Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

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Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

Postby FranziPantz » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:41 pm

I am a writer working on a fantasy story set in the modern day.

In the story a scientist finds her way to the realm of the dead - not heaven or hell, a real place where all the dead are sent, indiscriminately. This realm is a place that exists "behind" our world, sort of on another plane of existence. I don't want the scientist to access it by using a special machine or portal as this is a total cliché. I was hoping for her to access it through inducing a different state, of mind or body. Ideas I have had include her stimulating the brain in a certain way, inducing a certain emotion, altering body chemistry in some way or something molecular (you can see I'm quite the scientific expert, eh? :P) Perhaps there is something that "leaves" the body first when we die or an unexplained spike in certain activity that I could exploit?

What kind of scientist would make this kind of discovery? Which scientific disciplines and job titles could I use to describe the above ideas?
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Re: Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

Postby Amber_MIT » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:31 pm

Hi FranziPantz,

This forum isn't really for this type of question, but I'll try to answer as best I can :-). I also enjoy writing stories!

Stimulating the brain/inducing emotion -- research what an EKG is. Psychologists would be a good fit.
Body chemistry/molecular -- Bioinformatics Scientist uses computers to analyze genetics (so that might go with science fiction/fantasy part). Other possibilities are biological engineers, microbiologists, and biologists in general. Pathologists would also be cool.

You can read about all these careers here:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... eers.shtml

Good luck with your story. It sounds cool! If you do a science project, I hope you come back to Science Buddies :-).
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Re: Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

Postby MelissaB » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:30 am

I think Amber means an EEG (electroencephalogram, which monitors the brain) instead of an EKG (electrocardiogram, which monitors the heart).

I would personally suggest a neurobiologist in addition to Amber's suggestions.
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Re: Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

Postby Amber_MIT » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:01 pm

Thank you! Bad typo :-). Yes, I meant EEG.
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Re: Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

Postby John Dreher » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:17 am

In addition to the good ideas in the two previous posts, you might want to look up "functional MRI" in, say, Wikipedia. Cognitive scientists have been using fMRI to study exactly what areas of the brain are activated as our minds process various types of information. Quite fascinating. Here is a URL that I found helpful:

http://www.fmri.org/fmri.htm

Best of luck with your story. Although I'm a hard-core scientist and skeptic, I enjoy taking a break with fantasies. A couple of authors that I like who deal with altered perceptions are Phillip K. Dick and Gene Wolfe.
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Re: Writer Question: What type of scientist could do this?

Postby Arman92 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:31 pm

Maybe she could be a genetic engineer, making her brain better with genetics so she could make this portal out of thin air and do other things, just with her enhanced brain :!:
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