Reviewing the Ontario grades 9-12 science curriculum, the following would be fairly unobtrusive ways to introduce many aspects of neurotechnologies into the curriculum:
Related topics/concepts presently included in grades 9-10 curriculum:
– angles of incidence/reflection/refraction: these are related to photonics. Absent knowledge of amplitude or phase changes in radio/light/etc. waves, understanding of remote sensing methods will be less.
– conductivity: with EM waves, which have alternating electric and magnetic components, the concept of conductivity may be useful in differentiating from how EM waves are affected by differences in electric potential
– electric discharge: since neural activity involves the triggering of a discharge of an electric potential difference (difference in voltage levels between two locations), this can be useful in understanding what underlying activity is measurable by devices such as an EEG headset
– electromagnetic radiation: radiation consisting of electromagnetic waves
– electromagnetic spectrum: ranging from radio waves which are long and low energy, to microwaves which range from centimetres to metres, and on to light rays, X-rays and gamma rays. For purposes of understanding neurotechnologies, a shift towards wavelength rather than frequency may be useful.
– ion: effects of EM waves in microwave spectrum on ion channels in cell membranes are widely explored in scientific literature on related topics, in particular specific ions related to triggering neuron activity.
– kW: many thresholds in neurotechnologies are energy-related thresholds, which can be measured in kW/m2
– opaque: if one region of the EM spectrum can be prevented from passing through a material, presumably some other material (or design) may have similar effects in other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
– potential difference: this also describes the storage of energy on fairly micro timeframes and levels that enables neural activity
– volt: the name of the units used when measuring potential difference
Related topics/concepts presently included in grades 11-12 curriculum:
– grade 11 biology, B1.1: medical devices and technologies that are intended to aid cellular function. A mention related to neurotechnologies here would enable students to be apprised of both risks and costs, as well as potential benefits, of such technologies.
– grade 11 biology, B1.2: effects of lead on nerve cells are mentioned. This can be expanded to mention other synthetic and/or natural environmental influences on nerve cells (in particular those related to pulsed electromagnetic radiation in the microwave spectrum). The role of light in vitamin D production by the body may also be a useful place to start in establishing that electromagnetic waves can have bio- and neuro-effects.
– grade 11 biology, B2.1: passive/active transport can include mentions of how electric and/or magnetic energy or pulses can influences these processes, even though this is not highly relevant in the natural environment
– grade 11 biology, B2.2 qualitative factors influencing diffusion across plasma membranes. This can be differentiated from active ion pumps known to be central in mediating inter-cellular communication.
– enzymes: can mention that among enzymes which enable massive upscaling of an initially small effect or stimulus, are those involved in triggering neural activity
– grade 11 biology: “inhibition” in biochemistry – presumably what may be inhibited may be promoted, and vice versa.
– grade 11 chemistry, B2.2: the concept of ionization energy can be used to understand, by contrast, the concept of “non-ionizing radiation”, a property generally attributed to the microwave spectrum.
– grade 12 chemistry, B1.1: in discussing effects of environment from organic chemistry perspective, bio- and neuro-effects of microwaves can be specifically differentiated as not being related to organic chemistry (a reason for not discussing in detail in that context of effects of synthetic and/or natural environmental factors)
– grade 12 chemistry, C1.1: imaging techniques mentioned should either be expanded, or at least mention specific usages in studies which demonstrate bio- and neuro-effects of microwaves. E.g., using MRI as a proximate (close-to-person) way to measure neural activity and decode things like semantic, visual and/or other activity. If specifically adding another method, microwave sensing should be added in order to promote a) knowledge or possibilities and b) suitable risk assessment and mitigation in due time, by virtue of a suitably educated population on such matters.
– grade 12 Earth & Space science, B2.1: Doppler effect for astronomy purposes can be compared/constrated with relevance of the Doppler effect in microwave sensing, which among other things can measure emotional responses from a distance
– grade 12 Earth & Space science, B3.3: discussion of different regions of electromagnetic spectrum for the purpose of astronomical observations can be contrasted with the fact of different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum being used in measuring things here on earth, for example the microwave spectrum in the centimetres to metres range of wavelength
– grade 11 environmental science, C2.5: questions relating to building materials and standards, etc., with respect to the environment, could mention questions relating to electromagnetic radiation, citing those with electrosensitivity, for example, or reflecting societal risk concerns in an age where neurotechnologies are, and will continue to be, cheaper, more advanced and smaller with each passing year.
– grade 11 physics, D1.1: Among means of energy transformation, that from photonic to heat energy as the cause of the thermoacoustic waves which explain microwave hearing can be mentioned.
– grade 11 physics, D3.10: in addition to discussing properties of very high energy and very high frequency waves such as gamma and X-rays, this should be expanded to include similar discussion for radio waves (not relevant to much) and microwaves (too much relevant)
– grade 11 physics, E1.1: in discussing mechanical waves and sound, can also mention a) bone conduction as a means of trasmitting sound to cochlea in some kinds of headphones or hearing aids, and b) the fact that much smaller wavelengths at ultrasound/infrasound ranges allow the waves to be much more directionally pinpointed to cause sounds in hearing range by the sum of waves.
– grade 11 physics, E1.2: in discussing negative impacts of mechanical waves on society and the environment, negative psychological effects of sound treatments could be mentioned, perhaps even going so far as to ensure that students are aware of weaponized applications of sound (especially when paired with psychometric information)
– grade 11 physics, E2.1: this section on waves can mention the theoretical ability to deconstruct complex waves into simple wave constituents (such as by using a Fourier transform), and the relevance in sonic or electromagnetic neurotechnologies.
– grade 11 physics, E3.2: the concept of resonance can be paired with the theoretical concept of its occurring in 3 dimensions, with relevance for understanding the reality of microwave hearing, and potentially also neurotechnologies with effects other than on acoustic perceptions of the cochlea.
– grade 11 physics, F 1.1: neurotechnologies should be mentioned among those uses of electromagnetism with social and economic impacts (and that not all neurotechnologies fall into this specific category)
– grade 11 physics (unspecified section): relationship between wavelength and neurotechnology applications can be mentioned
– grade 12 physics, D1.1: certain neurotechnologies can be mentioned among those which may make use of electric or magnetic fields
– grade 12 physics, D1.2: in discussing impacts of electric and magnetic fields of relevance to society and the economy, neurotechnologies can be mentioned, with reference to both opportunities, and also risks and risk mitigation.
– grade 12 physics: D2.1 and 2.3: the concept of “pulses” of electric and magnetic fields should be introduced, including the theoretical understanding of thresholds relating to calculations which depend on instrument sensitivity, compared between pulses and continuous fields.
– grade 12 physics: D3.2: in discussing the properties of electric and magnetic fields, the underlying nature of an electromagnetic wave as an alternating electric half wave and magnetic half wave should be contextualized
– grade 12 physics, E: the wave nature of photons as pertains to specific uses, namely in neurotechnology, should be expanded so as to have better appreciation of which frequency bands are of most potential interest in neurotechnology, and which present related needs for risk mitigation
– grade 12 science, B1.2: in addition to biofeedback as an alternative technology with medical applications, neurofeedback should be mentioned as a means of training some outcome or habituation should be added. The possibility for both positive and negative, and voluntary or involuntary, uses, should not be evaded.
– grade 12 science, B2.2: microwave sensing and other methods of collecting such data from a remote location should also be mentioned. The relationship between physiological measures such as breathing, heart rate, etc., and uses as indicators of emotional states, can be introduced in some peripheral manner in order to promote responsible thinking with respect to associated risks.
– grade 12 science, B2.4: interpretation of information from imaging (or other) technologies should be expanded to include neuro-relevant stuff, such as decoding semantic and visual activity from an MRI (or other means).
– grade 12 science, B3.5: “biophotonics” should specifically require some coverage of the basic notion of neurotechnologies by use of the microwave spectrum, with citation of specific examples from established scientific literature
– grade 12 science, E1.1: in discussing relationship between scientific research and public health, mental health should be included among public health issues, and this should be done in a manner which specifically ties together mental health and neurotechnologies, without aversion to sufficient clarity on societal risk factors associated with these technologies in the post-miniaturization age.
– grade 12 science, E1.2: the question of local, provincial and national initiatives with regard to public health could mention a relative lack of action in the domain of neurotechnologies since the explosion of scientific literature on such subjects in the 1970s
– grade 12 science, E2.1: concepts of pandemics, contamination, etc., can be extended to incorporate notions of “neurotechnological viruses” which in some manner “hack people” by knowledge of shared or individual psychometric attributes, without evading questions/risks related to artificial intelligence using bio- and neuro-effective photon wavelengths towards involuntary thought reform
– grade 12 science, F3.3: neurotechnologies (electromagnetic, sonic or other) should be added to the list of biotechnologies with applications related to public health
– designated substance regulations: can be defined to specifically exclude electromagnetic spectrum and its bio and neuro effects, by which means to introduce their existence
– occupational exposure limits: can be defined to specifically include electromagnetic radiation, and to specifically mention that measuring total average exposure is not appropriate because it insufficiently addresses the bio and neuro-effects of pulses which may have large effects despite relatively low total average energy input