Managing Focus


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I 7. What is the best way to generate and maintain effective intent?


Posted: November 15, 2003
Lian Sidorov


Question: What is the relationship between length of focus application and RV data complexity?

Background:  Many RV schools, including HRVG, insist that the viewer adhere to a technique of very rapid, very brief target probes, recording the first impression that is elicited by this probe - or nothing, if nothing presents. This is in order to discourage rational, 'left brain" processes from kicking in and interpreting, filtering or otherwise distorting the primary perception. However, it could also be argued that this method prevents the viewer from reaching a deeper "right brain" state, which in effect might provide more integrated, high-level data.

What we know is that, in the brain, sensory information is represented in the brainstem, thalamus and cortical primary sensory areas as neural maps which mirror the functional organization of the receptor surfaces. This topographical organization is hypothesized to act as a basic cognitive representation of the world (distribution of stimulus sources in space), which in turn helps mold learning and behavior patterns. However, the integration of sensory data into an accurate spatial map is a complex process (King; Diamond; Cariani) which involves stimulus-specific ("labeled line") channel-codes, temporal pattern codes and time-of-arrival codes, as well as multi-sensory correlations and integration of data across several levels of the sensory processing pathway. For example, information may be encoded in the selective recruitment of neurons based on the portion of stimulus range, by amount of polarization, by firing rate, or by the timing of action potentials in relation to APs of other neurons.

It is also interesting to note that many areas of the brain contain "multisensory neurons" which maximize the brain's ability to identify external stimuli and initiate responses to them; one such area is the superior colliculus in the midbrain, consisting of neurons which are unimodal at birth, but with maturation begin to respond to inputs from a variety of sensory inputs - depending on the appearance of influences from association regions in the neocortex.

Information is pooled at successive levels, and may be replicated in different sets of neurons, for specific kinds of processing (divergence). For example, in the visual system the neurons on one layer map onto the next one in a spatially consistent array: the retinal map is faithfully reflected in the thalamic map, which continues upstream to the cortical visual projection areas V1, then V2, V3, V4, V5 (motion) - until it reaches the anterior pole of the temporal cortex (IT) which puts it all together. Each successive level averages incoming inputs to add more features to the visual scene - lines, color, motion, binocular integration - all the way to pattern recognition and full object representation. (Baars)

If we realize that the most common way in which the RV data usually presents is as a series of disjointed basic perceptions (shape, color, texture, taste, sound, etc) which only in later stages self-organize into size and dimensional relationships (see CRV manual), we may have reason to wonder whether this peculiar phenomenon might have something to do with a somewhat haphazard stimulation of sensory processing pathways by various electromagnetic stimuli . The almost universal fragmentation of the spatial information about the target suggests that we scan the target not in a continuous topological sweep, and not in a flash-like "aha" perception, but more according to a radar-like mechanism in which specific frequency bursts are emitted, then bounced back by spatially disparate elements at the target which somehow resonate with those frequencies - such that the picture which emerges over the course of the session is not unlike a color-by-numbers image.

A recent series of independent studies has shown that one's focus, or global brain configuration, has an unexpected effect on the firing patterns of sensory processing neurons, starting as early as the bottom of the visual hierarchy (McCrone 1997). This top-down modulation runs contrary to everything neurophysiologists traditionally believed about the emergence of mental processes - but it is not much of a surprise from the empirical perspective of remote viewing, where the strength and specificity of intent produces data that is highly specific to particular cues (such as visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, etc). In a related study (McCrone 1999), scientists found that "paying focal, effortful attention to something calls large regions of the brain into action". Unlike the performance of habitual skills, which are based on shortcut neural loops, in focused attention tasks "the brain does not behave like a collection of isolated pathways, each doing their own thing, but as a coherent system". These activated regions range from general purpose planning centers such as the prefrontal cortex, all the way down to lower brain areas, which are also "put in an exploratory mode, watching and learning from what is going on".

Does the rapid-probing/ rapid recording method somehow stimulate primarily low-level sensory integration neurons? And does the prolonged target contact characteristic of advanced protocols or methods like ERV (extended remote viewing) act via high-level, high-integration centers? What is the basis of this apparent connection between length of focus application and data complexity (see S5 and Blackboard Rush versus S1-S2 probing length)? And how can we further modify the way in which we apply intent to elicit additional types of information about the target?

What happens at a metabolic and physiological level when we rapidly alternate between R/L brain functions - and are rapids bursts of intent generating a higher amplitude in specific areas/ brain frequencies? Does prolonged focus, on the other hand, activate/sensitize a broader area of the brain, allowing for binding of low-level impressions?


Cariani P.A.  Temporal coding of sensory information in the brain.   

Diamond M.E., Petersen R. S., Harris J. A.  Learning through maps: functional significance of topographic organization in primary sensory cortex.  Journal of Neurobiology 41:64-68, 1999

King A. J.  Sensory experience and the formation of a computational map of auditory space in the brain. BioEssays 21.11 pp. 900-911, 1999.   

Baars, B.J  Reply to Cariani.  URL:

McCrone, J. (1999)  States of Mind. New Scientist Vol. 161 issue 2178, March 1999 pp. 30

McCrone J. (1997) Wild Minds. New Scientist, vol. 156, nr. 2112, pp. 26

CRV ( Controlled Remote Viewing) Manual; originally dated 1986; posted publicly 1998. Attributed to Paul H. Smith/Ingo Swann. URL:


Replies/ References

Posted: November 15th, 2003

"How Does the Viewer Remain in a Hypnagogic State During ERV?"
"What Do You See in a Session?"
"How Can You Overcome the Problem of Viewing the Back Side of a Picture?"
"How Do you Make Practice Targets?" 

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Lyn Buchanan










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This page was last modified on 07/13/07 . For questions or comments regarding this web please contact Lian Sidorov at




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