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Concept: Hertz


Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications.

Concepts: Brain, Neuroscience, Human brain, Frequency, Hertz, Sound, Amplitude, Strobe light


There is an increasing concern that anthropogenic noise could have a significant impact on the marine environment, but there is still insufficient data for most invertebrates. What do they perceive? We investigated this question in oysters Magallana gigas (Crassostrea gigas) using pure tone exposures, accelerometer fixed on the oyster shell and hydrophone in the water column. Groups of 16 oysters were exposed to quantifiable waterborne sinusoidal sounds in the range of 10 Hz to 20 kHz at various acoustic energies. The experiment was conducted in running seawater using an experimental flume equipped with suspended loudspeakers. The sensitivity of the oysters was measured by recording their valve movements by high-frequency noninvasive valvometry. The tests were 3 min tone exposures including a 70 sec fade-in period. Three endpoints were analysed: the ratio of responding individuals in the group, the resulting changes of valve opening amplitude and the response latency. At high enough acoustic energy, oysters transiently closed their valves in response to frequencies in the range of 10 to <1000 Hz, with maximum sensitivity from 10 to 200 Hz. The minimum acoustic energy required to elicit a response was 0.02 m∙s-2 at 122 dBrms re 1 μPa for frequencies ranging from 10 to 80 Hz. As a partial valve closure cannot be differentiated from a nociceptive response, it is very likely that oysters detect sounds at lower acoustic energy. The mechanism involved in sound detection and the ecological consequences are discussed.

Concepts: Sense, Frequency, Hertz, Pacific oyster, Ostreidae, Oyster, Sound, Pitch


In anurans reproductive behavior is strongly seasonal. During the spring, frogs emerge from hibernation and males vocalize for mating or advertising territories. Female frogs have the ability to evaluate the quality of the males' resources on the basis of these vocalizations. Although studies revealed that central single torus semicircularis neurons in frogs exhibit season plasticity, the plasticity of peripheral auditory sensitivity in frog is unknown. In this study the seasonally plasticity of peripheral auditory sensitivity was test in the Emei music frog Babina daunchina, by comparing thresholds and latencies of auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) evoked by tone pips and clicks in the reproductive and non-reproductive seasons. The results show that both ABR thresholds and latency differ significantly between the reproductive and non-reproductive seasons. The thresholds of tone pip evoked ABRs in the non-reproductive season increased significantly about 10 dB than those in the reproductive season for frequencies from 1 KHz to 6 KHz. ABR latencies to waveform valley values for tone pips for the same frequencies using appropriate threshold stimulus levels are longer than those in the reproductive season for frequencies from 1.5 to 6 KHz range, although from 0.2 to 1.5 KHz range it is shorter in the non-reproductive season. These results demonstrated that peripheral auditory frequency sensitivity exhibits seasonal plasticity changes which may be adaptive to seasonal reproductive behavior in frogs.

Concepts: Frequency, Hertz, Season, Sound, Spring, Frog, Winter, Seasons


We utilized an in vitro adult mouse extensor digitorum longus (EDL) nerve-attached preparation to characterize the responses of muscle spindle afferents to ramp-and-hold stretch and sinusoidal vibratory stimuli. Responses were measured at both room (24°C) and muscle body temperature (34°C). Muscle spindle afferent static firing frequencies increased linearly in response to increasing stretch lengths to accurately encode the magnitude of muscle stretch (tested at 2.5%, 5% and 7.5% of resting length [Lo]). Peak firing frequency increased with ramp speeds (20% Lo/sec, 40% Lo/sec, and 60% Lo/sec). As a population, muscle spindle afferents could entrain 1:1 to sinusoidal vibrations throughout the frequency (10-100 Hz) and amplitude ranges tested (5-100 µm). Most units preferentially entrained to vibration frequencies close to their baseline steady-state firing frequencies. Cooling the muscle to 24°C decreased baseline firing frequency and units correspondingly entrained to slower frequency vibrations. The ramp component of stretch generated dynamic firing responses. These responses and related measures of dynamic sensitivity were not able to categorize units as primary (group Ia) or secondary (group II) even when tested with more extreme length changes (10% Lo). We conclude that the population of spindle afferents combines to encode stretch in a smoothly graded manner over the physiological range of lengths and speeds tested. Overall, spindle afferent response properties were comparable to those seen in other species, supporting subsequent use of the mouse genetic model system for studies on spindle function and dysfunction in an isolated muscle-nerve preparation.

Concepts: Wave, Phase, Frequency, Hertz, Wavelength, Extensor digitorum muscle, Muscle spindle, Vibration


Laryngeally echolocating bats avoid self-deafening (forward masking) by separating pulse and echo either in time using low duty cycle (LDC) echolocation, or in frequency using high duty cycle (HDC) echolocation. HDC echolocators are specialized to detect fluttering targets in cluttered environments. HDC echolocation is found only in the families Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae in the Old World and in the New World mormoopid, Pteronotus parnellii. Here we report that the hipposiderid Coelops frithii, ostensibly an HDC bat, consistently uses an LDC echolocation strategy whether roosting, flying, or approaching a fluttering target rotating at 50 to 80 Hz. We recorded the echolocation calls of free-flying C. frithii in the field in various situations, including presenting bats with a mechanical fluttering target. The echolocation calls of C. frithii consisted of an initial narrowband component (0.5±0.3 ms, 90.6±2.0 kHz) followed immediately by a frequency modulated (FM) sweep (194 to 113 kHz). This species emitted echolocation calls at duty cycles averaging 7.7±2.8% (n = 87 sequences). Coelops frithii approached fluttering targets more frequently than did LDC bats (C.frithii, approach frequency  = 40.4%, n = 80; Myotis spp., approach frequency  = 0%, n = 13), and at the same frequency as sympatrically feeding HDC species (Hipposideros armiger, approach rate  = 53.3%, n = 15; Rhinolophus monoceros, approach rate  = 56.7%, n = 97). We propose that the LDC echolocation strategy used by C. frithii is derived from HDC ancestors, that this species adjusts the harmonic contents of its echolocation calls, and that it may use both the narrowband component and the FM sweep of echolocations calls to detect fluttering targets.

Concepts: Instrument approach, Ultrasound, Frequency, Hertz, Animal echolocation, Bat, Microbat, Horseshoe bat


The dielectric properties of Z-type hexaferrite Sr3Co2Fe24O41 (SCFO) have been investigated as a function of temperature from 153 to 503 K between 1 and 2 GHz. The dielectric responses of SCFO are found to be frequency dependent and thermally activated. The relaxation-type dielectric behavior is observed to be dominating in the low frequency region and resonance-type dielectric behavior is found to be dominating above 10(8) Hz. This frequency dependence of dielectric behavior is explained by the damped harmonic oscillator model with temperature dependent coefficients. The imaginary part of impedance (Z″) and modulus (M″) spectra show that there is a distribution of relaxation times. The scaling behaviors of Z″ and M″ spectra further suggest that the distribution of relaxation times is temperature independent at low frequencies. The dielectric loss spectra at different temperatures have not shown a scaling behavior above 10(8) Hz. A comparison between the Z″ and the M″ spectra indicates that the short-range charges motion dominates at low temperatures and the long-range charges motion dominates at high temperatures. The above results indicate that the dielectric dispersion mechanism in SCFO is temperature independent at low frequencies and temperature dependent at high frequencies due to the domination of resonance behavior.

Concepts: Optics, Fundamental physics concepts, Wave, Physical quantities, Hertz, Resonance, Harmonic oscillator, Dielectric


Insects are continually exposed to Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at different frequencies. The range of frequencies used for wireless telecommunication systems will increase in the near future from below 6 GHz (2 G, 3 G, 4 G, and WiFi) to frequencies up to 120 GHz (5 G). This paper is the first to report the absorbed RF electromagnetic power in four different types of insects as a function of frequency from 2 GHz to 120 GHz. A set of insect models was obtained using novel Micro-CT (computer tomography) imaging. These models were used for the first time in finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic simulations. All insects showed a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency. All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3-370%.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Electromagnetic radiation, Frequency, Hertz, Wavelength, Sound, Radio, Heinrich Hertz


Broadband modulation of terahertz (THz) light is experimentally realized through the electrically driven metal-insulator phase transition of vanadium dioxide (VO2) in hybrid metal antenna-VO2 devices. The devices consist of VO2 active layers and bowtie antenna arrays, such that the electrically driven phase transition can be realized by applying an external voltage between adjacent metal wires extended to a large area array. The modulation depth of the terahertz light can be initially enhanced by the metal wires on top of VO2 and then improved through the addition of specific bowties in between the wires. As a result, a terahertz wave with a large beam size (~10 mm) can be modulated within the measurable spectral range (0.3-2.5 THz) with a frequency independent modulation depth as high as 0.9, and the minimum amplitude transmission down to 0.06. Moreover, the electrical switch on/off phase transition depends very much on the size of the VO2 area, indicating that smaller VO2 regions lead to higher modulation speeds and lower phase transition voltages. With the capabilities in actively tuning the beam size, modulation depth, modulation bandwidth as well as the modulation speed of THz waves, our study paves the way in implementing multifunctional components for terahertz applications.

Concepts: Electromagnetic spectrum, Hertz, Infrared, Microwave, Terahertz radiation, Backward wave oscillator


State-of-the-art methods for sensing weak AC fields are only efficient in the low frequency domain (<10 MHz). The inefficiency of sensing high-frequency signals is due to the lack of ability to use dynamical decoupling. In this paper we show that dynamical decoupling can be incorporated into high-frequency sensing schemes and by this we demonstrate that the high sensitivity achieved for low frequency can be extended to the whole spectrum. While our scheme is general and suitable to a variety of atomic and solid-state systems, we experimentally demonstrate it with the nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond. For a diamond with natural abundance of (13)C, we achieve coherence times up to 1.43 ms resulting in a smallest detectable magnetic field strength of 4 nT at 1.6 GHz. Attributed to the inherent nature of our scheme, we observe an additional increase in coherence time due to the signal itself.

Concepts: Electron, Magnetic field, Optics, Fundamental physics concepts, Electromagnetic radiation, Magnetism, Hertz, Second


Concurrent sound associated with very bright meteors manifests as popping, hissing, and faint rustling sounds occurring simultaneously with the arrival of light from meteors. Numerous instances have been documented with -11 to -13 brightness. These sounds cannot be attributed to direct acoustic propagation from the upper atmosphere for which travel time would be several minutes. Concurrent sounds must be associated with some form of electromagnetic energy generated by the meteor, propagated to the vicinity of the observer, and transduced into acoustic waves. Previously, energy propagated from meteors was assumed to be RF emissions. This has not been well validated experimentally. Herein we describe experimental results and numerical models in support of photoacoustic coupling as the mechanism. Recent photometric measurements of fireballs reveal strong millisecond flares and significant brightness oscillations at frequencies ≥40 Hz. Strongly modulated light at these frequencies with sufficient intensity can create concurrent sounds through radiative heating of common dielectric materials like hair, clothing, and leaves. This heating produces small pressure oscillations in the air contacting the absorbers. Calculations show that -12 brightness meteors can generate audible sound at ~25 dB SPL. The photoacoustic hypothesis provides an alternative explanation for this longstanding mystery about generation of concurrent sounds by fireballs.

Concepts: Energy, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Wave, Frequency, Hertz, Wavelength, Sound