Home » Uncategorized » EEG response as physical evidence of the Hum phenomenon – I have an idea, and I need your assistance

EEG response as physical evidence of the Hum phenomenon – I have an idea, and I need your assistance

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So far, the Deming Box experiment is the only one that offers a rigorous design for identifying causative factors in the worldwide Hum. Here I propose another.

The equipment, facilities, and personnel are already in place in any mid-sized to large university with a medical school or graduate psychology department. Any interested researcher could make this happen in short order, as long as a few minor issues surrounding ambient noise levels in the testing environment are attended to.

I scanned the abstracts of several hundred papers over the past 48 hours, focusing on the interactions between VLF/ELF radio energy and living tissue. I turned to infrasound studies a few hours ago and found a fascinating but essentially unknown article. In 2013, three researchers from the University of North Georgia conducted an experiment concerning the well-accepted phenomenon known as the “Missing Fundamental” (MF), which occurs in most people (Lacomba, Lloyd, & Shanks, 2013). That concept itself is so fascinating – and potentially important for our community – that I will explain it in detail in a separate post. In brief, the MF is a tone that the human mind generates when it hears other tones at higher frequencies that naturally occur with the MF. The authors chose tones that would correspond to a MF at 18.5 Hz, which is infrasonic and below normal hearing range. The authors proved that the mind was responding to the infrasonic MF even though the infrasonic sound was not actually there.

But the exciting part is how the authors proved that the mind was responding. When I began learning about how EEGs work, I was startled when I read about the “frequency following response” ((Smith, Marsh, & Brown 1975, and many others). Basically, if you are subjected to, say, an 80 Hz tone, then there will an EEG response at that same frequency. In other words, we can read from an EEG what acoustic frequency the mind is responding to.

The implications of this are mind-boggling. Setting aside for the moment the thrill of scientific adventure and turning back to the Hum, what we need to do is find a graduate school of psychology in a smaller quiet college town that is situated in a quiet corner of campus or on a top floor of a building. For the time being, colleges or universities in the Northern Great Plains might not be suitable, because they may be located in a regional quiet zone. The experiment would happen late at night and, should the authorities agree to it, the building would be evacuated and locked, and power would be cut to as much of the building as possible, but so as to allow for the minimum equipment required. A group of hearers and non-hearers then participate. It would be ideal if hearers from different regions of the country could participate. They acclimatize to their new and quiet surroundings, and after some time the hearers will individually report if they can the Hum.

The Research Questions. These are just a few.

1. Will there be an EEG response to the perceived Hum frequency (or at some other frequencies)? This would, the first time, provide solid physical and scientific proof of the Hum phenomenon to the medical and scientific communities.

2. If so, what are the qualities of the signal’s progression through the auditory system. I had no idea that neuroscientists could chart the path of auditory-evoked electrical signals and locate the specific regions from which the electrical activity initiates, and which structures are involved in the processing. This alone could point at the source of the Hum.

3. Are there any EEG responses from the non-hearers? Is it a reduced response or a flat response?

As this work expands, I need help from the Hum community. In this case, you could be a big part of normalizing and solving the Hum if you could nicely persuade an institution to be part of this.

Thank you.

Glen MacPherson


Lacomba, Christopher D.; Lloyd, Steven A.; and Shanks, Ryan A. (2013) “An Infrasonic Missing Fundamental Rises at 18.5Hz,”Papers
and Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 11.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/papersandpubs/vol2/iss1/11



  1. Dirk says:

    When I hear the Hum really loud, it’s quite possible that this shows in my EEG as a significant abnormality in power spectrum. However this is no proof that this abnormality is directly triggered from outside of the brain, because it’s also possible that it is generated by internal processes of the brain.

    It may be triggered by internal processes, it may be indirectly triggered by external stimuli (which may or may not be acoustic or electromagnetic) or directly triggered by an external stimulus of a specific frequency. The EEG really only gives a rough idea of cortex activation. This is still very useful but we should be aware of the limitations. The only way to actually prove that a specific EEG abnormality is triggered by an external stimulus vs. internal activity is to cut off the external stimulus for EEG comparison which would require complete suppression of possible external stimuli.

    It would be a great advancement in Hum research if a specific EEG abnormality could be found in a proper scientific study (which would require a larger number of hearer and non-hearer subjects and also “blinded” technicians or EEG interpreters and protocols so that expectation won’t have an effect). However the limitation of this research would still be that it can’t prove external causation as long as we don’t have a reliable way of shutting off all possible external triggers. However if (or when) we have this way to shut off external triggers we won’t need EEG to prove that the effect from an external trigger.

    So the EEG can help to better understand the phenomenon in the brain. That’s all it can do IMHO.

    • wzrd1 says:

      There is the possibility of measuring nerve activity from the ears.
      It would prove that the ear generated the signal, but not the source of the signal (internal noise generated by the ear itself, circulatory noise, tinnitus, etc).

  2. Jonathan says:

    Three EEG tests could be carried out. The first in a very quiet environment where ambient noise is at zero or a near-zero level so that measurements could be taken and recorded. A second test would utilise a Faraday cage environment so that all external RF frequencies from 3MHz to 30GHz could be eliminated. It would be very interesting to determine whether or not the hum and any other debilitating auditory sounds ceased when ‘hearers’ are EEG tested in a Faraday cage environment. If the hum and any other sound ceased in the cage this would help to prove whether the sounds are being directly induced into the auditory cortices by an, at present, unknown external radio frequency source. The third test would be a re-run of the first test so the results of the third test could be compared with the previously recorded results of the first test.

    Glenn, did you come across any papers related to the “Microwave Auditory Effect” also known as the Frey effect?

  3. Jonathan says:

    Most of the time I hear the hum. It would seem to be perceived as a vibration in the air but I know it’s not as I have made some tests with recording devices for low frequency sounds at various times during the day and night and have not recorded anything unusual. The hum I hear can is perceived to the left or right but is never heard to the left and right sides together. As well as the hum, I am also subjected to some other mentally debilitating sounds that at times are so intense that I think some unknown force or entity is either trying to make me suicidal or drive me crazy. This is an experience felt by many other sufferers and due to the persistence of the hum or other sounds has driven some people to suicide or very close to the edge.

    I asked if you had seen any papers relating to the ‘Microwave Hearing effect’ as this is the technology that was used during the first Gulf War to make a very large number of Iraqi troops surrender. I think this technology has moved on and can now be remotely directed towards individuals from a distance.

    The source of the hum has yet to be determined but I may have found a possible reason why people all over the globe seem to be experiencing this phenomenon. It would seem for some reason humanity is being punished and after a great deal of research I may have a found out why this has only started to happen over the last fifty years and it may possibly be that we have only ourselves to blame.

    • I feel compelled to say that “punishment” can be interpreted in many different ways. If you mean, natural consequences for certain types of behaviour, then I suppose I agree. Global warming fits into that category. But beyond those examples, I think you need to spell out exactly what you mean.

  4. Lorrie Breen says:

    Hi I am an AP Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist at UC Davis Medical. I ended up here today doing research to find out why I have extreme pain near induction burners and realized I also am a hum hearer. I think you should investigate evoked potentials. Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) testing would likely give a higher yield as that equipment is optimized to display auditory EEG responses specifically across the auditory pathway.

  5. Lorrie Breen says:

    I think you need to find specifically a Neuropsychologist to conduct your experiment since this seems to fall into their realm. Neuropsychologists focus more heavily on organic causes of psychiatric phenomina.

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