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How Quantum Theory Explains Human Consciousness

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Feb27-12, 12:06 AM
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After some (limited) reading I've written an article on the captioned subject :

I post it here for feedback. Intellectual stimulation, please!

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Feb27-12, 12:48 AM
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Quote Quote by sytstp View Post

After some (limited) reading I've written an article on the captioned subject :

I post it here for feedback. Intellectual stimulation, please!

Hi, I think you might do better posting this as a biology or neuroscience topic, or maybe in the philosophy forum.

But for now, wrt my point of view, you've made some assumptions that I think would be very difficult to support.

Quote Quote by sytstp
Quantum theory is relevant to human consciousness because collapse-type quantum events (the transition of a quantum state to an eigenstate bj of the measured observable B with a certain probability) are intrinsically random, and this randomness is primary (ontic) rather than merely due to ignorance or missing information (epistemic).This ontic randomness, in contrast to deterministic classical physics, can more suitably account for conscious mental acts influencing brain behavior, manifested outward as volition or free will.
I think that the fact of the matter, that is, the current state of affairs, is that quantum theory doesn't explain human consciousness. And imho it's never going to.

Hopefully, you'll get more intellectually stimulated by some PF members, and there are some, who know a lot about both neuroscience and qm ... which I don't.

It's always interesting to consider ideas that I haven't considered before. So, I bumped your OP. But, I predict that your thread will either get deleted or moved.
Feb27-12, 09:15 AM
P: 7
Hi Thomas,

"...I predict that your thread will either get deleted or moved."

Why get deleted? In my article, I am just summarizing veiws from famous phycisists like Penrose,Stapp, Beck, Eccles, Ricciardi, Umezawa, etc.

I don't mind moving the topic anywhere, be it neuroscience or philosophy, as long as it is a forum for intellectual discussioin. However, I think many of the theoretical schemes covered in my article are DIRECTLY related to Quantum Physics, and as such my article is a legitimate topic for discussion here.

Glad to hear that there are some members here "...who know a lot about both neuroscience and qm...".

Eagerly looking forward to intellectually stimulaing feedback!


Feb27-12, 08:10 PM
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How Quantum Theory Explains Human Consciousness

I can hardly call your link an article.

I think it needs more substance before anyone will evaluate the content.
Feb27-12, 09:26 PM
P: 159
Just some quick facts:

- Neural events happen on the order of a few hundred hertz.

- Neurons can be very precisely modeled using the physics of ion channels and neurotransmitter diffusion. To date, no one has been able to show that neurons behave randomly in any way. Neurons are very large and the randomness of their individual molecules averages out. They appear to be quite deterministic in nature (note, though, that they do show deterministic chaos).

- Nobody has ever shown that complicated entanglement or anything like that exists in microtubules. It's just some random shot in the dark that Penrose made.

- Any wavefunction collapse in microtubules would be on the order of femtoseconds, far too slow to have any effect on neural activity. Look at this link:

- Quantum theory is just a mathematical model. It is unlikely that quantum theory (or any other descriptive theory) would be enough to explain consciousness.

- Studies have indicated that consciousness is correlated with the degree of synchronicity of various areas of the brain. Anaesthetized brains show a 'disconnect' between different brain regions. If you want to study consciousness, this would be a good place to start, not the incoherent musings of some erratic mathematician (no disrespect to Penrose, but it would be great if he just stuck to what he's good at).
Feb28-12, 12:46 AM
P: 7

I am terrribly sorry if my referring to the "article" is a misnomer and has unwittingly exaggerated my homework that is meant to be a mere summary of the status quo.

Let's simply call it my "Study Notes".

My apologies.



Thank you for your contribution.

In response to Tegmark, Hagan et al.(2002)critically examined the decoherence mechanisms likely to dominate in a biological setting and found that a revised version of Tegmark's model provided decoherence times up to 10 to 100 μ sec, and argued that this can be extended up to the neurophysiologically relevant range of 10 to 100 msec under particular assumptions of the scenario by Penrose and Hameroff. See below :

The study is still going on and it would be premature for anyone to make any conclusion here and now. I think this topic is a great, perhaps the greatest challenge to human intellect. Let's (especially the younger ones) see if there will be any breakthrough in the 21st Century!


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