The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Inquire about purchasing the book | Table of Contents | Annotated Bibliography | Class on Nature of Mind

These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Quantum Brain Dynamics

The Heisenberg and Von Neumann tradition viewed the brain as a "quantum measuring device". But the Japanese physicist Kunjo Yasue claims that brain substrates uphold second-order quantum fields, which cannot be treated as mere measuring devices.

Yasue, building on the quantum field theory developed in the 1960s by the Japanese physicist Hiroomi Umezawa and on his concept of "corticons" as more primitive than "neurons", developed a "quantum neurophysics" to explain how the classical world can originate from quantum processes in the brain. He showed that brain dynamics can be represented by a “brain wave equation” similar to Schroedinger's wave equation.

Yasue thinks that several layers of the brain can host quantum processes, whose quantum properties explain consciousness and cognition.  Yasue presents the brain as a macroscopic quantum system.  He focuses on water mega-molecules in the space between neurons, which can combine to form extended quantum systems, interacting with the neural networks. He also focuses on the sensory system, whose quantum field causes some special molecules in the membrane of the neuron to undergo Froehlich condensation and cause, in turn, macroscopic coherence.

He focuses on structures such as microtubules which lie inside the neuron, and which contain quasi-crystalline water molecules that again lend themselves to quantum effects. The function of this quantum field could be cognitive: some particular quantum states could record memory.

Yasue focuses on a bioplasma of charged particles that interact with the electromagnetic field, an ideal vehicle for a merger of the sensory quantum field with the memory quantum field, an ideal vehicle for the creation of classical reality. He argues that classical order can continually unfold in this bioplasma.

Yasue shows how consciousness could arise from the interaction between the electromagnetic field and molecular fields of water and protein. Furthermore, Yasue maintains that the evolution of the neural wave function is not random, as would result from the traditional quantum theories, but optimized under a principle of "least neural action".  Random effects of consciousness are replaced by a "cybernetic" consciousness that is more in the tradition of the self as a free-willing agent.

Yasue is not a connectionist. The fact that neurons are organized inside the brain is of negligible importance in his theory.

 


Back to the beginning of the chapter "A Physics Of Consciousness" | Back to the index of all chapters