I usually roll my eyes when I read something about quantum theory and consciousness because, as this Telegraph article says:
The use of quantum mechanics this way has been controversial for two reasons: first, this highly mathematical theory is routinely abused by charlatans attempting to explain spooky paranormal phenomena; and, second, scientists cannot even agree on a definition of consciousness, undermining any quest to explain it.
But now, supposedly, someone’s come up with a non-bullshit theory:
Prof Manousakis has now laid out a theory of how a quantum effect could influence image flips in binocular rivalry studies and then, as good science demands, made some predictions.
His predictions are based on the rate that nerve cells fired in the brain. It turns out that the hallucinogenic drug LSD can slow the firing rate of brain cells and, when he factored this effect into his quantum model, he predicted the flip rates would change too.
This is precisely what subjects who took LSD reported in experiments conducted by another group. “My theory simply explains their findings in a simple way,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Prof Manousakis has now made more predictions that can be tested, based on what happens when subjects glance at the cube from time to time.
This, he believes, could shed light on how our awareness of the passage of time changes, depending on how busy we are, since his theory suggests that when a stimulus such as vision freezes, the perceived time slows to a standstill.
I don’t get it. I suppose I’ll have to either read the paper or find another article on it.
November 12, 2007 at 10:50 pm
Izthak Bentov’s Book “Stalking the Wild Pendulumn: On The Mechanics of Conciousness” did a fairly good job at building a working theory some 30 or so years ago…
November 14, 2007 at 3:37 pm
for another non-bullshit theory of consciousness i recommend two books by roger penrose: “the emporer’s new mind” and “shadows of the mind”
penrose is a well-respected mathematical physicist and the arguments put forth in his books are careful, well thought out critiques of the “mind-as-a-classical-turing-machine” paradigm espoused by many computational neuroscientists.