Friday, July 07, 2006

Spin Mediated Consciousness Theory

Something I've been interested in for several decades. The nature of consciousness with consideration of quantum effects.
The article below is reproduced from Wikipedia.
Just a starting point for consideration if you wish.

Spin-Mediated Consciousness Theory

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The spin-mediated consciousness theory is a theory that says quantum spin is the seat of consciousness and the linchpin between mind and the brain, that is, spin is the mind-pixel. According to this theory, consciousness is intrinsically connected to the spin process and emerges from the self-referential collapses of spin states and the unity of mind is achieved by entanglement of these mind-pixels.

This theory was initially proposed by biophysicist Huping Hu with his collaborator Maoxin Wu. It is a tentative hypothesis as are all current hypotheses about consciousness. The starting point is the fact that spin is basic quantum bit ("qubit") for encoding information and, on the other hand, neural membranes and proteins are saturated with nuclear spin carrying nuclei and form the matrice of brain electrical activities. Indeed, spin is embedded in the microscopic structure of spacetime as reflected by Dirac equation and is likely more fundamental than spacetime itself as implicated by Roger Penrose’s work. In the David Hestenes picture the zitterbewegung associated with spin was shown to be responsible for the quantum effects of the fermion. Further, in the David Bohm picture the internal motion associated with spin has been shown to be responsible for the quantum potential which, in turn, is responsible for quantum effects. Thus, if one adopts the minority quantum mind view, nuclear spins and possibly unpaired electron spins become natural candidates for mind-pixels.

Applying these ideas to the particular structures and dynamics of the brain, they theorize that human brain works as follows: Through action potential modulated nuclear spin interactions and paramagnetic O2/NO driven activations, the nuclear spins inside neural membranes and proteins form various entangled quantum states some of which survive decoherence through quantum Zeno effects or in decoherence-free subspaces and then collapse contextually via irreversible and non-computable means producing consciousness and, in turn, the collective spin dynamics associated with said collapses have effects through spin chemistry on classical neural activities thus influencing the neural networks of the brain.

As with other quantum mind theories, decoherence is a major concern as pointed out by Max Tegmark but may not be insurmountable (See, e.g., Stuart Hameroff).

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