Fringe (TV series)
Fringe (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been discussing the science behind an episode of Fringe, titled “Johari Window”.

In this episode, because of Army testing in the ’70’s, all of the residents of the fictional town of Edina, NY are disfigured. However, thanks to an invention by the doctor responsible, the people are able to live in relative normality as long as they don’t leave the borders of the town.

Recently, I brought you research I’d done regarding whether or not it was possible to mutate a person on a germline level using a form of electromagnetic pulse.

This week, I decided to find out if Dr. Cobb’s invention, which uses a microwave pulse to fool the optic nerve, was possible. If so, could it be a defensive weapon for utilizing a new form of camouflage for soldiers. Or worse.

Well, here’s what I found.

First, we need to understand the name of the episode: Johari Window. Simply put, it’s a model for describing human interaction.

Known to Self     Not Known to Self

Known to Othersopenblind

             Not Known to Others       hiddenunknown

We believe we know ourselves very well, however, according to the J.W. model, there are things about ourselves that we are unaware of that others can see in us. That is our blind spot (section 2).

When you are driving and want to turn or get into another lane, you have to purposely look over your shoulders instead of just trusting the mirrors. Why? Because of the blind spot that another car could be travelling in.

A blind spot, or a scotoma, is caused by something obscuring the vision. It could be that one is focused completely on something to the exclusion of all else around them.

This is the spot within our optic nerves that the fictional Army scientists were trying to exploit by creating a device which, utilizing EMP pulses, would fool the optic nerve of the enemy and keep them from easily recognizing our troops.

In the episode, Dr. Walter Bishop explains that the experimentation was abandoned because they couldn’t make it work. However, I wanted to know if it was possible in the “real world” for such an experiment to take place. And if so, if it did finally work, what would the real world applications be.

Well, the short answer is with all of the research that I did (two week’s worth), I wasn’t able to find anything on this sort of experimentation or technology. Now that doesn’t mean it’s purely fictional. It could be that it’s highly classified.

However, it would be really cool to find out if this could happen.

Join me next week when I share my list of books for your summer reading pleasure.


Liu D, Cruz F, Subramanian P. Bilateral vision loss associated with radiofrequency exposure. Clinical Ophthalmology [serial online]. December 2012;6:2069. Available from: Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 24, 2013.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s