Quantum mechanics, the fundamental theoretical framework of contemporary physics, supports the following claim: by entering into spatial relations with itself, Brahman creates both space (the totality of existing spatial relations) and matter (the corresponding apparent multitude of relata). The psychological processes by which Brahman enters into spatial relations with itself are discussed by taking a tour of a descending series of supraphysical worlds. [Presented at the International Conference on Indian Psychology, Yoga, and Consciousness, Pondicherry,December 10–13, 2004.].
We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are related, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain. Accompanying material for a talk at The Second Mind and Brain Symposium held at the Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London on 20th October, 1990.
I argue that our direct experience and some physical facts do not go well with an understanding of perception as a mechanism producing a representation of a ''truly'' outer world. Instead, it is much more coherent to treat what is traditionally considered an image in this context as a closed structure equipped in its own ontology, replacing the ''truly'' outer one from the point of view of an agent possessing it. In such a framework, the notion of existence is taken (...) to be defined by consciousness in a way similar to qualia, making it subjective on the one hand, and reducing it to a tool on the other. This implies, in turn, that we need a form of mind-brain dualism; the best we can do in such circumstances about explaining consciousness as an epistemic device - a role intuitively imposing itself in a variety of situations - is to embed it in an abstract ontology merely serving the purpose of a ''true'' reality with the help of the mind-brain link. Obviously, the approach favors subjectivity as a foundation in the ontological sense. Objectivity is considered here only as a suitably understood product from an ''observer's'' point of view, although a functional and useful one. The paper is addressed to readers with interest in both the mind-body problem and ontological foundations of present-day physics, specifically quantum theory. The main conclusion can be absorbed without the quantum part, although it is a bit less convincing then. (shrink)
One of the most serious challenges (if not the most serious challenge) for interactive psycho-physical dualism (henceforth interactive dualism or ID) is the so-called ‘interaction problem’. It has two facets, one of which this article focuses on, namely the apparent tension between interactions of non-physical minds in the physical world and physical laws of nature. One family of approaches to alleviate or even dissolve this tension is based on a collapse solution (‘consciousness collapse/CC) of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics (...) (QM). The idea is that the mind brings about the collapse of a superposed wave function onto one of its eigenstates. Thus, it is claimed, can the mind change the course of things without violating any law figuring in physical theory. I will first show that this hope is premature because energy and momentum are probably not conserved in collapse processes, and that even if this can be dealt with, the violations are either severe or produce further ontological problems. Second, I point out several conceptual difficulties for interactionist CC. I will also present solutions for those problems, but it will become clear that those solutions come at a high cost. Third, I shall briefly list some empirical problems which make life even harder for interactionist CC. I conclude with remarks about why no- collapse interpretations of QM don’t help either and what the present study has shown is the real issue for ID: namely to find a plausible integrative view of dualistic mental causation and laws of nature. (shrink)
Researchers have suggested since the early days of quantum theory that there are strong analogies between quantum phenomena and mental phenomena and these have developed into a vibrant new field of quantum cognition during recent decades. After revisiting some early analogies by Niels Bohr and David Bohm, this paper focuses upon Bohm and Hiley’s ontological interpretation of quantum theory which suggests further analogies between quantum phenomena and biological and psychological phenomena, including the proposal that the human brain operates in some (...) ways like a quantum measuring apparatus. After discussing these analogies I will also consider, from a quantum perspective, Hintikka’s suggestion that Kant’s notion of things in themselves can be better understood by making an analogy between our knowledge-seeking activities and an elaborate measuring apparatus. (shrink)
A novel approach to the scientific understanding of phenomenal awareness is presented that accepts consciousness as ontologically fundamental and is based on the hypothesis that the whole range of phenomenal nuances is inherent in the frequency spectrum of a ubiquitous field of consciousness. Pursuing this idea, it is postulated that the brain employs a universal interaction mechanism through which it taps into this field, thereby acquiring phenomenal qualities. I argue that the edifice of modern physics can not only offer a (...) promising candidate for the field of consciousness, consisting in the zero-point field (ZPF), but also an appropriate interaction mechanism. What is more, the empirical body of evidence supports the conclusion that conscious processes make use of exactly this mechanism. More specifically, the neural correlates of consciousness suggest that in the stimulus-oriented operating mode the brain produces streams of consciousness by periodically writing information states into the ZPF, while in the stimulus-independent operating mode the brain is receptive to previously generated ZPF information states that constitute the repository of conscious experiences, implying that self-referential conscious states are retrieved by periodically reading information states from the ZPF. Beyond its explanatory power the presented approach opens up new horizons for the future research strategy. (shrink)
The goal of this work is to compile the basic components for the construction of an electromagnetic field theory of consciousness that meets the standards of a fundamental theory. An essential cornerstone of the conceptual framework is the vacuum state of quantum electrodynamics which, contrary to the classical notion of the vacuum, can be viewed as a vibrant ocean of energy, termed zero-point field (ZPF). Being the fundamental substrate mediating the electromagnetic force, the ubiquitous ZPF constitutes the ultimate bedrock of (...) all electromagnetic phenomena. In particular, resonant interaction with the ZPF is critical for understanding rapidly forming, long-range coherent activity patterns that are characteristic of brain dynamics. Assuming that the entire phenomenal color palette is rooted in the vibrational spectrum of the ZPF and that each normal mode of the ZPF is associated with an elementary shade of consciousness, it stands to reason that conscious states are caused by the coupling of the brain to a particular set of normal modes selectively filtered from the full frequency spectrum of the ZPF. From this perspective, the brain is postulated to function as a resonant oscillator that couples to a specific range of ZPF modes, using these modes as a keyboard for the composition of an enormous variety of phenomenal states. Theoretical considerations suggest that the brain-ZPF interface is controlled by altering the concentrations of neurotransmitters, placing the detailed study of the neurotransmitter-ZPF interaction at the center of future research activities. (shrink)
Along with “epoché” or his “reductions”, Husserl’s “noema” and “noesis”, being neologisms invented by him, are main concepts in phenomenology able to represent its originality. Following the trace of a recent paper (Penchev 2021 July 23), its formal and philosophical approach is extended to both correlative notions, in the present article. They are able to reveal the genesis of the world from consciousness in a transcendental method relevant to Husserl, but furthermore described formally as a process of how subjective temporality (...) appears being isomorphic to objective temporality of the “world by itself” (an abstraction meaning it out of consciousness or transcendental consciousness): thus, it shares the same mathematical structure, which is embodied in the physical process of decoherence by the physical quantity of quantum information. The temporal world is able to appear naturally (rather as a ridiculous effect of the mythical “Big Bang”). The same process translated by formal and mathematical tools as interpreted in terms of “noema”, “noesis”, or transcendental consciousness is isomorphic to how “Self” (including in an individual and psychological sense) appears in virtue of transcendental consciousness. (shrink)
Panpsychism has many sides in common with Jung and Pauli's thinking, and analytical psychology is also a form of panpsychism. In this article we want to lay the foundations for a psychophysics that has an adequate onto-epistemology for the complex phenomenology of the relationship between quantum physics and consciousness. This onto-epistemology is a monism in which an informational-spiritual atemporal dimension, completely entangled in itself and teleologically anthropic, precedes and “informs” instantaneously and constantly matter-energy, space-time and consciousness.
The brain is composed of electrically excitable neuronal networks regulated by the activity of voltage-gated ion channels. Further portraying the molecular composition of the brain, however, will not reveal anything remotely reminiscent of a feeling, a sensation or a conscious experience. In classical physics, addressing the mind–brain problem is a formidable task because no physical mechanism is able to explain how the brain generates the unobservable, inner psychological world of conscious experiences and how in turn those conscious experiences steer the (...) underlying brain processes toward desired behavior. Yet, this setback does not establish that consciousness is non-physical. Modern quantum physics affirms the interplay between two types of physical entities in Hilbert space: unobservable quantum states, which are vectors describing what exists in the physical world, and quantum observables, which are operators describing what can be observed in quantum measurements. Quantum no-go theorems further provide a framework for studying quantum brain dynamics, which has to be governed by a physically admissible Hamiltonian. Comprising consciousness of unobservable quantum information integrated in quantum brain states explains the origin of the inner privacy of conscious experiences and revisits the dynamic timescale of conscious processes to picosecond conformational transitions of neural biomolecules. The observable brain is then an objective construction created from classical bits of information, which are bound by Holevo’s theorem, and obtained through the measurement of quantum brain observables. Thus, quantum information theory clarifies the distinction between the unobservable mind and the observable brain, and supports a solid physical foundation for consciousness research. (shrink)
The main goal of this article consists in addressing two fundamental issues of consciousness research and cognitive science, namely, the question of why declarative memory functions are inextricably linked with phenomenal awareness and the question of the physical basis of memory traces. The presented approach proposes that high-level cognitive processes involving consciousness employ a universal mechanism by means of which they access and modulate an omnipresent background field that is identified with the zero-point field (ZPF) specified by stochastic electrodynamics, a (...) branch of physics that deals with the universal principles underlying quantum systems. In addition to its known physical properties and memory capacities, the ZPF is hypothesized to be an immanently sentient medium. It is propounded that linking up to a particular field mode of the ZPF activates a particular phenomenal nuance, implying that the phase-locked coupling of a set of field modes, i.e., the formation of a so-called ZPF information state, constitutes an appropriate mechanism for the amalgamation of elementary shades of consciousness into a complex state of consciousness. Since quantum systems rest exactly on this mechanism, conscious memory processes in the brain are expected to differ from unconscious processes by the presence of the typical features of many-body quantum systems, particularly long-range coherence and attractor formation, which is supported by a huge body of empirical evidence. On this basis, the conceptual framework set out in this article paves the way for a new understanding of the brain as a write-read head interacting with the ZPF, leading to self-consistent interpretations of the neural correlates of memory formation and memory retrieval and explaining why these memory processes are closely intertwined with phenomenal awareness. In particular, the neural correlates suggest that the brain produces consciously perceived memory traces by writing sequences of information states into the ZPF and retrieves consciously experienced memory traces by reading sequences of information states from the ZPF. Using these theoretical foundations, altered states of consciousness and memory disorders can be traced back to impairments of the ZPF write-read mechanism. The mechanism should reveal itself through characteristic photon emissions, resulting in testable predictions. (shrink)
Despite the progress made in studying the observable exteriors of conscious processes, which are reflected in the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), there are still no satisfactory answers to two closely related core questions. These are the question of the origin of the subjective, phenomenal aspects of consciousness, and the question of the causal mechanisms underlying the generation of specific phenomenal states. In this article, we address these questions using a novel variant of cosmopsychism, a holistic form of panpsychism relying (...) on the central idea that the universe is imbued with a ubiquitous field of consciousness (UFC). This field is understood as a foundational dual-aspect component of the cosmos, the extrinsic appearance of which is physical in nature and the intrinsic manifestation of which is phenomenological in nature. We argue that this approach brings a new perspective into play, according to which the organizational characteristics of the NCC are indicative of the brain’s interaction with and modulation of the UFC. Key insights from modern physics suggest that the modulation mechanism is identical with the fundamental mechanism underlying quantum systems, resulting in the conclusion that a coherently oscillating neural cell assembly acquires phenomenal properties by tapping into the universal pool of phenomenal nuances predetermined by the UFC, or more specifically, by entering into a temporary liaison with the UFC and extracting a subset of phenomenal tones from the phenomenal color palette inherent in the basic structure of the UFC. This hypothesis is supported by a substantial body of empirical evidence. (shrink)
This edited volume examines aspects of the mind/consciousness that are relevant to the interpretations of quantum mechanics. In it, an international group of contributors focus on the possible connections between quantum mechanics and consciousness. They look at how consciousness can help us with quantum mechanics as well as how quantum mechanics can contribute to our understanding of consciousness. For example, what do different interpretations aimed at solving the measurement problem in quantum mechanics tell us about the nature of consciousness, such (...) as von Neumann's interpretation? Each interpretation has, associated to it, a corresponding metaphysical framework that helps us think about possible “models” of consciousness. Alternatively, what does the nature of consciousness tell us about the role of the observer and time reversibility in the measurement process? The book features 20 papers on contemporary approaches to quanta and mind. It brings together the work of scholars from different disciplines with diverse views on the connections between quanta and mind, ranging from those who are supportive of a link between consciousness and quantum physics to those who are very skeptical of such link. Coverage includes such topics as free will in a quantum world, contextuality and causality, mind and matter interaction, quantum panpsychism, the quantum and quantum-like brain, and the role of time in brain-mind dynamics. (shrink)
The Idea of the World offers a grounded alternative to the frenzy of unrestrained abstractions and unexamined assumptions in philosophy and science today. This book examines what can be learned about the nature of reality based on conceptual parsimony, straightforward logic and empirical evidence from fields as diverse as physics and neuroscience. It compiles an overarching case for idealism - the notion that reality is essentially mental - from ten original articles the author has previously published in leading academic journals. (...) The case begins with an exposition of the logical fallacies and internal contradictions of the reigning physicalist ontology and its popular alternatives, such as bottom-up panpsychism. It then advances a compelling formulation of idealism that elegantly makes sense of - and reconciles - classical and quantum worlds. The main objections to idealism are systematically refuted and empirical evidence is reviewed that corroborates the formulation presented here. The book closes with an analysis of the hidden psychological motivations behind mainstream physicalism and the implications of idealism for the way we relate to the world. (shrink)
This article presents a new interpretation of the consciousness-related neuroscientific findings using the framework of stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a branch of physics that sheds light on the basic principles underlying quantum systems. It is propounded that SED supplemented by two well-founded hypotheses leads to a satisfying explanation of the neural correlates of consciousness. The theoretical framework thus defined is based on the notion that all conceivable shades of phenomenal awareness are woven into the frequency spectrum of a universal background field, (...) called zero-point field (ZPF), implying that the fundamental mechanism underlying conscious systems rests upon the access to information available in the ZPF. The body of evidence can be interpreted such that in the extroverted, stimulus-oriented operating mode the brain produces streams of consciousness by periodically writing persistent information states into the ZPF (theta cycle). In the introspective operating mode, which goes along with activations of the default mode network, the brain is receptive to the flow of ZPF information states that constitutes the record of conscious experiences, suggesting that the sense of self and the retrieval of memories is accomplished by periodically reading (filtering) persistent information states from the ZPF (alpha cycle). Moreover, the data support the conclusion that meditative practices and psychedelics detune the filter, thus preventing the instantiation of self-referential conscious states, which leads to the dissolution of the ego. Instead, the brain taps into a wider spectrum of ZPF modes and, hence, gains access to an extended phenomenal color palette, resulting in expanded consciousness. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is twofold. First, our purpose is to propose and motivate a novel and scientifically informed variant of cosmopsychism, namely, the view that the experiences of ordinary subjects are ultimately grounded in an all-pervading cosmic consciousness. Second, we will demonstrate that this approach generates promising avenues for addressing familiar problems of phenomenal constitution. We use stochastic electrodynamics (SED) as the physical bedrock of our approach, supplementing it with key insights about the nature of consciousness long emphasized (...) in eastern philosophy and other wisdom traditions. We proceed to show that our approach substantiates an intriguing way of thinking about the dynamical emergence of ordinary consciousness from cosmic consciousness, identifying the latter with the vacuum state of quantum field theory. Finally, we argue that the present approach is well suited to address problems of phenomenal constitution, in particular as they pertain to the qualities and structure of experience and to the generation of subjects. (shrink)
The philosophy of mind concerns much about how novelty occurs in the world. The very recent progress in this field inspired by quantum mechanics indicates that symmetry restoration occurs in the mind at the moment when new creative thought arises. Symmetry restoration denotes the moment when one’s cognition leaves ordinary internalized mental schemes such as conceptual categories, heuristics, subjective theories, conventional thinking, or expectations. At this moment, fundamentally new, original thought may arise. We also predict that in older age, symmetry (...) restoration is less likely to occur as internalized mental schemes become more rigid in the elderly. Furthermore, the present study demonstrates that symmetry restoration may occur not only individually, in one’s mind, but also collectively, during collaborative creative activities, e.g. during small-group brainstorming sessions or creative improvisational performances. The possibility of collective symmetry restoration interacts well with the ideas in the field of relational ontology. Relational ontology highlights an important ontological role of relations. The ontological primacy is not given to individual entities, as in traditional metaphysics, but to relational structures and transformative relational processes (interactions). When accepting this assumption, we cannot imagine the situation when the actor’s mind could act absolutely independently and leave all of its relations as assumed in the compatibilist theory of free will. We argue that creative free action can be performed even in the case when the actor is entangled within their material, environmental, and social relational structures. (shrink)
This book addresses the fascinating cross-disciplinary field of quantum information theory applied to the study of brain function. It offers a self-study guide to probe the problems of consciousness, including a concise but rigorous introduction to classical and quantum information theory, theoretical neuroscience, and philosophy of the mind. It aims to address long-standing problems related to consciousness within the framework of modern theoretical physics in a comprehensible manner that elucidates the nature of the mind-body relationship. The reader also gains an (...) overview of methods for constructing and testing quantum informational theories of consciousness. (shrink)
Roger Penrose is known for his proposals, in collaboration with Stuart Hameroff, for quantum action in the brain. These proposals, which are still recent, have a prior, less known basis, which will be studied in the following work. First, the paper situates the framework from which a mathematical physicist like Penrose proposes to speak about consciousness. Then it shows how he understands the possible relationships between computation and consciousness and what criticism from other authors he endorses, to conclude by explaining (...) how he understands this relationship between consciousness and computation. Then, it focuses on the concept of non-locality so essential to his understanding of consciousness. With some examples, such as impossible objects or aperiodic tiling, the study addresses the concept of non-locality as Penrose understands it, and then shows how far he intends to arrive with that concept of non-locality. At all times the approach will be more philosophical than physical. (shrink)
In this article, I present a novel approach to the scientific understanding of consciousness. It is based on the hypothesis that the full range of phenomenal qualities is built into the frequency spectrum of a ubiquitous background field and proceeds on the assumption that conscious systems employ a universal mechanism by means of which they are able to extract phenomenal nuances selectively from this field. I set forth that in the form of the zero-point field (ZPF) physics can offer a (...) promising candidate that is qualified for playing the dual role as both the carrier of energy and consciousness. The appropriate mechanism, which rests upon the principle of dynamical coupling of ZPF modes, is a unique feature of quantum systems, suggesting that the dividing line between conscious and non-conscious systems is defined by the differentiation between quantum systems and classical systems. The presence of this mechanism in the brain is supported by the neurophysiological body of evidence, leading to a consistent explanation of the dynamical properties of the neural correlates of consciousness. Building on these findings, I lay the foundations for the conceptually coherent integration of consciousness into the physical worldview, derive an indicator for the quantity of consciousness of a given system, and outline the further steps toward a theory of consciousness. (shrink)
The paper explores whether David Bohm’ s proposal about quantum theoretical active information, and the mind-matter scheme he developed on the basis of it, can help us to explain consciousness. Here it is important to acknowledge that other researchers in philosophy of mind and consciousness studies have also made use of the concept of information in their theories of mind and consciousness. For example, Dretske and Barwise and Seligman have explored the possibility that information in the sense of factual semantic (...) contents can be grounded in environmental information. For Dretske this was an important part of his attempts to give a naturalistic account of sensory experiences, qualia and consciousness. During recent years the notion of information has been used to explain consciousness most notably by David Chalmers, as well as by Giulio Tononi and his co-workers. The strategy of this paper will be to first describe Bohm’ s mind-matter scheme, and then to briefl y consider Chalmers’ and Tononi et al.’ s ideas in the light of this scheme. (shrink)
This philosophical anthropology tries to explore the basic categories of man’s being in the worlds using a special quantum meta-ontology that is introduced in the book. Quantum understanding of space and time, consciousness, or empirical/nonempirical reality elicits new questions relating to philosophical concerns such as subjectivity, free will, mind, perception, experience, dialectic, or agency. The authors have developed an inspiring theoretical framework transcending the boundaries of particular disciplines, e.g. quantum philosophy, metaphysics of consciousness, philosophy of mind, phenomenology of space and (...) time, and ontological relativity. (shrink)
This paper argues that nonphysical souls would violate fundamental physical laws if they were able to influence brain events. Though we have no idea how nonphysical souls might operate, we know quite a bit about how brains work, so we can consider each of the ways that an external force could interrupt brain processes enough to control one’s body. It concludes that there is no way that a nonphysical soul could interact with the brain—neither by introducing new energy into the (...) physical world, nor by borrowing existing energy from it—without apparently violating one or more basic laws of physics, such as the law of conservation of energy. And despite widespread appeals to quantum mechanics to give interactionism an air of scientific respectability, the essential randomness of quantum processes prohibits the distinctly nonrandom influence that a nonphysical soul must have on brain events in order to control the body, and quantum mechanical uncertainty is not great enough to allow neurons to fire action potentials. -/- 1. Introduction -- 2. How the Brain Works -- 3. Mind-Brain Interaction Mechanisms - 3.1 Opening Sodium Channels - 3.2 Altering Voltage Gradients - 3.3 Synaptic Transmission - 3.3.1 The Presynaptic Neuron - 3.3.2 The Post-Synaptic Neuron - 3.3.3 The Beck and Eccles Models - 3.4 Neuronal Modulation - 3.5 Self-Generation of Action Potentials by Neurons -- 4. Harnessing Energy -- 5. How Many Action Potentials for a Volitional Act? -- 6. Input: From Brain to Nonphysical Mind -- 7. Discussion -- Appendix A: Opening Gates on Membrane Channels - A.1 Directly Opening Gates - A.2 Changing Voltage Across the Membrane -- Appendix B: The Biochemical Approach. (shrink)
We want here to suggest the hypothesis that the finalistic process inherent in the psyche as Jung describes it, is eminently of spiritual nature and "based" on the quantum-psychoid connection between the instinct of religiosity and the Self archetype. Which in our hypothesis evokes the possibility of a plausible extension of the Self quantum psychoid conception, with a series of consequences such as to believe it possible a development in quantum psychoid dimension of the analytical psychology itself.
An essential prerequisite for the development of a theory of consciousness is the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms underlying conscious processes. In this article I present an approach that sheds new light on these mechanisms. This approach builds on stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a promising theoretical framework that provides a deeper understanding of quantum systems and reveals the origin of quantum phenomena. I outline the most important concepts and findings of SED and interpret the neurophysiological body of evidence in the context (...) of these findings, indicating that the functioning of the brain rests upon exactly the same principles that are characteristic for quantum systems. On this basis, I construct a new hypothesis on the mechanisms behind conscious processes and discuss the new perspectives this hypothesis opens up for consciousness research. In particular, it offers the possibility of elucidating the relationship between brain and consciousness, of specifying the connection between consciousness and information, and of answering the question of what distinguishes conscious processes from unconscious processes. (shrink)
Quantum cognition research applies abstract, mathematical principles of quantum theory to inquiries in cognitive science. It differs fundamentally from alternative speculations about quantum brain processes. This topic presents new developments within this research program. In the introduction to this topic, we try to answer three questions: Why apply quantum concepts to human cognition? How is quantum cognitive modeling different from traditional cognitive modeling? What cognitive processes have been modeled using a quantum account? In addition, a brief introduction to quantum probability (...) theory and a concrete example is provided to illustrate how a quantum cognitive model can be developed to explain paradoxical empirical findings in psychological literature. (shrink)
We argue that human consciousness may be a property of single electron in the brain. We suppose that each electron in the universe has at least primitive consciousness. Each electron subjectively “observes” its quantum dynamics (energy, momentum, “shape” of wave function) in the form of sensations and other mental phenomena. However, some electrons in neural cells have complex “human” consciousnesses due to complex quantum dynamics in complex organic environment. We discuss neurophysiological and physical aspects of this hypothesis and show that: (...) (1) single chemically active electron has enough informational capacity to “contain” the richness of human subjective experience; (2) quantum states of some electrons might be directly influenced by human sensory data and have direct influence upon human behavior in real brain; (3) main physical and philosophical drawbacks of “conventional” “quantum theories of consciousness” may be solved by our hypothesis without much changes in their conceptual basis. We do not suggest any “new physics”, and our neuroscientific assumptions are similar to those used by other proponents of “quantum consciousness”. However, our hypothesis suggests radical changes in our view on human and physical reality. (shrink)
Starting with 1985, we discovered the possible existence of electrons with net helicity in biomolecules as amino acids and their possibility to discern between the two quantum spin states. It is well known that the question of a possible fundamental role of quantum mechanics in biological matter constitutes still a long debate. In the last ten years we have given a rather complete quantum mechanical elaboration entirely based on Clifford algebra whose basic entities are isomorphic to the well known spin (...) Pauli matrices. A number of our recent results indicate the possible logical origin of quantum mechanics and the direct admission of quantum mechanics in the field of cognitive sciences. In February 2011 the authors Gölder et al., published their important discovery on Science about Spin Selectivity in Electron Transmission Through Self-Assembled Monolayers of Double-Stranded DNA confirming in such manner that the principles of quantum mechanics apply to biological systems. (shrink)
One of the main challenges in consciousness research is widely known as the hard problem of consciousness. In order to tackle this problem, I utilize an approach from theoretical physics, called stochastic electrodynamics (SED), which goes one step beyond quantum theory and sheds new light on the reality behind matter. According to this approach, matter is a resonant oscillator that is orchestrated by an all-pervasive stochastic radiation field, called zero-point field (ZPF). The properties of matter are not intrinsic but acquired (...) by dynamic interaction with the ZPF, which in turn picks up information about the material system as soon as an ordered state, i.e., a stable attractor, is reached. I point out that these principles apply also to macroscopic biological systems. From this perspective, long-range correlations in the brain, such as neural gamma synchrony, can be interpreted in terms of order phenomena induced and stabilized by the ZPF, suggesting that every attractor in the brain goes along with an information state in the ZPF. In order to build the bridge to consciousness, I employ additional input from Eastern philosophy. From a comparison between SED and Eastern philosophy I draw the conclusion that the ZPF is an appropriate candidate for the substrate of consciousness, implying that information states in the ZPF are associated with conscious states. On this basis I develop a conceptual framework for consciousness that is fully consistent with physics, neurophysiology, and Eastern philosophy. I argue that this conceptual framework has many interesting features and opens a door to a theory of consciousness. Particularly, it solves the problem of how matter and consciousness communicate in a causally closed functional chain, it gives a physical grounding to existing approaches regarding the connection between consciousness and information, and it gives clear direction to future models and experiments. (shrink)
This work makes the case for a variant of panpsychism with an idealist metaphysic. It does not deny the concrete existence of any entities discoverable from commonplace experience or by science (such as cats, rocks, molecules and quarks), but argues that all true entities (the entire furniture of the universe) are in essence nothing over and above centres of experience that can perceive one another and act on their percepts. All physical properties and laws reduce without remainder to mental dittos. (...) The system gives a lucid account of mental causation. The book critiques physicalism as obscure, perhaps even incoherent, and defends libertarian free will. (shrink)
Theory of everything must include consciousness. In Part I of this series of 3 articles, the subjective experience (SE) aspect of consciousness was introduced in classical physics by examining the invariance of various components of theories under PE‐SE transformations, where PEs (proto‐experiences) are precursors of SEs. We found that (i) classical physics is invariant under the PE‐SE transformation, (ii) potential SEs are embedded in space‐time geometry for the structure of space‐time in superposed form, (iii) potential SEs can move with spatiotemporal (...) coordinates of matter for matter field because both mental and material aspects are always together in the dual‐aspect‐dual‐mode optimal PE‐SE framework, and (iv) our specific SE is the result of matching and selection processes and can change with space and time. For example, experiencing redness has neural correlates of V4/V8/VO‐red‐green neural‐net with redness state. When a subject moves, the specific SE redness also moves with the subject’s correlated neural‐net. In the current Part II, the SE aspect of consciousness is introduced in orthodox quantum physics by examining its invariance under the PE‐SE transformations. We found that the followings are invariant under the PE‐SE transformations: Schrödinger equation, current, Dirac Lagrangian, the Lagrangian for a charged self‐interacting scalar field, and Standard Model (the Lagrangian for free gauge field and Lagrangian for the electromagnetic interaction of a charged scalar field). In Part III the SE aspect of consciousness will be introduced to unify it with fundamental forces in loop quantum gravity and string theory of modern quantum physics. All parts together lead us towards the theory of everything. (shrink)
Theory of everything must include consciousness. In this article, we focus on the subjective experiences component of consciousness. In Vimal (J Integrative Neuroscience, 2008: 7(1), 49-73), it was hypothesized that fundamental entities (strings or elementary particles: fermions and bosons) have two aspects: (i) material aspect such as mass, charge, spin, and space-time, and (ii) mental aspect, such as experiences. There are three competing hypotheses: superposition based H1, superposition-then-integration based H2, and integration based H3 where superposition is not required. In H1, (...) the fundamental entities and inert matter are the carriers of superimposed fundamental subjective experiences (SEs)/proto-experiences (PEs). In H2, the fundamental entities and inert matter are the carriers of superimposed fundamental PEs (not SEs), which are integrated by neural-Darwinism (co-evolution, co-development, and sensorimotor co-tuning by the evolutionary process of adaptation and natural selection). There is a PE attached to every level of evolution (such as atomic-PE, molecular-PE, … genetic-PE, … bacterium-PE, … neural-PE, and neural-net-PE). In H3, a string has its own string-PE; a matter is not a carrier of PE(s) in superposed form as it is in H2, rather matter is a proto-experiential entity and has two aspects at every level; H3 is a dual-aspect panpsychism. These two aspects are rigorously integrated together by neural-Darwinism. One could argue for H3 that the PE keeps on transforming appropriately as matter evolves from elementary particles to atoms to molecules to eventually neural-networks. For example, when long wavelength light is presented to the V4/V8/VO neural-network, the neural-net PE takes the form of SE redness, in analogy to water takes the shape and color of the container. However, one has to unpack this mystery. In H1, a specific SE arises in a neural-net as follows: (i) there exist a virtual reservoir that stores all possible fundamental SEs/PEs, (ii) the interaction of stimulus-dependent feed-forward and feedback signals in the neural-net creates a specific neural-net state, (iii) this specific state is assigned to a specific SE from the virtual reservoir during neural Darwinism, (iv) this specific SE is embedded as a memory trace of neural-net-PE, and (v) when a specific stimulus is presented to the neural-net, the associated specific SE is selected by the matching and selection process and experienced by this net. In hypotheses H2 and H3, a specific SE emerges in a neural-net from the interaction of its constituent neural-PEs, such as in feed-forward stimulus-dependent neural signals and fronto-parietal feedback attentional signals, in analogy to water emerges from the interaction of hydrogen and oxygen. In all hypotheses, SEs occur when essential ingredients of SEs (such as wakefulness, attention, re-entry, working memory, stimulus at or above threshold level, and neural-net-PEs) are satisfied. We found that the followings in physics are invariant under the PE-SE transformation: Schrödinger equation, current, Dirac Lagrangian, electromagnetic strength tensor, electromagnetic stress-energy tensor, the Lagrangian for free gauge field, the Lagrangian for a charged self–interacting scalar field, electromagnetic theory (Maxwell's equations), Standard Model, Lagrangian for the electromagnetic interaction of a charged scalar field (Higgs Mechanism), Newtonian gravitational potential and field, special theory of Relativity and Lorentz transformation, geodesic equation, general theory of relativity and gravitational field, the metric gmn, Ricci curvature tensor Rmn, Ricci scalar curvature R, the cosmological constant L, the stress-energy tensor Tmn, the PE-SE transformation, Loop Quantum Gravity, and string theory. For H1 and H2, we quantitatively introduced the superposition of experiences (SEs/PEs) in the mental aspect of bosonic and fermionic strings using the Polyakov action. We conclude that experiences are independent of the time-like and space-like parameters (t,s). This is interpreted as a string is dual-aspect entity and all fundamental SEs/PEs superposed in the mental aspect of the string remains invariant with time and space. The introduction of mental aspect in this manner suggests that the mental aspect of string could be in all dimensions: both (3+1)D real dimensions and also in the hidden dimensions that are compactified (curled up). In addition, the Neumann and Dirichlet boundary conditions were also satisfied. These led us to conclude that the material aspect of the behavior of system in string theory remains invariant under the introduction of experiences in the mental aspect of strings as a function of experiences. For hypothesis H3, the equations of string theory remain the same; we simply need to acknowledge that a string has dual-aspect; its mental aspect is string-PE. We concluded that it is possible to unify consciousness with all four fundamental material forces by the introduction of (i) SEs/PEs (as in H1) or PEs (as in H2) in superposed form in bosonic and fermionic strings or (ii) the bosonic-string-PE and fermionic-string-PE based on integration principle (as in H3). This leads us towards the theory of everything. (shrink)
Previously (Vimal, 2009b) in Whitehead Psychology Nexus Studies, we discussed (i) the dual-aspect-dual-mode proto-experience (PE)-subjective experience (SE) framework of consciousness based on neuroscience, (ii) its implication in war, suffering, peace, and happiness, (iii) the process of sublimation for optimizing them and converting the negative aspects of seven groups of self-protective energy system (desire, anger, ego, greed, attachment, jealousy, and selfish-love) into their positive aspects from both western and eastern perspectives. In this article, we summarize the recent development since then as (...) follows. (1) In (Vimal, 2009e), we rigorously investigated the classical and quantum matching and selection processes for precisely experiencing a specific SE in a specific neural-network. (2) In (Vimal, 2009i), we unpacked the quantum view of superposition related to the superposition-based hypothesis H1 of our framework in terms of subquantum dual-aspect primal entities (bhutatmas) and addressed the related explanatory gaps. (3) In, we developed alternative hypotheses of our framework, namely, the superposition-then-integration-emergence based H2, the integration-emergence based H3, the intelligent mechanism based H4, and the vacuum/Aether based H5. We concluded that our framework with H1 is the most optimal one because it has the least number of problems (Vimal, 2009j). (4) In, we found over 40 different but overlapping meanings attributed to the term ‘consciousness’ and suggested that authors must specify which aspect of consciousness they refer to when using this term to minimize confusion (Vimal, 2009f). (5) In, we proposed definitions of consciousness, qualia, mind, and awareness (Vimal, 2009h). (6) In, we investigated the necessary ingredients for access (reportable) consciousness: wakefulness, re-entry, attention, working memory and so on (Vimal, 2009g). (7) In, we discussed Nāgārjuna’s philosophy of dependent co-origination with respect to our PE-SE framework (Vimal, 2009a). (8) In, we linked dynamic systems theory and fractal catalytic theory with standard representation theory using our framework (Vimal, 2009d). (9) In, we introduce the PE-SE aspects of consciousness in theoretical classical and quantum physics including loop quantum gravity and string theory (Vimal, 2009k). (10) In (Vimal, 2009c), we proposed that the SE of subject or ‘self’ in self-related neural-network is tuned to the self-related SEs/PEs superposed in other innumerable entities during samadhi state via matching and selection processes. This leads to bliss, ecstasy, or exceptionally high degree of climax at samadhi state. We conclude that, so far, the dual-aspect-dual-mode PE-SE framework with hypothesis H1 is the most optimal framework for explaining our conventional reality because it has the least number of problems. (shrink)
Neural circuits linking local operations in the cortex and the basal ganglia confer reiterative capacities, expressed in seemingly unrelated human traits such as speech, syntax, adaptive actions to changing circumstances, dancing, and music. Reiteration allows the formation of a potentially unbounded number of sentences from a finite set of syntactic processes, obviating the need for the hypothetical.
And why is there a subjective component to experience?). It is easy to see that the separation between Weak and Strong Artificial Consciousness mirrors the separation between the easy problems and the hard problems of consciousness.
I argue that a dual-aspect theory of consciousness, associated with a particular class of quantum states, can provide a consistent account of consciousness. I illustrate this with the use of coherent states as this class. The proposal meets Chalmers 'requirements of allowing a structural correspondence between consciousness and its physical correlate. It provides a means for consciousness to have an effect on the world (it is not an epiphenomenon, and can thus be selected by evolution) in a way that supplements (...) and completes conventional physics, rather than interfering with it. I draw on the work of Hameroff and Penrose to explain the consistency of this proposal with decoherence, while adding details to this work. The proposal is open to extensive further research at both theoretical and experimental levels. (shrink)
In this paper we try to make a clear distinction between quantum mysticism and quantum mind theory. Quackery always accompanies science especially in controversial and still under development areas and since the quantum mind theory is a science youngster it must clearly demarcate itself from the great stuff of pseudo-science currently patronized by the term "quantum mind". Quantum theory has attracted a big deal of attention and opened new avenues for building up a physical theory of mind because its principles (...) and experimental foundations are as strange as the phenomenon of consciousness itself. Yet, the unwarranted recourse to paranormal phenomena as supporting the quantum mind theory plus the extremely bad biological mismodeling of brain physiology lead to great scepticism about the viability of the approach. We give as an example the Hameroff-Penrose Orch OR model with a list of twenty four problems not being repaired for a whole decade after the birth of the model in 1996. In the exposition we have tried not only to pesent critique of the spotted flaws, but to provide novel possibilities towards creation of neuroscientific quantum model of mind that incorporates all the available data from the basic disciplines (biochemistry, cell physiology, etc.) up to the clinical observations (neurology, neurosurgery, molecular psychiatry, etc.). Thus in a concise fashion we outline what can be done scientifically to improve the Q-mind theory and start a research programme (in Lakatos sense) that is independent on the particular flaws in some of the existing Q-mind models. (shrink)
_Figure 1. Dendrites and cell bodies of schematic neurons connected by dendritic-dendritic gap junctions form a laterally connected input_ _layer (“dendritic web”) within a neurocomputational architecture. Dendritic web dynamics are temporally coupled to gamma synchrony_ _EEG, and correspond with integration phases of “integrate and fire” cycles. Axonal firings provide input to, and output from, integration_ _phases (only one input, and three output axons are shown). Cell bodies/soma contain nuclei shown as black circles; microtubule networks_ _pervade the cytoplasm. According to the (...) Orch OR theory, gamma EEG-synchronized integration phases include quantum computations in_ _microtubule networks which culminate with conscious moments. Insert closeup shows a gap junction through which microtubule quantum_ _states entangle among different neurons, enabling macroscopic quantum states in dendritic webs extending throughout cortex and other_ _brain regions._. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that consciousness or, more generally, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the material brain. Since quantum theory is the most fundamental theory of matter that is currently available, it is a legitimate question to ask whether quantum theory can help us to understand consciousness. Several approaches answering this question affirmatively, proposed in recent decades, will be surveyed. It will be pointed out that they make different epistemological assumptions, refer to different neurophysiological (...) levels of description, and use quantum theory in different ways. For each of the approaches discussed, problematic and promising features will be equally highlighted. (shrink)
Consciousness involves phenomenal experience, self-awareness, feelings, choices, control of actions, a model of the world, etc. But what _is_ _it?_ Is consciousness something specific, or merely a byproduct of information processing? Whatever it is, consciousness is a multi-faceted puzzle. Despite enormous strides in behavioral and brain science, essential features of consciousness continue to elude explanation. Unresolved problems include: 1) Neural correlates of conscious perception apparently occur too late—150 to 500 milliseconds (msec) after impingement on our sense organs—to have causal efficacy (...) in seemingly conscious perceptions and willful actions, often initiated or completed within 100 msec after sensory impingement. For example in the. (shrink)
The viewpoint that consciousness, including feeling, could be fully expressed by a computational device is known as strong artificial intelligence or strong AI. Here I offer a defense of strong AI based on machine-state functionalism at the quantum level, or quantum-state functionalism. I consider arguments against strong AI, then summarize some counterarguments I find compelling, including Torkel Franzén’s work which challenges Roger Penrose’s claim, based on Gödel incompleteness, that mathematicians have nonalgorithmic levels of “certainty.” Some consequences of strong AI are (...) then considered. A resolution is offered of some problems including John Searle’s Chinese Room problem and the problem of consciousness propagation under isomorphism. (shrink)
b>: Replacing faulty nineteenth century physics by its orthodox quantum successor converts the earlier materialist conception of nature to a structure that does not enforce the principle of the causal closure of the physical. The quantum laws possess causal gaps, and these gaps are filled in actual scientific practice by inputs from our streams of consciousness. The form of the quantum laws permits and suggests the existence of an underlying reality that is built not on substances, but on psychophysical events, (...) and on objective tendencies for these events to occur. These events constitute intrinsic mind-brain connections. They are fundamental links between brain processes described in physical terms and events in our streams of consciousness. This quantum ontology confers upon our conscious intentions the causal efficacy assigned to them in actual scientific practice, and creates a substance- free interactive dualism. This putative quantum ontology has previously been shown to have impressive explanatory power in both psychology and neuroscience. Here it is used to reconcile the existence of physically efficacious conscious free will with causal anomalies of both the Libet and Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky types. (shrink)
Volume Four, as indicated by the anthology's subtitle, is in honor of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). The chapters do not necessarily mention Simone de Beauvoir or Martin Heidegger. The 16 chapters (by professional philosophers and other professional scholars) are directed to issues related to death, life extension, and anti-death. Most of the 400-plus pages consist of scholarship unique to this volume. Includes index. -/- -/- The titles of the 16 chapters are as follows: -/- -/- 1. (...) Mechanism, Galileo’s Animale And Heidegger’s Gestell: Reflections On The Lifelessness Of Modern Science by GiorgioBaruchello -/- -/- 2. Simone De Beauvoir by Debra Bergoffen -/- 3. Existentialism by Steven Crowell -/- -/- 4. Time Wounds All Heels by William Grey -/- -/- 5. The Ethical Importance Of Death by Jenann Ismael -/- 6. The Poetics Of Death: Intimations And Illusions by Lawrence Kimmel -/- -/- 7. Death And Aesthetics by Keith Lehrer -/- -/- 8. Ageing And Existentialism: Simone De Beauvoir And The Limits Of Freedom by Shannon M. Mussett -/- -/- 9. Life Extension And Meaning by Carol O’Brien -/- -/- 10. Consciousness As Computation: A Defense Of Strong AI Based On Quantum-State Functionalism by R. Michael Perry -/- -/- 11. Reality Shifts: On The Death And Dying Of Dr. Timothy Leary by Carol Sue Rosin -/- -/- 12. Extraterrestrial Liberty And The Great Transmutation by Charles Tandy -/- -/- 13. A Time Travel Schema And Eight Types Of Time Travel by Charles Tandy -/- -/- 14. Boredom, Experimental Ethics, And Superlongevity by Mark Walker -/- -/- 15. Exopolitics: The Death Of Death by Alfred Lambremont Webre -/- -/- 16. Embryo Cloning: Current State Of The Medical Art And Its Far-Reaching Consequences For Multiple Applications by Panayiotis M.Zavos. (shrink)