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Superposition of thoughts

  1. Dec 12, 2006 #1
    This is just an idea I had to do with shared thoughts that can be found among groups of people. When people share an experience there is bound to be shared thoughts on the experience. Could the fact that similarly configured pulses of neuronal firing in the brain and nervous systems (ie: thoughts pertaining to a shared incident or experience) of various people be construed to be superposition of thought?

    Further to that, could the flavour of one blueberry in a field of blueberries be considered superpositioned among all the blueberries in the field? With this idea I mean could the reoccurance of the same minerals, flavonoids or chlorophyll and so on in each plant and fruit be called an occurrence or form of the superpositioning of these elements? Or, does the term superposition only belong to the study of quantum mechanics?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2006 #2
    I can see in the definition of Superposition as applied to linear systems that there is some connection to what I have proposed in this thread.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superposition_principle

    Its a kind of a sum of the parts equation. But are thoughts considered to be linear?
     
  4. Dec 13, 2006 #3
    I don't know if its happened where you have been thinking about phoning a friend and then they call you at the same second you reach for the phone. Is that a superposition of thought?

    How about when you're walking along with a friend and suddenly you've come up with a thought about something and as you voice your thought, your friend is saying the exact same words and idea. Associative thought processes or superposition of thought?

    Sometimes you can explain these coincidental occurences by way of logical means such as "the friends think alike" or "the fools seldom differ" or "this is free associative patterning that only an observer would recognize as being related". But then there are those moments where so many things happen at the same time, as though we all had the same thought. Is it akin to the event of the superposition of a subatomic particle?
     
  5. Dec 19, 2006 #4
    Apparently when people view this thread there is an immediate superposition of thought and no need to write a single word!:rofl:
     
  6. Dec 19, 2006 #5
    Take a look at this one:

    Pretty amazing stuff.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2006 #6
    Thanks PIT2. I never thought to engage the neurosciences in consideration of this idea.

    Here's a similar experiment performed by one of the contributors in the one you posted.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=15165411

    The terms are too loose in these abstracts to use as proof of superposition of thought. But the abstracts are well within the bounds of my study (which is confined to the confines of this forum:uhh: )

    There is "brain activity" in the isolated subject (who is in the fMRI) when their "sending partner" was exposed to "stimulus-on" conditions. But the brain activity could just be increased blood flow or sugar consumption. The type of activity is not specified.

    And the type of "coincidence" or "shared thought I have already described is much more specific in nature. As in when you reach for the phone to call someone and they are dialing at the same time as you so that the result is no ring! Just your friend tentatively saying "hello?" at the same time as you.

    I don't know if this example is one of "superposition" of thought or not. This example entails thinking of a friend you haven't seen in years then, out of the blue, they are either right in front of you or you get news they are in town. This is less specific than the thought of phoning someone or the thoughts that occur simultaneously between pairs. But it generally fits with the idea that the brain is a very sensitive sensory organ. The thought you have of the friend may be triggered by the brain's sensory ability to detect a well known figure in your life being in your vicinity. Does this sort of sensory feat include superposition of thought?

    Let me figure out what a thought is before I go ga ga nuts with the word "superposition" because superposition means, and I quote

    http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~westside/quantum-glossary.htm

    so it really is nothing magical or metaphysical its just a method of determining distribution in possible states of a system. Applied to "thought" it means we are trying to find out if there is a probable distribution of specific thoughts that would demonstrate a possible state or network of shared thought(s).

    I doubt that "on-stimulus" produces much of a specific thought. I doubt that a letter or number, star or square will generate a specific enough of a thought to prove that it can exist, simultaneously, in an isolated subject.

    I'll have to come back to this to go over what a "thought" is, in terms of its physical nature. As far as I know it is electrical.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  8. Dec 19, 2006 #7
    I have a twin brother and we think and say the same thing at the same moment all the time. One very odd such a shared thought(odd because i cant explain it like i can the twin ones) happened to me maybe a year ago. I think i posted it in the skepticism forum in some telepathy or psychic topic. Basicly a friend asked me a question about who he saw that day, and before he finished the question i blurted out the answer without thinking, it just popped in my head. The answer was available to my mind as a ordinary memory from that moment(as if i had seen the event myself), and i could visualise at what location he saw what person (a politician waiting at a pedestrian stoplight in a city).

    Perhaps, but if these peoples brains represent their thoughts, and are partially in superposition witheachother, then it looks like it violates the information transfer obstacle, which supposedly cannot occur through quantum nonlocality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  9. Dec 20, 2006 #8
    There's a fine line between the brain's ability to calculate an occurrence or what someone is about to say and the seemingly simultaneous occurrence of the same thought in two different, isolated locales (neuron bundles). Its probably extremely hard to distinguish between the two phenomena because the brain is as fast as, say, lightning or electricity in its processes.

    Perhaps, but check this out.

    from

    http://www.tcm.phy.cam.ac.uk/~bdj10/papers/bell.html

    This paper discusses the interconnectivity in biological systems that seems to mimic the interconnectivity you are talking about in quantum non-locality.

    You say the idea violates the information transfer obstacle found in quantum non-locality.

    Lets analyse a few of our terms. I meant to do this with the term "thought". What is it?

    Thought.
    As far as I know "thought" is a specific configuration of em waves generated by single and multiple groups of neurons with specific combinations and volumes of sodium, potassium and various neurotransmitters interacting to produce a thought. A thought can be generated by external and/or internal stimuli. I have a feeling that thought is regulated by hormonal influence and all these factors are influenced by genetically regulated physical traits and behaviours.

    Superposition.
    Lets really break this word down into its two parts. Super (above) and position (location). This word suggests that observations are made from above the action (sic). Rather than being a part of the action we detach our point of view and go to a view where the action can be viewed as a whole. This would be like instead of watching a river rush past us from its banks we are able to see the head waters and the mouth of the river at the same time. This offers the vantage point where we can see the river in a non-linear and non-sequential light.

    Information.
    What does it consist of? It is semi-sequential in that one seems to have to understand the initial portion of information to understand the rest of it. But physically what is it? It seems to me that bits of information are configurations of em waves generated by denser, compacted em waves that constitute what we term as matter. Matter on the other hand is increasingly being proven to be energy. So energy seems to be the conduit for information yet specific information is packaged in specifically configured em waves.

    Taking a simplistic view using my definition of thought I'd say it is entirely possible that specific thoughts or information could occur in non-locality since they are physically just specific configurations of em waves packaged individually and distiguished from one another by configuration. Do these em wave packettes have a non-local property? If so, what would make them act in a quantum mechanical manner? Is it something to do with the electrons that make up the information that is a thought?

    Input please!?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  10. Jan 8, 2007 #9
    As far as I know we are all subjected and exposed to the same stimuli. The sun, the earth and everything that goes with these two mammoth stimuli are forefront in our perception and our collective experience. These stimuli and the many other constants that come with them are stimulating neurons in our brains and nervous system. They fire and keep tabs on our environment. That is a function of our brain. It keeps us aware of our environment which is a function of survival. That's why our species and many others are still around today. This fact alone generates the probable condition where specific neuronal activity is taking place, simultaneously, in spacially separated locations (individual brains). But does that collective neuronal activity constitute something we can call superposition of thought?
     
  11. Jan 9, 2007 #10
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