How to Build Quantum Models of Consciousness
Science is learning more about the brain activity necessary for consciousness, but has not identified any mechanisms for how it could actually arise through neural processes. Here I present ways to build consciousness into the mathematics of quantum mechanics for use in the growing area of quantum neurology. Quantum waves are not physical in the sense of forces acting on particles through cause and effect, and they are expressed using mathematical placeholders that do not have agreed-upon real-world representations. These can be used to represent consciousness. Quantum mechanics has shown how the traditional aspects of the physical world emerge from non-physical quantum information through a combination of
mathematical, not causal, determinism, and stochastic interactions. The modeling methods here could help account for how the mental world could also emerge from information fields.
Neural interactions for mental experiences are complex, so it is reasonable to expect that consciousness is an emergent property of neural networks. But emergent properties are not magic – they work through procedural mechanisms – in this case for how neural processes generate experiences. No steps for how consciousness could be manufactured in this way are apparent, and philosophers have strong arguments for such not being possible. An alternative is to model consciousness as part of quantum waves, so it is accessed, not created, by the brain. This is a form of neutral monism – the idea that the physical and mental worlds both come from a single underlying source – in this case quantum waves.
The classical physical picture of particles and forces acting under cause and effect has developed into a belief system, not just a theory, and this has created difficulties in taking quantum mechanics itself at face value. The result has been the creation of numerous “interpretations” of quantum mechanics that seek to frame it within these philosophical presuppositions. The conceptual framework of Cartesian dualism provides a platform for
analysis of the related philosophical issues of consciousness and of quantum mechanics itself.
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More About This Work
- Academic Units
- School of Professional Studies
- Published Here
- August 24, 2020
Keywords: Consciousness, Quantum, Neurology, Dualism, Many-Worlds, Emergent