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Equity of Fear (The Equity series) by Rudy Mazzocchi - Thriller/Suspense
Researchers and scientists in the U.S., Russia and Japan compete in a new technological race to control fear and pain in the minds of the world's populace. At first the race is rooted in purely scientific ambitions, such as that of space travel or in the era of the industrial revolution, but it evolves into something much more sinister.
Here is yet another dark world where scientists experiment on orphaned children rather than rhesus monkeys, where torture and pain become just another set of data points and lives are discarded for the sake of owning the ability to control how man perceives and processes fear.
Praise for Equity of Evil (book 1 in the Equity series)
"EQUITY of EVIL is a shocking indictment of the pernicious role of greed in the medical world. A powerful read!" — Robin Cook, International Best-Selling Author
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A child's mind. How do you describe this miraculous engine for learning and behavior without providing an in-depth biochemical analysis of neurotransmitters, functional neuro-physiology, and electro-chemical dendritic synapse? Well, let's not go there… at least not yet.
Imagine that young mind as the brand new laptop that you just purchased and pulled from its protective packaging. Its random access memory (RAM) clear and unbiased, willing to accept any and all new software and additional programming that we are prepared to provide. Such is the child's brain; a sponge willing to accept any information and stimulus provided; active or passive, friendly or unfriendly, good or bad.
Back to that laptop. There is basic embedded memory, hard-wired into the system, but we now need to add those programs most important to us, based on our needs and interests. There are a couple ways in which we can implant these codes from an external source; by downloading the software from an on-line site—requiring us to sync our virgin processor with another server somewhere unknown—or by inserting a disc or thumb-drive pre-loaded with programs. A few users with certain knowledge and abilities will actually create a few of their own codes and to expand the utility of the system, reconfiguring its software, firmware and even hardware.
This laptop readily accepts whatever we wish to install, as long as it doesn't conflict with something that already might be there. Just like the child's mind, these programs can be deleted, upgraded, or completely reprogrammed. Unfortunately, as we grow older, deletion becomes natural with a growing frequency, and reprogramming becomes extremely difficult. However, contrary to popular beliefs, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Just as we've seen the rapid development of the internet, computer processing and programming over the past three decades, so have our neuroscientists made tremendous breakthroughs in the field of mapping and reprogramming the brain. The field of Neuroplasticity evolved from what was perceived as quackery—programs to exercise the brain in elderly people by playing repetitive child-like games—to a science that is now supported by peer-reviewed functional MRI studies from renowned universities all over the world.
As found in the 'Author's Notes' at the end of this story, this author has had first-hand experience in starting a company which developed the induction of neuroplasticity to restore vision in patient's blinded by stroke or traumatic brain injury. This Florida-based company used a head-mounted display to provide a visual therapy comprising of a repetitive photic stimulus which traveled through the blind eye, along the optic nerve, to the part of the brain that processes normal sight, the visual cortex. These processes, programs, and pathways are well-defined and understood. The result was the re-training of an adjacent part of the brain to take up the process of sight rather than using the previously damaged brain cells that were normally responsible for vision.
These patients were initially determined to be legally blind. Following this treatment, the average patient's vision was restored by 70-80% allowing the majority of them to return to work, have their driver's license reinstated, and live a normal life without the need of a full-time care-giver. This therapy validated the possibilities of stimulating specific areas of the damaged brain in order to alter or repair its normal function. Since the eyes are an extension of the brain, they are the perfect conduit for reaching various segments of our brain that are responsible for a variety of functions.
Researchers at Stanford University have also identified a phosphorescence protein that can be delivered to the brain and then stimulated by an implantable fiber optic to regulate various functions of the brain. These phosphorescent proteins could be turned on and off like the glowing tail of a firefly. By altering the light frequencies, scientists were able to control specific brain activities to treat a variety of disorders such as Parkinson's Disease, Epilepsy and Essential Tremors.
If we continue to compare the programming of our brains to that of a computer, it merely takes such an energy form to manipulate the existing electro-chemical reactions that drive all of our memories and emotions. Such energy can be produced and delivered using light (optical or photic energy), magnets (transcranial magnetic stimulation), or soundwaves (high-intensity, high-frequency ultrasound).
Other research centers have since been experimenting with opening up various other pathways in the brain to install new programs for a variety of applications, including lost memories in Alzheimer's patients. Due to specific country regulatory requirements, these "commercial" applications will not be readily available for years, or perhaps decades, to come.
As with the first novel in this EQUITY Series, Equity of Evil, this story will describe the use of state-of-the-art medical technology that is manipulated for alternative purposes by evil people for the sake of controlling enormous global markets. Although the characters and stories here are fictitious, the capabilities of the technology described are feasible and well under development.
Equity of FearBy: Rudy Mazzocchi