Also known as Flicker Vertigo and related to photsensitive epilepsy, the Bucha effect happens when a strobing light pattern causes nausea, vertigo, and disorientation. Think of Japanese kids seizing on their home carpets infront of the TV to some Power Rangers like show.
In the 1950’s Dr. Bucha was commissioned to do a study on why helicopters were going down withtout cuase. The surviving pilots said the felt disoriented, nauseous, and could not use the fine motor skills needed to control the helicopter. Dr. Bucha found that the helicopter blades were creating a strobelight effect where the pattern of frequency was 1-20 Hz per second. This range approximates the range at which the human brain functions.
The use of this can be seen in the Gulf War torture rooms or in Guantanamo Bay where the strobing effect was used to degrade and torture people. Along with the “Barney” technique, which for those who don’t know some prisoners were made to listen to Barney the dinosaur sing “I Love You, You love me” ad nauseum. The origin and use of these techniques is talked about in the movie “The Men Who Stare at Goats”. Better yet and more detailed is the book written by Jon Ronson.
Apparently, the Bucha effect itself does not directly cause fear, as commonly reported, but causes vertigo and disorientation. However the constant stimulus and symptoms can cause fear and anxiety based on their inability to control the stimulus. This is how I explain it: Imagine having a bright light shined on your eyes for 20-30 seconds. Then immediately turn off the light. In the dark, people will commonly experience a disorientation until the photoreceptors in the eyes have time to adjust. Now imagine that you are constantly experiencing that disorientation. After a while you will get nauseous and your inability to control the stimulus may be discomforting. Now imagine trying to drive a car in that state and you will get the notion of the effect that some helicopter pilots have suffered. Notice now that all blackhawk pilots wear dark sunglasses. I’m starting to think that the Army knows more about these phenomenon than they will allow the public to know.
The way I understand it physiologically, and this is not my interpretation but a paraphrasing of something I found on the internet, is that the photoreceptors in the eyes need a certain amount of time to relay the visual image to the brain so it can be interpreted. The strobing pattern interferes with this and becuase of the bombardment of stimuli, the brain and its corresponding functions are seized. In normal people it will cause disorientation, but people who are more susceptible to seizures may be encouraged to have a full on photosensitive epileptic seizure. For most kids watching Pokemon, they may feel a little quesy at the most, but for those children with some nuerological abnormalities, the Bucha effect may induce seizure.
After hearing about the great band Joy Division, whose lead singer had photosensitive epilepsy and commited suicide, and after hearing about the Bucha effect, it occured to me that there is a relation between certain light patterns and our state of mind. (The remaining Joy Division group member went on to found the 80’s band New Order)
Chiropractic neurology is an alternative nuerological program that in some areas has startling discoveries in the practical thereaputic application of certain sound frequencies or patterns and/or visual light stimulus to positively affect patients with such diverse misunderstood conditions like true ADHD, autism, epileptic seizures. Dr. Carricks institute has some elite professionals who, as I have heard it anecdoted to me by other doctors, have without a doubt brought people out of seizures with a ryhtmic snapping of the fingers or by just showing them a piece of cloth with alternating colors on them. I am not chiropractic neurologist, just a chiropractor interested in nuerology, and so I cannot attest to having personally witnessed this. As opposed to the army’s practical use of Dr. Bucha’s effect, chiropractic nuerology seems to be at the other end of the spectrum in trying to help people with neurological conditions.