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)
The concepts of complementarity and entanglement are considered with respect to their significance in and beyond physics. A formally generalized, weak version of quantum theory, more general than ordinary quantum theory of physical systems, is outlined and tentatively applied to two examples.
The role of contingent contexts in formulating relations between properties of systems at different descriptive levels is addressed. Based on the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions for interlevel relations, a comprehensive classification of such relations is proposed, providing a transparent conceptual framework for discussing particular versions of reduction, emergence, and supervenience. One of these versions, contextual emergence, is demonstrated using two physical examples: molecular structure and chirality, and thermal equilibrium and temperature. The concept of stability is emphasized as a (...) basic guiding principle of contextual property emergence. (shrink)
A novel conceptual framework for theoretical psychology is presented and illustrated for the example of bistable perception. A basic formal feature of this framework is the non-commutativity of operations acting on mental states. A corresponding model for the bistable perception of ambiguous stimuli, the Necker–Zeno model, is sketched and some empirical evidence for it so far is described. It is discussed how a temporal non-locality of mental states, predicted by the model, can be understood and tested.
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)
Dual-aspect monism and neutral monism offer interesting alternatives to mainstream positions concerning the mind-matter problem. Both assume a domain underlying the mind-matter distinction, but they also differ in definitive ways. In the twentieth century, variants of both positions have been advanced by a number of protagonists. One of these variants, the dual-aspect monism due toWolfgang Pauli and Carl Gustav Jung, will be described and commented on in detail. As a unique feature in the Pauli-Jung conception, the duality of mental and (...) material aspects is specified in terms of a complementarity. This sounds innocent, but entails a number of peculiarities distinguishing their conjecture from other approaches. (shrink)
The concepts of complementarity and entanglement are considered with respect to their significance in and beyond physics. A formally generalized, weak version of quantum theory, more general than ordinary quantum theory of physical systems, is outlined and tentatively applied to two examples.
Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) was one of the greatest physicists of the past century. He played a leading role in the development of modern physics and was known for his ruthless intellectual integrity. Pauli first became famed through the publication of his encyclopaedia article on the theory of relativity (Pauli, 1921) when he was still a student of Sommerfeld's. Einstein much admired this article, which remained a classic.
The emergence of mental states from neural states by partitioning the neural phase space is analyzed in terms of symbolic dynamics. Well-deﬁned mental states provide contexts inducing a criterion of structural stability for the neurodynamics that can be implemented by particular partitions. This leads to distinguished subshifts of ﬁnite type that are either cyclic or irreducible. Cyclic shifts correspond to asymptotically stable ﬁxed points or limit tori whereas irreducible shifts are obtained from generating partitions of mixing hyperbolic systems. These stability (...) criteria are applied to the discussion of neural correlates of consiousness, to the deﬁnition of macroscopic neural states, and to aspects of the symbol grounding problem. In particular, it is shown that compatible mental descriptions, topologically equivalent to the neurodynamical description, emerge if the partition of the neural phase space is generating. If this is not the case, mental descriptions are incompatible or complementary. Consequences of this result for an integration or uniﬁcation of cognitive science or psychology, respectively, will be indicated. (shrink)
The concept of complementarity, originally defined for non-commuting observables of quantum systems with states of non-vanishing dispersion, is extended to classical dynamical systems with a partitioned phase space. Interpreting partitions in terms of ensembles of epistemic states (symbols) with corresponding classical observables, it is shown that such observables are complementary to each other with respect to particular partitions unless those partitions are generating. This explains why symbolic descriptions based on an ad hoc partition of an underlying phase space description should (...) generally be expected to be incompatible. Related approaches with different background and different objectives are discussed. (shrink)
1 – Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Wilhelmstr. 3a, 79098 Freiburg, Germany 2 – Parmenides Center, Via Mellini 26-28, 57031 Capoliveri, Italy 3 – Department of Ophtalmology, University of Freiburg, Killianstr. 5, 79106 Freiburg, Germany 4 – Institute of Physics, University of Freiburg, Hermann- Herder -Str. 3, 79104 Freiburg, GermanyThe “Necker-Zeno model”, a model for bistable perception inspired by the quantum Zeno eﬀect, was previously used to relate three basic time scales of cognitive relevance to one (...) another in a quantitative manner. In this paper, the model predictions are compared with experimental results obtained under discontinuous presentation of an ambiguous stimulus. In addition to earlier results for long inter-stimulus intervals, we show that the reversal dynamics according to the Necker-Zeno model is also in agreement with new results for short inter-stimulus intervals. Moreover, we reﬁne the model in such a way that it accounts for the distribution of “dwell times”. Finally, we indicate applications concerning the modiﬁcation of cognitive time scales under conditions of psychopathological impairments and meditationinduced modes of awareness. ∗Address correspondence to this author at the Theory Division of the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology, Wilhelmstr. 3a, D–79098 Freiburg, Germany; E-mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Mental and neural states are related to one another by vertical interlevel relations and by horizontal intralevel relations. For particular choices of such relations, problems arise if causal efficacy is ascribed to mental states. In a series of influential papers and books, Kim has presented his much discussed “supervenience argument,” which ultimately amounts to the dilemma that mental states either are causally inefficacious or they hold the threat of overdetermining neural states. Forced by this disjunction, Kim votes in favor of (...) overdetermination and, ultimately, reduction. We propose a perspective on mental causation that dissolves the assumption of a tension between horizontal and vertical determination. For mental states to be causally efficacious, they must be dynamically stable. This important requirement can be implemented by combining a key idea of supervenience, multiple realization, with the recently introduced vertical interlevel relation of contextual emergence. Both together deflate Kim's dilemma and reflate the causal efficacy of mental states. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
When constrained by limited resources, how do we choose axioms of rationality? The target article relies on Bayesian reasoning that encounter serioustractabilityproblems. We propose another axiomatic foundation: quantum probability theory, which provides for less complex and more comprehensive descriptions. More generally, defining rationality in terms of axiomatic systems misses a key issue: rationality must be defined by humans facing vague information.
The dual-aspect monist conjecture launched by Pauli and Jung in the mid-20th century will be couched in somewhat formal terms to characterize it more concisely than by verbal description alone. After some background material situating the Pauli–Jung conjecture among other conceptual approaches to the mind–matter problem, the main body of this paper outlines its general framework of a basic psychophysically neutral reality with its derivative mental and physical aspects and the nature of the correlations that connect these aspects. Some related (...) approaches are discussed to identify key similarities to and deviations from the Pauli–Jung framework that may be useful for cross-fertilization. (shrink)
Temporally non-local measurements -- single measurements yielding information about the state of a system at different instances-- may provide a way to observe non-classical behaviour in mental systems. The signature for such behaviour is a violation of temporal Bell inequalities. We present such inequalities applicable to scenarios with two alternating mental states, such as in the perception of ambiguous figures. We indicate empirical options for testing temporal Bell inequalities, and speculate about possible explanations in case these inequalities are indeed violated.
Two distinct conceptions for the relation between reversible, time-reversal invariant laws of nature and the irreversible behavior of physical systems are outlined. The standard, extrinsic concept of irreversibility is based on the notion of an open system interacting with its environment. An alternative, intrinsic concept of irreversibility does not explicitly refer to any environment at all. Basic aspects of the two concepts are presented and compared with each other. The significance of the terms extrinsic and intrinsic is discussed.
A fundamental link between system theory and statistical mechanics has been found to be established by the Kolmogorov entropy K. By this quantity the temporal evolution of dynamical systems can be classified into regular, chaotic, and stochastic processes. Since K represents a measure for the internal information creation rate of dynamical systems, it provides an approach to irreversibility. The formal relationship to statistical mechanics is derived by means of an operator formalism originally introduced by Prigogine. For a Liouville operator L (...) and an information operator $\tilde M$ acting on a distribution in phase space, it is shown that i[L, $\tilde M$ ]≡KI (I=identity operator). As a first consequence of this equivalence, a relation is obtained between the chaotic correlation time of a system and Prigogine's concept of a “finite duration of presence.” Finally, the existence of chaos in quantum systems is discussed with respect to the existence of a quantum mechanical time operator. (shrink)
Mental representations are based upon categories in which the state of a mental system is stable. Acategorial states, on the other hand, are distinguished by unstable behavior. A refined and compact terminology for the description of categorial and acategorial mental states and their stability properties is introduced within the framework of the theory of dynamical systems. The relevant concepts are illustrated by selected empirical observations in cognitive neuroscience. Alterations of the category of the first person singular and features of creative (...) activity will be discussed as examples for the phenomenology of acategorial states. (shrink)
We propose a distinction between precategorial, acategorial and categorial states within a scientiﬁcally oriented understanding of mental processes. This distinction can be speciﬁed by approaches developed in cognitive neuroscience and the analytical philosophy of mind. On the basis of a representational theory of mental processes, acategoriality refers to a form of knowledge that presumes fully developed categorial mental representations, yet refers to nonconceptual experiences in mental states beyond categorial states. It relies on a simultaneous experience of potential individual representations and (...) their actual “representational ground”, an undiﬀerentiated precategorial state. This simultaneity is possible if the mental state does not reside in a representation but in between representations. Acategoriality can be formally modeled as an unstable state of a dynamical mental system that is subject to particular stability criteria. (shrink)
The concept of contextual emergence has been proposed as a non-reductive, yet well- defined relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems. It is illustrated for the transition from statistical mechanics to thermodynamical properties such as temperature. Stability conditions are shown to be crucial for a rigorous implementation of contingent contexts that are required to understand temperature as an emergent property. Are such stability conditions meaningful for contextual emergence beyond physics as well? An affirmative example from cognitive (...) neuroscience addresses the relation between neurobiological and mental levels of description. For a particular class of partitions of the underlying neurobiological phase space, so-called generating partitions, the emergent mental states are stable under the dynamics. In this case, mental descriptions are (i) faithful representations of the neurodynamics and (ii) compatible with one another. (shrink)
Systems exhibiting relationships between mental states and material states, briefly mind-matter systems, offer epistemological and methodological problems exceeding those of systems with mental states or material states alone. Some of these problems can be addressed by proceeding from standard firstorder approaches to more sophisticated second-order approaches. These can illuminate questions of reference and validity, and their ramifications for the topic of reproducibility. For various situations in complex systems it is shown that second-order approaches need to be employed. Considering mind-matter systems (...) as generalized complex systems provides some guidelines for analyzing the problem of reproducibility in such systems from a novel perspective. (shrink)
The idea of complementarity already appears in William James’ (1890a, p. 206) Principles of Psychology in the chapter on “the relations of minds to other things”. Later, in 1927, Niels Bohr introduced complementarity as a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics. It refers to properties (observables) that a system cannot have simultaneously, and which cannot be simultaneously measured with arbitrarily high accuracy. Yet, in the context of classical physics they would both be needed for an exhaustive description of the system.
We present results from numerical studies of supervised learning operations in recurrent networks considered as graphs, leading from a given set of input conditions to predetermined outputs. Graphs that have optimized their output for particular inputs with respect to predetermined outputs are asymptotically stable and can be characterized by attractors which form a representation space for an associative multiplicative structure of input operations. As the mapping from a series of inputs onto a series of such attractors generally depends on the (...) sequence of inputs, this structure is generally noncommutative. Moreover, the size of the set of attractors, indicating the complexity of learning, is found to behave non-monotonically as learning proceeds. A tentative relation between this complexity and the notion of pragmatic information is indicated. (shrink)
Philosophical discourse traditionally distinguishes between ontology and epistemology and generally enforces this distinction by keeping the two subject areas separated. However, the relationship between the two areas is of central importance to physics and philosophy of physics. For instance, many measurement-related problems force us to consider both our knowledge of the states and observables of a system and its states and observables independent of such knowledge. This applies to quantum systems in particular. This contribution presents an example showing the importance (...) of distinguishing between ontic and epistemic levels of description even for classical systems. Corresponding conceptions of ontic and epistemic states and their evolution are introduced and discussed with respect to aspects of stability and information flow. These aspects show why the ontic/epistemic distinction is particularly important for systems exhibiting deterministic chaos. Moreover, this distinction provides some understanding of the relationships between determinism, causation, predictability, randomness, and stochasticity. (shrink)
Summary. We discuss a specific way in which the notion of complementarity can be based on the dynamics of the system considered. This approach rests on an epistemic representation of system states, reflecting our knowledge about a system in terms of coarse grainings (partitions) of its phase space. Within such an epistemic quantization of classical systems, compatible, comparable, commensurable, and complementary descriptions can be precisely characterized and distinguished from each other. Some tentative examples are indicated that, we suppose, would have (...) been of interest to Pauli. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that consciousness or, in other words, mental activity is in some way correlated to the behavior of the brain or, in other words, material brain activity. 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 a?rmatively, proposed in recent decades, will be surveyed. It will be pointed out that they make (...) di?erent epistemological assumptions, refer to di?erent neurophysiological levels of description, and adopt quantum theory in di?erent ways. For each of the approaches discussed, these imply both.. (shrink)
The concept of contextual emergence is proposed as a non-reductive, yet welldeﬁned relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems. It is illustrated for the transition from statistical mechanics to thermodynamical properties such as temperature. Stability conditions are crucial for a rigorous implementation of contingent contexts that are required to understand temperature as an emergent property. It is proposed that such stability conditions are meaningful for contextual emergence beyond physics as well.
The physical process of observation is considered from a specific information theoretical viewpoint. Using the modified concept of an information based on infinite alternatives, a formalism is derived describing the elementary transfer of one bit of information. This bit of information is produced on a virtual (nonreal) sub-quantum level of physical description. The interpretation of the formalism yields the following, complementary points: (i) the effect of spatiotemporal delocalization on the sub-quantum level, and (ii) a possible access to the concept of (...) chaos as an intrinsic property of quantum systems. As a brief example, elementary information transfer is illustrated in a cosmological context. Finally, a formal approach to information production on the sub-quantum level is sketched on the basis of complex time. (shrink)
A well-known difficulty of the interdisciplinary dialogue beyond the limits of particular disciplines is the lack of common ground regarding their metaphysical and methodological assumptions and commitments. This is particularly evident for the precarious relationship between science and religion. In a 2016 conference entitled “The Many Faces of Panentheism” held in Zurich, and now in this introduction as well as this section, we try to counteract this situation by choosing a focus theme located at the interface between nature and the (...) divine. Thus, key perspectives, arguments, and implications of panentheism are introduced not only from one selected point of view but in relation to others. This allows us to explore territory beyond the boundaries of disciplinary backgrounds and to address intellectual and practical consequences for current debates. (shrink)
This contribution addresses major distinctions between the notions of determinism, causation, and prediction, as they are typically used in the sciences. Formally, this can be elegantly achieved by two ingredients: (i) the distinction of ontic and epistemic states of a system, and (ii) temporal symmetry breakings based on the mathematical concept of the affine time group. Key aspects of the theory of deterministically chaotic systems together with historical quotations from Laplace, Maxwell, and Poincare provide significant illustrations. An important point of (...) various discussions in consciousness studies (notably about 'mental causation' and 'free agency'), the alleged 'causal closure of the physical', will be analysed on the basis of the affine time group and the breakdown of its symmetries. (shrink)
This chapter analyzes the different ways to describe brain behaviour with the goal to provide a basis for an informed discussion of the nature of decisions and actions that humans perform in their lives. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 outlines a number of concepts exhibiting how many subtle details and distinctions lie behind the broad notions of determinacy and stochasticity. These details are necessary for a discussion, in Section 3, of particular aspects relevant for the characterization of (...) brain states and their dynamics. The descriptions of brain behaviour currently provided by neuroscience depend on the level and context of the descriptions. There is no clear-cut evidence for ultimately determinate or ultimately stochastic brain behaviour. As a consequence, there is no solid neurobiological basis to argue either in favour of or against any fundamental determination or openness of human decisions and actions. (shrink)
The dynamics of neuronal systems, briefly neurodynamics, has developed into an attractive and influential research branch within neuroscience. In this paper, we discuss a number of conceptual issues in neurodynamics that are important for an appropriate interpretation and evaluation of its results. We demonstrate their relevance for selected topics of theoretical and empirical work. In particular, we refer to the notions of determinacy and stochasticity in neurodynamics across levels of microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic descriptions. The issue of correlations between neural, (...) mental and behavioral states is also addressed in some detail. We propose an informed discussion of conceptual foundations with respect to neurobiological results as a viable step to a fruitful future philosophy of neuroscience. (shrink)
The relevance of the Cartesian cut as a conceptual tool to separate matter and mind in the tradition of a dualistic world view is addressed. Modern science has developed an increasing number of concepts requiring that such a cut be considered neither as a priori prescribed nor as impenetrable. Two important examples are the concepts of complexity and meaning. They are subjects of physics as the science of matter and cognitive science as the science of the mind, respectively. Their mutual (...) relationships are discussed to some detail, and certain elements of a `post-Cartesian' way of thinking are indicated. (shrink)
A key topic in the work of Burghard Rieger is the notion of meaning. To explore this notion, he and his collaborators developed a most sophisticated approach combining theoretical ideas and concepts of semiotics with empirical and numerical tools of computational linguistics. In the present contribution, relations of Rieger’s achievements to some issues of interest in the physics and philosophy of complex systems will be addressed.
Traditional philosophical discourse draws a distinction between ontology and epistemology and generally enforces this distinction by keeping the two subject areas separated and unrelated. In addition, the relationship between the two areas is of central importance to physics and philosophy of physics. For instance, all kinds of measurement-related problems force us to consider both our knowledge of the states and observables of a system (epistemic perspective) and its states and observables independent of such knowledge (ontic perspective). This applies to quantum (...) systems in particular. (shrink)
More than thirty years ago, Amari and colleagues proposed a statistical framework for identifying structurally stable macrostates of neural networks from observations of their microstates. We compare their stochastic stability criterion with a deterministic stability criterion based on the ergodic theory of dynamical systems, recently proposed for the scheme of contextual emergence and applied to particular inter-level relations in neuroscience. Stochastic and deterministic..
Stable neuronal assemblies are generally regarded as neural correlates of mental representations. Their temporal sequence corresponds to the experience of a direction of time, sometimes called the psychological time arrow. We show that the stability of particular, biophysically motivated models of neuronal assemblies, called coupled map lattices, is supported by causal interactions among neurons and obstructed by non-causal or anti-causal interactions among neurons. This surprising relation between causality and stability suggests that those neuronal assemblies that are stable due to causal (...) neuronal interactions, and thus correlated with mental representations, generate a psychological time arrow. Yet this impact of causal interactions among neurons on the directed sequence of mental representations does not rule out the possibility of mentally less efficacious non-causal or anti-causal interactions among neurons. (shrink)
The traditional formalism of quantum mechanics is mainly used to describe ensembles of identical systems (with a density-operator formalism) or single isolated systems, but is not capable of describing single open quantum objects with many degrees of freedom showing pure-state stochastic dynamical behaviour. In particular, stochastic 'line-migration' as in single-molecule spectroscopy of defect molecules in a molecular matrix is not adequately described. Starting with the Bohr scenario of stochastic quantum jumps (between strict energy eigenstates), we try to incorporate more general (...) pure-state stochastic dynamical behaviour into the quantum mechanical formalism.Probability distributions of (approximately) pure states, arising through the stochastic pure-state dynamics for long times, give rise to appropriate decompositions of thermal density operators. These decompositions of density operators into pure states mediate between quantum mechanics for ensembles of molecules and quantum theory for single molecules (or single dressed quantum objects). We suggest that such decompositions should be consistent with infinite limits (e.g. the Born-Oppenheimer limit for infinite nuclear masses) in the sense that quantum fluctuations (around classical behaviour in the infinite limit) die out asymptotically. (shrink)
Dual-aspect approaches (or double-aspect approaches)consider mental and material domains of reality as aspects, or manifestations, of one underlying, unseparated reality. In such a framework, the distinction between mind and matter can be regarded as a basic tool for achieving epistemic access to, i.e. gather knowledge about, both the separated do- mains and the underlying reality. In this sense, the status of the underlying, psychophysically neutral domain is ontic relative to the mind-matter distinction.
One among many misleading quotations about the alleged mysteries of quantum theory is from Feynman (1965): Today we know that quantum theory describes many aspects of our world in a fully intelligible fashion. Pothos & Busemeyer (P&B) propose ways in which this may include psychology and cognitive science.
“Man klagt zu Unrecht, dass unsere Zeit keine Philosophen mehr habe”, pflegte der Theologe und Wissenschaftsorganisator von Harnack zu sagen, “sie sitzen nur jetzt in der anderen Fakult¨ at, und ihre Namen sind Planck und Einstein.” Mit beiden sind die Anf¨.
Wolfgang Pauli is well recognized as an outstanding theoretical physicist, famous for his formulation of the two-valuedness of the electron spin, for the exclusion principle, and for his prediction of the neutrino. Less well known is the fact that Pauli spent a lot of time in different avenues of human experience and scholarship, ranging over fields such as the history of ideas, philosophy, religion, alchemy and Jung's psychology. Pauli's philosophical and particularly his psychological background is not overt in his scientific (...) papers and was unknown even to many specialist scholars until a number of enthralling and perplexing documents of a close interaction between Wolfgang Pauli and the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung became publicly available in recent years. Both scholars stressed the inseparability of the physical and the psychical and called upon a sense of more openness toward the unconscious. Decades after his death, Pauli's innovative perspective and his vision of a wholeness of psyche and matter are more than ever before of great relevance. (shrink)
Many philosophical and scientiﬁc discussions of topics of mind-matter research make implicit assumptions, in various guises, about the distinction between mind and matter. Currently predominant positions are based on either reduction or emergence, providing either monistic or dualistic scenarios. A more-involved framework of thinking, which can be traced back to Spinoza and Leibniz, combines the two scenarios, dualistic (with mind and matter separated) and monistic (with mind and matter unseparated), in one single picture. Based on such a picture, the transition (...) from a domain with mind and matter unseparated to separate mental and material domains can be viewed as a result of a general kind of symmetry breaking, which can be described formally in terms of inequivalent representations. The possibility of whether this symmetry breaking might be connected to the emergence of temporal directions from temporally non-directed or even non-temporal levels of reality will be discussed. Correlations between mental and material aspects of reality could then be imagined as remnants of such primordial levels. Diﬀerent conceivable types of inequivalent representations would lead to correlations with diﬀerent characteristics. (shrink)