1. RHYTHMS IN HUMAN NATURE
In principle, the physiology of information exchange can be analyzed by power spectral analysis of carrier waves. We’re always encountering and deciphering carrier waves in our lived experience. The voice is a carrier wave. The rhythmicity, the pulses and beats generated by vocal cords, the writhing hairs in the cochlea of the ear that receive these compression waves, the rhythms in words, timbres, gestures, touches, the changes in all senses, resonating at cell membranes, require senders and receivers. Some of these communications, sent and received as carrier waves, are modulated by AM and FM and other transforming technology embedded in our physiology. In real life, every verbal and gestural communication has frequency, amplitude and phase characteristics that can be quantified.
Amplitude modulated carrier wave
Radio transmissions depend on carrier waves. The carrier wave, produced in the radio station, contains no information until it is modulated by another information-bearing wave. A piece of equipment called a modulator adds information to the carrier wave, usually voice or music, and turns it into a complex wave train. In AM radio transmission, the carrier wave is modulated by amplitude, as shown above. Its waves get taller or shorter while the frequency remains the same. The changes in amplitude encode information on the carrier wave.
FM radio works by frequency modulation of a carrier tone of constant amplitude. Your radio receiver is a demodulator. It extracts the signal from the carrier wave. You hear the music. Nature uses many other carrier techniques besides amplitude and frequency modulation.
They resonate in living cells in the molecular traffic across plasma membranes. Here biologically useful information is carried on very fast ultradian oscillators as modulations on their waveforms. Brain waves are information carriers. However, to be used as carrier waves, the neurons have to establish resonant relationships by entraining to each other.
In his studies of brain physiology, Rudolpho Llinas considers these rhythmic carriers basic to higher neural functioning.
“Studies indicate that 40hz coherent neuronal activity large enough to be detected from the scalp is generated during cognitive tasks… What does it mean? We are confronted with a system that addresses the external world not as a slumbering machine to be awoken by the entry of sensory information, but rather as a continuously humming brain, This active brain is willing to internalize and incorporate into its intimate activity an image of the external world, but always within the context of its own existence and its own intrinsic electrical activity.”18
The humming brain with its neural synchronies in the 40 Hz gamma range spanning wide areas of the cortex may be implicated in consciousness. The “binding problem” has been under active study by Gyorgy Buszaski, Francis Crick and others. Timothy J. Walter in REM Illumination applies it to memory consolidation. What researchers say of coherence in the brain applies to signal generation across living nature generally. Every organism hums at characteristic frequencies in the bands we have identified at least in some of its physiological sub-systems. Biosystems interact through harmonic and dissonant processes. Some rest on simple number ratios. Glass and Mackay in Clocks and Chaos explain that
“periodic stimulation of spontaneously oscillating physiological rhythms has powerful effects on the intrinsic rhythm. As the frequency and amplitude of the periodic stimulus are varied, a variety of different coupling patterns are set up between the stimulus and the spontaneous oscillator. In some situations the spontaneous oscillator is entrained or phase locked to the forcing stimulus so that for each N cycles of the stimulus there are M cycles of the spontaneous rhythm, and the spontaneous oscillation occurs at a fixed phase (or phases) of the periodic stimulus (N:M phase locking. )”19
The entrained ultradian oscillators commonly do double duty. They carry substances while they transmit the encoded instructions for their use.