Quantum electrodynamics and the brain

In summary, Susan Pocket claims that part of the electromagnetic field of the brain is consciousness and that conscious qualities such as a red car are spatially patterned electromagnetic fields. She also claims that the quantum spatial scale is irrelevant. Intuitively it seems to me Quantum electrodynamics must be involved. Comments please. Calculations welcome.
  • #1
Anne Ross
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Susan Pocket claims that part of the electromagnetic field of the brain is consciousness and that conscious qualities such as a red car are spatially patterned electromagnetic fields. She also claims that the quantum spatial scale is irrelevant. Intuitively it seems to me Quantum electrodynamics must be involved. Comments please. Calculations welcome.
 
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  • #2
Then what's the fundamental way how that differs from the electromagnetic field of some inanimate object? Should we think that the EM forces keeping a piece of rock or iron together are also "conscious"?
 
  • #3
Anne Ross said:
Susan Pocket claims...
That's "Pockett", not "Pocket", is it not? As citations go, that one is a bit vague - can you link to something more specific?

If I understand properly, you are not asking about Pockett's conjecture that consciousness is associated with electromagnetic activity in the brain (a speculative topic that we wouldn't allow here) but rather a simple physics question: is classical electrodynamics adequate for describing that activity?
 
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  • #4
We can't really help you here with this discussion as it is not mainstream ie most cognitive scientists do not take these theories seriously.

Objections[edit]
In a circa-2002 publication of The Journal of Consciousness Studies, the electromagnetic theory of consciousness faced an uphill battle for acceptance among cognitive scientists. Scientific study of consciousness has only recently begun to gain acceptance as a legitimate scientific discipline, and some think field theories like McFadden's are unscientific beliefs that threaten their hard-won legitimacy[citation needed].

"No serious researcher I know believes in an electromagnetic theory of consciousness,"[18] Bernard Baars wrote in an e-mail.[better source needed] Baars is a neurobiologist and co-editor of Consciousness & Cognition, another scientific journal in the field. "It's not really worth talking about scientifically,"[18] he was quoted as saying.
Consequently, by PF rules this is considered a fringe science area and we don't discuss these topics as they tend to confuse our STEM students and detract from our mission to help them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_theories_of_consciousness

However, wikipedia has an article (see above link) with references that you can follow to continue your investigation into this area;

Thanks to all who have contributed here and to the original poster for asking the question. Closing the thread.
 

Related to Quantum electrodynamics and the brain

1. What is quantum electrodynamics and how does it relate to the brain?

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is a theory that explains the interactions between light and matter on a quantum level. It is a fundamental part of the larger theory of quantum mechanics. The brain is a complex system that relies on the interactions of neurons and their electrical signals. QED helps us understand how these electrical signals are generated and how they propagate through the brain.

2. Can quantum electrodynamics explain consciousness?

The exact nature of consciousness is still a mystery and there is no definitive answer as to whether QED can fully explain it. However, some scientists theorize that the quantum effects of QED could play a role in the emergence of consciousness in the brain.

3. How does quantum electrodynamics impact neuroscientific research?

QED is a crucial tool in understanding the electrical signals that are vital to brain function. It helps researchers study the behavior of these signals and how they interact with other systems in the brain. QED also aids in the development of advanced technologies, such as brain-computer interfaces, which rely on precise understanding of brain signals.

4. Are there any practical applications of quantum electrodynamics in the field of neuroscience?

Yes, QED has several practical applications in neuroscience. It has been used to develop new imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which allow us to visualize brain activity. QED also plays a crucial role in understanding the effects of electromagnetic fields on the brain, which has important implications for medical treatments and technology.

5. What are some current challenges and controversies surrounding the application of quantum electrodynamics in neuroscience?

One of the main challenges is bridging the gap between quantum mechanics and the macroscopic world of the brain. There are also debates about how much of a role QED plays in brain function and consciousness. Some scientists argue that classical physics is sufficient to explain brain activity, while others believe that quantum mechanics plays a significant role. The use of QED in understanding brain disorders and treatments is also a topic of ongoing discussion and research.

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