Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Quantum brain

  1. Mar 29, 2009 #1
    My friend told me about we having a quantum computer in our brain. And we all know that quantum mechanics is a bit uncertain. When you are on quantum level the laws of physics does not apply as it does in our everyday life.

    Correct me if I am wrong. But what could this mean to us humans?

    (Maybe this has to be moved? I am uncertain if I have posted it in right forum)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What do you mean by "quantum computer" and "the laws of physics"? Certainly quantum physics has laws which would definitely qualify as "laws of physics"!
  4. Mar 29, 2009 #3
    Hahaha :rofl: I have no intend to disrespect anyone or anything. Of course, you are right.

    I will try to explain better. Our brain functions on quantum level, where the classical laws of physics doesn't work. There is laws of physics in quantum mechanics of course. This computer is organic, it's our brain. But it operates on quantum level and therefore it is a quantum computer, if you will.

    Then the laws och quantum mechanics are applied that say there is a possibility of uncertainty and superposition. Maybe other thing too. That is why I ask, you people maybe know and can explain. We all know that our brain is strange and we know so little about it.

    The classical laws of physics collapse when applied on quantum level and therefore, we have quantum physics, that explain what the classical physics is unable to explain.
  5. Mar 29, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    A lot of people, especially long-time members here, are very familiar with QM. What is puzzling is your claim that "... Our brain functions on quantum level..". This is what you need to explain AND, more importantly, make references to. We have no idea from what perspective you are asking this, or what exactly have you already understood to proceed with that question, i.e. what is the premise you are working on.

    Did you read somewhere about the quantum description of the brain? If you did, then can you please provide the citation so that we can go from there? If not, it is rather difficult to know what exactly is the effect or the description that you want to ask.

  6. Mar 29, 2009 #5
    As far as we know, all of the information-processing dynamics of the brain are macroscopic and classical. In fact, if someone found out that there were some long-range quantum coherence maintained between neurons, the people working on quantum computation would flip.
  7. Mar 29, 2009 #6
    My friend got the information from a BBC documentary about NDE (Near Death Experiance). I don't want to discuss NDE but in this documentary they talk about the brain functioning as a quantum computer.


    It is part 5 of the documentary if you are interested you can watch from beginning. I have only watched to part 5. I will know continue to watch part 5 and last, part 6.

    the link above shows you what i didn't comprehend and couldn't explain.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  8. Apr 5, 2009 #7
    Here's a lot more info about that:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_brain" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Apr 6, 2009 #8


    User Avatar

    IMHO, there are plausible analogies which the laws of physics and physical interactions, and how the brain works. But I personally don't think it's the idea that we need to trace the neurobiology down to the litteral quantum level. I think the connection is on more abstract informaton and not so direct. Information can exists at several layers.

    As I see it, there are similarities with a self-organising and learning brain, and a self-organising universe governed by the laws of physics. I see an analogy exists in an overall function rather in their microstructure.

    I guess few would disagree that even though we do not know exactly how, the brain is a self-organising structure whose function is of great survival value for it's host. The brain is fed with a stream of inputs, and makes all sorts of decisions to make the body acts, and there is a feedback to the actions from which the brain learns what the optimum actions are etc. An organism that is successful and survives, has apparently been able to find a very optimal action strategy. Ie. the laws, on howto act, on a given input. This could be an analogy to the laws of physics. And this picture the laws are not absolute, they evolve, and in particular each brain has it's own view of the laws. But often a coherent general behaviour emerges, by several mechanism. Successful individuals reproduce, and even successful individuals are able to induce their reasoning to others not by reproduction but by communication.

    It's a kind of risky reasoning combined with learning, with gives en evolving reasoning.

    Attemtps at ideas in this direction in physics has been publised by a few people. But it's still a young approach.

    - Ariel Caticha who seeks to derive the laws of physics as a kind of "laws of statistical inference".

    - Lee Smolings idea on evolving time, and his arguments against the idea of eternal law.

    The exact connection to QM, and the HUP, still remains to be explained in this way, but if you see an observer, as a processed structure trained but it's history, optimized to predict the future (somewhat like a brain), non-commutativity will most probably emerge for fitness reasons.

    Another aspect of the brain, is that each brain has it's own "view" of reality, and the brains actions are probably based on this view - unlike what is really out there. Here we see a way in which the brains behaviour in a larger context, is not so classical. The brains actions are indifferent to wether the view it has is correct, or if it's just "information about reality".

    Here is a similarly with quantum weirdness, and a removal of objectivity in the realist sense. The brain doesn't care about objectivity. It's actions are based on subjective information. However, the FORMATION and EVOLUTION of the brain is not subjective - it takes place and depends on it's interaction with it's environment, and thus "other brains".

    But neither Ariel nor Smoling talks about "brains", but the magic with brain is that it is a real de facto existing device that evolves an IS based on decision making based in incomplete informatin, and it is learning. And apparently very successfully. So the interesting thinkg about the brain in this context is it's ability to act upon incomplete information, and successfuly LEARN from feedback in a way that it's host are able to survive.

    There are deep analogies with that and the idea of evolving law, and connecting the laws of physics to evolving laws of inference. The "mini-brains" here would be coherent subsystems of the univers, such as matter systems, particles etc. The evoltuion and persistence of particle spectrums might possibly in tis mad idea(??) be understood by the same logic we understand the brain.

    I think we need the context. A particle without an environment, makes as little sense as a free brain floating in space. The might have have evolved in a context, and togethre with the context even.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook