1. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    'The Voice'

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Patrick94, May 25, 2011.

    I've had an idea for a novel for the last few weeks, it's basically about a guy whose voice can control people's minds as it's just the right level to hit their brain at.

    I know that's very vague, could anyone help me develop the scientific side of it?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    google is your best friend/partner for such stuff!

    and you won't have to share the credits/profits with it, either!!
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    In case you're unsure of how sound works: Light is not really a physical thing (I won't get into the complexities of it). Sound, on the other hand, is physical. Sound is created by the vibration of particles which is why knocking on a door makes sound, et cetera.
    The end.

    Now, the only thing I can think of for what you're saying, is to have someone who can manipulate their vocal cords and sound output so well that they can create a vibration within the brain that will give a certain effect.

    Of course, you can't just have them be so loud that it makes people do things, since that would just bust eardrums and his power would be moot. He also can't be too quiet since the vibrations wouldn't go too far.

    You also wouldn't be able to have him be selective about his target. It would be anyone within the distance of the vibrations (before they get too weak and stop) in a circle around him. It would also depend on wind (since wind is just moving air particles), so there's a lot to think about.

    Now, back to the actual control of the mind, I don't know how much control he WOULD have if you use this method. Even with absolutely mighty control of his sound/vibration output, the best anyone could possibly do would be paralysis within a radius.

    Quite frankly, I suggest you make him psychic and explain it that his brain waves can become strong enough that they emanate into other nearby people (don't be like, "If he touches them" or anything dumb like that) and change the shift and flow of their own brain waves to make them do what he wants.
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    To build on crucifiction's idea, let's just say your MC has a unique pitch to his voice which causes a unique frequency of vibration in the eardrum. This stimulates the limbic system in the brain, which is basically the emotional centre of the brain. Perhaps through the release of endorphins a transinent state of love or adoration is simulated, making the target willing to obey anything the MC commands.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to build on this as well. I don't know about the unique pitch idea, since that would make the character non-human (no, seriously. No human can do that. A human that could make a sound outside the human range of sound is basically like a vocal version of the Singularity).

    The limbic system is an extremely primitive part of the brain, and, other than emotions (are you sure that's the limbic system?), it also handles, basically, temptation (and is the leading cause of procrastination). Therefore, if your character, by means of voice or psychic power or whatever could temporarily lower function of the prefrontal cortex and then have the power to alter the person's temptations, making anything your character tells their target to do seem like a very tempting, pleasurable thing to do.

    Does that make sense? So, essentially your character is alluring the target to do whatever s/he wants them to do. The science-y type side of this is that the prefrontal cortex (which handles stuff like the benefit of work in the long term, et cetera) is lowered in power, and the limbic system (which is connected to the pleasure centre) is empowered and stimulated, making anything your character says appear to be pleasurable and tempting.

    A person who is very highly conditioned to being productive will, in fact, be almost immune to your character's power (for the most part). A person who is very lazy will be very weak to your character's power.

    I hope that helps.
     
  6. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    What if the MC suffered a throat injury/sickness that gave him the voice? And if so, what kind of injury/sickness would it be so that he would retain his normal voice (or something resembling it) and get his new mind control ability?

    @Everyone - the help has been great so far, thanks :)
     
  7. NateSean
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    NateSean Active Member

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    The X-files introduced a one shot "villain" (I hate using that term) who had abilities similar to what you're suggesting and it was caused by a malignant tumor. The tumor was operable, but the character had a delusions of grandeur, which the new found ability only fueled right up to the end when Mulder put a bullet in his brain.

    Can't think of the name of the episode, but it might give you some ideas.
     
  8. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    To build on that and what Crucifiction has suggested.

    Perhaps he developed a laryngeal carcinoma, where the cancer creates a very subtle distortion of the vocal chords enough to superimpose a a secondary frequency on his normal voice. So the distortion isn't enough to alter his voice but the 'secondary voice '(ie. the secondary frequency caused by the vibrations of the chords and tumour) is of such a high pitch that it can't be perceived by humans as sound. However the inner ear does pick it up and the vibrations are transmitted directly to the limbic system/ prefrontal cortex without actually stimulating the auditory pathways.
     
  9. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    In Dune, the Bene Gesserit are a group of women that learned a certain pitch of the voice can influence a person to a certain extent. For example, if a Bene Gesserit shouted, "Stop!" her target would hesitate slightly.

    In reality, people do respond to tone and pitch. If you shout someone's name, they will turn and look, and depending on your tone, their reaction will be slightly different. In the armed forces, soldiers are trained to follow orders more as a reflex than a conscious thought. It sounds like you are just taking it one step further.
     
  10. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Hypnotists use theirvoices to effect, but its not the pitch which is the affective part. As long as their voice isn't strident / discordant they should be fine. Its about finding the right metre, the rhythm, the thing which resonates within a person's thoughts.

    There's also very good evidence that patterns of speech can be highly effective for the greatest orators. Hitler, not my first choice as a human being but a great speech maker, had it worked out into threes, - Today the back garden, tomorrow the county, then the world! etc Short sharp punchy phrases organised into patterns of crescendoes. It worked well. Even if you don't speak German, and its actually probably better if you don't, you can hear the affect.

    Lastly there are certain frequencies of sound, mostly not achievable by human throats, that can have physical effects on the body. Low frequencies, around eight hertz I think, can completely shatter a human body. Find the right frequency, whatever it might be, and its not that hard to imagine that it may be able to stimulate certain glands within the body that may release neurotransmitters etc.

    Cheers.
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Holy bajesus, I love you. </offtopic>
     
  12. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    What about this - the other characters think he has this ability, but he actually doesn't, and they do what he says, even though t's against their will, as they think he has the power? What's the psychology behind that?
     
  13. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like mass delusions. The point is you would have to have a definite psychiatric condition to have such a belief and act upon it like that. Psychology won't cut it. And the chances that more than one person would share this delusion makes it a very improbable situation.
     
  14. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    What if it's so believable, you can't see it any other way? Baring in mind the guy with the voice could be utilizing any amount of brain power here
     
  15. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's your job as the author to make it believable. Sometimes it takes a little explanation. Sometimes it takes a lot. You don't need to write a 20 page essay. The reader just needs enough of an explanation to make your idea convincing.
     
  16. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    What if you don't need science to explain it? Ever read a book called Jenny Pox?
     
  17. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then there would be no problem.
     
  18. zaphod
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    zaphod Member

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    The forum ate my post it seems

    Anyways, what about the Microwave Auditory Effect. Might be kind of hazardous but it kind of works in real life. Frequencies that create buzzes and clicks could be modulated to produce intelligible speech.
     
  19. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    If you're looking for a sci-fi explanation for how this could be possible, whatever you decide on is fine, but it will be in no way possible in real life. Sound waves have no effect on the synapses in the brain. Synapses work with pulses of electrical energy and chemical reactions, not sound waves, so it's not compatible; it wouldn't have an effect. As far as hypnotism goes, it only works on volunteer subjects. If you don't want to be hypnotized you won't be affected, despite whatever you see in Batman comics, etc.

    In regard to what psychotick said:

    This is completely incorrect. Long-term exposure to Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF's) is believed to cause cancer and possibly Alzheimer's, and but psychotick seems to imply that one blast of a super-loud 8hz could make someone explode. Not true. There's that myth that somewhere 5-9hz there is a "brown note" which when you hear it will make you poo, but I saw a Mythbusters where they found no evidence for that. Maybe their procedure was off, but c'mon, do you really think a frequency would make anyone poo? It sure would be funny, though.

    Anyway, if you want this phenomenon to seem scientific, it's going to have to be fictional pseudo-science. If done right, the reader will happily suspend disbelief for the sake of enjoying a good read.
     

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