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Medical Human Brain vs. Quantum Computer

  1. Dec 16, 2006 #1
    Do you think the human brain is best described

    a) Quantum computer

    b) Classical computer

    c) Semi-classical computer

    d) None of the above

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2006 #2
    Quantum computers, because the protein folding is at a photon level, right? As well as the synapse connections in the brain which are subatomic. Would an animal brain be like this as well?

    The brain is as fast as you can go I think, so an artificial brain couldn't go any faster and it might or might not be more efficient to have parallel processing in either or comparatively.

    Side Note:
    Theories suggesting that robots will somehow become smarter then man probably wont be true unless man decides not to live longer then robots though. Because we are less sturdy.
  4. Dec 19, 2006 #3


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    But to be a quantum computer, doesn't by definition the computer use superposition in calculations as another possible "state?"
  5. Dec 19, 2006 #4


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    There's no evidence that the brain uses quantum superposition to perform calculations. There's also no evidence that the brain is anything more than a chemical computer with incredible optimizations discovered by billions of years of evolution.

    Even mechanical computers can perform certain kinds of operations ten of thousands of times faster than human brains, so I certainly don't think it's accurate to say that the human brain is, in any sense, "faster" than any possible artitifical brain.

    - Warren
  6. Dec 20, 2006 #5
    I got that wrong. I have read that the brain can operate at a sub-atomic level at the Axon, but not Quantum (Quark, Lepton etc.).

    Where do our thoughts come from? Maybe a Quantum computer can better help identify that.
    I agree the artificial computer is probably always faster.

    This topic is discussed allot with programming languages too. It's not speed that's most important but an overall efficiency. First it has to be efficient to the task and then speed is secondary.

    The Classical computer is probably like the brain
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  7. Dec 20, 2006 #6
    d)Fuzzy logic computer ?:tongue2: :smile:
  8. Dec 21, 2006 #7
    The brain simply just looks like a Labyrinth maze. I think that's pretty cool.
  9. Dec 21, 2006 #8


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    Axons are not sub-atomic. Axons operate at the cellular level with electrochemical reactions.
  10. Dec 22, 2006 #9
    None of the above from what little I know of the human brain or anyone does for that matter, I'd say it is a biological "entity" with a great deal more potential than any computer, at least for now.

    Quantum conciousness is a very: shall we say contentious subject although I've seen a bit of research I'm not sure I'm convinced, and anyway it only deals with quantum tunneling and is nothing similar to quantum computing.

    IIRC correctly Arizonas University's web site has some interesting research into brain function, and a little bit about Quantum conciousness?

    Arizona University

    Wll I'm reaching here but there was some research into tubuoles between axons and QET effects, but it's not as if it's accepted even if it is published.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2006
  11. Dec 22, 2006 #10
    If I were a "quantum computer" is there some line of question(s) that you can ask me to determine if I were either a human or computer?
  12. Dec 22, 2006 #11
    Well my pocket calculator is faster and better at maths than me, it has a better memory and it will most likely last longer than me. Im not so sure of the "Quantum SuperBrain" thing. There are alot of stupid people about.

    I would lean more towards a classical computer, but i don't know much about either. I think the genius is in the programming, not the method of computing, complex heuristics.

    How about: Are you a quantum computer? *chuckle*
  13. Dec 22, 2006 #12
    I could be programmed to conceal my true identity, therefore, "No! I can not divulge that answer.".
  14. Jan 9, 2007 #13
    the human brain is an electro-chemically based classical computer which contains ~10^15 bits of information and processes it at ~10^16 operations per second- now while all matter performs quantum computation by it's very nature there does not appear to be any processes in the brain which harness any natural forms of quantum computation of it's constituent proteins or chemistry- at least not in any general or direct fashion in terms of basic brain functions- edit:[the subtle fringes of emergent perception and awareness might be another matter however]
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  15. Jan 9, 2007 #14
    Yes, I agree.
  16. Jan 9, 2007 #15


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    Do you have any reputable references for these figures, or did you simply make them up? It doesn't make any sense to apply the concept of "operations per second" to the brain.

    - Warren
  17. Jan 9, 2007 #16
    I don't think you can chalk it all up to electro-chemical interactions.

    How do you see?

    How do you smell?

    How do you taste?

    How do you feel?

    How do you hear?

    Basically, how do you sense?

    Even if the brain was a chemical computer, a number of these effects rely on quantum interactions to take part in the 'total picture'.

    I like the superposition analogy where consciousness is a quantum singularity arising from these chemical interactions that can interact with the various 'evolved' structures of the brain to interpret information.

    However, this is just my opinion.
  18. Jan 9, 2007 #17


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    I have no idea why you think sensation is in any way related to quantum mechanics.

    This is nothing more than word salad, as the phrase "quantum singularity" is meaningless. Please note that personal theories are not welcome here.

    - Warren
  19. Jan 9, 2007 #18
    Sense of Smell Tied To Quantum Physics?

    Eyesight has a good analogy too with CCD sensors.

    Taste would fall under the same realm as smell.

    As for a personal opinion, isn't that's what was being asked for by the original question?

    I'm just interpretting quantum singularity to mean 'point of view'. That's something we all have, correct?
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  20. Jan 9, 2007 #19
    If anyone would like to explore the idea of "superposition" or "non-locality" of neuronal impulses please feel free to comment in this thread


    on the PhysicsForum

    Its in the Metaphysics & Epistemology section of philosophy.
  21. Jan 9, 2007 #20
    it's on the high end of the average values given by Moravec/ Merkle http://www.merkle.com/brainLimits.html and Schmidhuber http://www.idsia.ch/~juergen/raw.html

    10^15 bits is quite basic: the average adult human brain contains a few hundred billion neurons each with a few thousand connections on average- and individual synapses are Boolean operators: either active or not- contrary to what many believe- the complex electrochemistry of the brain does NOT affect the quality of neural signals- there is no 'gradient' of neural activity- a synapse is either active or not active- 1 or 0- the complex neurochemistry affects brain-states through modulating the NUMBER of active signals in bundles and groups of neural signals- therefore all aspects of the deepest most complex brain activity are entirely based on Boolean operations in those 10^15 connections- this is discrete foundation of the brain's function [I was once one of the skeptics myself of interpreting the brain's function as a linear computation before this discovery- I always thought that a true algorithmic expression of the brain would require detail to the very quantum state of every atom in the brain and it's local environment- but it isn't so! all that complex biochemistry and physics only serves as a sysem that influences which synaptic bits get flipped]- at least this is what the evidence supports at this time
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
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