricle of the ear that under the influence of acceleration in a straight line cause stimulation of the hair cells by their movement relative to the gelatinous supporting substrate containing the embedded cilia of the hair cells. These mice can’t sense gravity, so are they different when subjected to different forces of gravity. If you trained these mice to become astro-mice-onauts with miniature NASA space suits how might they behave in space, how might they react to micro-gravity? Well you certainly don’t have to go that far, you can stimulate these mice in twice a gravity force, a 2G centrifugation force. Remember from a previous essay, gravity acts in a continuum, at one end is micro-gravity and at the other end is macro-gravity. If you want to understand micro-gravity you can test using macro-gravity since the brain sensing is the same except in the opposite direction to microgravity. I am darwing from the paper in Neuroscience 129 (2004) 461-471 EVIDENCE FOR MACULAR GRAVITY RECEPTOR MODULATION OF HYPOTHALAMIC, LIMBIC AND AUTONOMIC NUCLEI by P.M. Fuller, T.A.Jones, S.M.Jones and C.A.Fuller

FOS_image

Expression of c-fos is an indirect marker of neuronal activity because c-fos is often expressed when neurons fire action potentials. Upregulation of c-fos mRNA in a neuron indicates recent activity.

According to Wikipedia, “In the fields of molecular biology and genetics, c-Fos is a proto-oncogene that is the human homolog of the retroviral oncogene v-fos. It was first discovered in rat fibroblasts as the transforming gene of the FBJ MSV (Finkel–Biskis–Jinkins murine osteogenic sarcoma virus) and fos is named for feline osteosarcoma virus. It is a part of a bigger Fos family of transcription factors which includes c-Fos, FosB, Fra-1 and Fra-2 as well as smaller FosB splice variants, FosB2 and deltaFosB2. It has been mapped to chromosome region 14q21→q31. C-fos encodes a 62 kDa protein, which forms heterodimer with c-jun (part of Jun family of transcription factors), resulting in the formation of AP-1 (Activator Protein-1) complex which binds DNA at AP-1 specific sites at the promoter and enhancer regions of target genes and converts extracellular signals into changes of gene expression. It plays an important role in many cellular functions and has been found to be overexpressed in a variety of cancers.”

The critical aspect of these mutant mice is with their macular gravity receptors which are lacking octonia making vestibular responses to linear acceleration absent yet their responses to head rotation are present. “Their gravity receptor function is selectively eliminated.” Mutant mice and normal what is termed wild-type mice were both exposed to 2G for 2 hours and compared to each other using c-Fos immunohistochemistry processing of their brains. In the wild-type macular signalling, …’ can selectively activate central nervous system nuclei throughout the neuroxis, including the limbic, hypothalamic and brainstem autonomic nuclei. The list of affected structures identified within the telencephalon is extensive, including: piriform cortex, dorsal endopiriform nucleus, cingulate cortex, lateral septal nucleus, bed nucleus of of the stria terminalis, nucleus of the vertical limb diagonal band, claustrum, medial preoptic area, shell of the accumbens nucleus, anteroventral periventricular nucleus and the central amygdaloid nucleus. Within the thalamus the paraventricular thalamic nucleus, intergeniculate leaflet   and the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus. The hypothalamus c-Fos zones were the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus, median preoptic nucleus, paraventricular nucleus, periventricular hypothalamic nucleus, dorsolateral suprachiasmatic nucleus, ventromedial suprachiasmatic nucleus, lateral hypothalamic area, ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, supraoptic nucleus, tuberommilaiary nucleus and the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus.

The reason I am listing all of these structures is not to impress the reader with all the detail. The reason is the extent of the structures is essentially a surprise. In the opening words of the article the authors reflect the common aspects of expected usefulness of the vestibular system. ” It is widely appreciated that the vestibular system plays a critical role in sensorimotor systems subserving postural equilibrium, sensory orientation and spatial perception.” But suddenly a host of other modulations now shift into prominence, the vestibular system can also modulate both the cardiovascular and the respiratory function via the autonomic nervous system plus thermoregulation. The advantage of evaluating mutant het mice is that their angular accelerometers are intact in these mutant mice but their gravity receptor functions are, ….’ selectively eliminated.’ By comparing the wild-type brain zones with the mutant mice after 2 hours of macrogravity stimulation the fos like immunoreactive neurons are in the parlance of these scientists as being tagged. The lists of these untagged mutant anatomical structures are the same zones that will be affected within a gravity accident called a brain concussion. Gravity is a continuum between microgravity and macro-gravity. Time is also a continuum between 2 hours of 2-G gravity force with 1 microsecond of a massive deceleration gravity force. For that reason I will label the concussion injury as the Einstein injury as the shape warping injury within brain space-time.

Not only is the vestibular involving balance and posture but the vestibular system is involved in the homeostatic, daily diernal 24 hour circadian rythms but also pacing the autonomic and behavioural functions too.

Here is a note form version of vestibular neuronitis from the Malacards website hosted by the Weitzman Institute.

“Disease Ontology: A inner ear infectious disease caused by a viral infection which involves inflammation of the vestibular nerve. It usually results in a complication of an upper respiratory infection. This causes sudden and severe vertigo, nausea and vomiting. Auditory symptoms are usually absent.”

What are the expression patterns in normal tissues for genes affiliated with vestibular neuronitis ?

Here are the tissues affected:

VESTIBULAR GENES ST001

Bone Marrow, Whole Blood, Lymph Nodes, Cervix, Thymus, Brain, Cerebellum, Retina, Spinal Cord, Heart, Smooth Muscle, Skeletal Muscle, Small Intestine, Colon, Adipocyte, Kidney, Liver, Lung, Pancreas, Thyroid, Salivary Gland, Skin, Ovary, Uterus, Placenta, Prostate, Testis.

What are the genes related to vestibular neuronitis?

They are BET1, (blocked early in transport 1 homolog, IFT122,(intraflagellar transport 122 homolog), QRFPR, (pyroglutamylated RFamide peptide receptor), ASPRV1, (aspartic peptidases, retroviral-like 1), KCNJ13,(potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily 3, member 13), HPN(Hepsin)

What are the genes with vascular dementia associated to vestibular neuritis?

They are the genes KCNJ13,(potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily 3, member 13), and NGF (nerve growth factor).

What are the genes with benign paroxysmal positional nystagmus associated with vestibular neuritis?

They are the genes KCNJ13(potassium inwardly-rectifying channel, subfamily 3, member 13), and FBXW2(F-Box and WD repeat domain containing 2)

The LAT (linker for activation of T cells) gene is also reported involved with vestibular neuritis.

For most readers these genes are very unfamiliar. However what is enormously striking is the observation for the tissues involved with vestibular neuritis are the diversity of every single tissue type. In terms of priority, the vestibular system involves integration with every cell system. I find this simple last statement mind boggling.  What is the common feature uniting the vestibular system to each and every cell, within all gene expression? The answer is gravity.

Apollo 11 moon Image 2

What holds the moon in orbit overhead is what binds our entire brain signalling system involving every single tissue group in the body. The entire system is oriented to gravity that is why the vestibular system is the king maker. Our brain will pivot as a signalling priority to gravity as the highest priority. Gravity is the core code of signalling through out the entire system at all dimensional scales, be they DNA to genes to tissues to shape sensing a la Snelson floating tension, the entire system is on to the vector of gravity. Take vestibular sensing away, and the entire brain network is vulnerable.

So if brain concussions are gravity injuries doesn’t it make empirical sense to treat the brain with gravity altering forces back into the vestibular system ? To reorient the brain back to its primal axis, just like that tiny mouse hauled off its mothers teat lost in a new environment. The mouse freezes which establishes the central axis where motion is returned to a starting point. Then the sequence is organized in the best way to recalibrate itself to the surrounding gravity field. First one direction back and forth, then another in perpendicular orientation then finally the vertical. This tiny mouse teaches us the importance of its own Nature built in repair sequence reorienting to the gravity vector.

If gravity were so important wouldn’t it have its own sense to reconnect to the gravity vector to reprime itself over and over every single day of our lives? It most certainly does and the answer will hopefully mesmerize you as much as it mesmerizes me when I realized only recently what this gravity reflex, lets call it the Einstein reflex is.

yawn fetal-yawn2

When we yawn we are orienting our system to calibrate to the gravity vector. Yawning is such a complex coordinated activity which involves 58 separate muscle groups. Yawning primes itself in the womb, babies have been videoed yawning within the womb as the system calibrates itself to the gravity vector. Autistic babies do not yawn in the womb. Yawning is the Einstein reflex orienting us to the gravity vector.

YAWN MIMIC BLENNY scd0812_pcmacro1st1

Within the depths of the ocean this fish yawns not because it is tired not because of a social stimulus of its partner yawning not because it is bored, the fish yawns to accomplish something magical. The Einstein reflex orients this fish to the hidden but present vector of gravity that orients his entire movement spectrum within its surroundings. The yawn primes its entire brain circuitry to pace the life signals coursing into all its diverse tissue groups inside its sleek shape in the continuum of cellular communication.

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