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From Cognitive Science to Physics

  • Thread starter SmokinC
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  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point


I am studying Cognitive Science in Germany and I am going to graduate next summer. But now I do not know what to do next.
Or more precisely I do not know how to go on. I am very interested in Quantum Physics and somehow I regret that I have not study physics in the first place (nevertheless Cognitive Science and Neuroscience is pretty interesting), because it is extremely hard or maybe even impossible to do a Masters degree in physics with a Bachelor in Neuroscience. More detailed I want to do research on human consciousness (and probably conscious AI^^ as well) and to my mind macroscopic neuronal processes and related chemical processes are not sufficient alone to explain human consciousness (and other related stuff like Qualia), rather to my mind Quantum Physics plays a key role in conscious phenomena. But my problem is I do not know anything about Quantum Physics (except wikipedia blabla) but I definitely want to study it. How?

Do I have to start all over again and begin a physics bachelor? I do not really want to consider that as an option because for sure the first year of every bachelor's degree deals more with getting used to university than real studying, further I do want to avoid redundant repetition of courses, like basic statistics, basic math and introduction to computing etc. Further losing 3 more years seems to me extremely scary, because I am already 22 and I do not want to get my PHD in my mid thirties :(.

Are there any kinds of conversion courses for science students that only have a low background in physics to qualify them for Master studies in Physics. I favour a Master in Loughborough in Quantum Information and Computing or in Psychophysics, unfortunately the postgraduate adviser told me that a physics background is mandatory.

How can I compensate for my poor physics background? Is there any fast way to acquire sufficient knowledge to start a Master in Physics?
It seems odd that if you are a physicist almost every Neuroscience Master welcomes you but the other round it's pretty hard. :(

Thank You very much!

Answers and Replies

  • #2
The physicist Roger Penrose is the main man in this area and fortunately he writes good books that are great for able scientists in other fields. Try 'The Road to Reality' - if you read that you will know enough physics to start to do what you want to do! You will know enough quantum physics to be able to talk to physicists, though perhaps not enough to do detailed calculations - couldn't you join a multi-disciplinary team where you are the resident neuro-scientist doing the actual brain analysis bits and pieces that physicists wouldn't know how to do? I vaguely remember that Penrose worked with a neuro-scientist to get help on how the brain works - so check out what the people in Penrose's group do, maybe you can suss out employment opportunities that way. The guy who helped Penrose was Hameroff, I just remembered:

http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/personal.html [Broken]
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