A “Quantum Brain” Could Solve The Hard Problem of Consciousness, New Research Suggest

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A “Quantum Brain” Could Solve The Hard Problem of Consciousness, New Research Suggests

Tim McMillan

Quote:In an intriguing new study, physicists using modified MRI machines say they may have found quantum entanglement between the heart and brain. These results suggest that the human brain operating like a quantum system could be the ticket to eventually solving the elusive, hard problem of consciousness. 

“I actually was working on this for a long time,” Dr. Christian Kerskens, the lead physicist at the Institute of Neurosciences at Trinity College Dublin, told Salon. “I think if you ask, most neuroscientists — or even physicists — they would say that it’s not possible to find entanglement in the brain. [However] when I studied the dynamics of blood flow, I thought something [is] going on there that you can’t really explain with just classical physics.”

Quote:Kerskens and Pérez theorize they could detect the heartbeat signals through the MRI static because the proton spins in the brain and heart were “entangled,” a hallmark process in quantum mechanics. Under this assumption, it could mean the brain works like a quantum computer by mediating the entangled protons at the quantum level. 
Perhaps offering another clue that quantum mechanics plays a role in solving the hard problem of consciousness, in a few instances when study participants fell asleep and were unconscious while still monitored by the MRI, researchers discovered that the heartbeat signals were no longer detectable.

Researchers replicated their study using a group of 30 participants between the ages of 18 to 29, in addition to another group of 30 participants who were 65 years old or older.

In this second study, Kerskens and Pérez said they found that the heartbeat signals were less stable with age, suggesting that perhaps cardiac performance is somehow related to improved cognitive ability. 
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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Admittedly the article doesn't understand the Hard Problem, but I do think evidence of quantum brain/mind being the right path for neuroscience to follow helps us more than the skeptics who seem to want neuroscience to remain in the realm of classical physics.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-12-07, 08:17 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: A “Quantum Brain” Could Solve The Hard Problem of Consciousness, New Research Suggests

Tim McMillan

Good find, I don't understand how their MRI set up works to show quantum coherence between the heart and the Brain. I mean, I don't know if that's what their results are showing, or whether it's either measuring something else they haven't accounted for, and/or perhaps its not really measuring quantum coherence. Feels like it should be a lot harder to prove QM than their relatively simple experiment of sticking some volunteers inside an MRI and correlate the results with a heartbeat... but who knows...
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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(2022-12-07, 08:23 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Admittedly the article doesn't understand the Hard Problem, but I do think evidence of quantum brain/mind being the right path for neuroscience to follow helps us more than the skeptics who seem to want neuroscience to remain in the realm of classical physics.


I think its great that their are younger scientists who want to prove that the brain has unknown quantum processing.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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Little bit more context from Big Think on these experiments:

Quote:Amazingly, we have seen some hints that quantum mechanisms are at work in our brains. Some of these mechanisms might help the brain process the world around it through sensory input. There are also certain isotopes in our brain whose spins change how our body and brain react. For example, xenon with a nuclear spin of 1/2 can have anesthetic properties, while xenon with no spin cannot. And various isotopes of lithium with different spins change development and parenting ability in rats.

Quote:The heartbeat is not just the motion of an organ within our body. Rather, the heart, like many other parts of our body, is engaged in two-way communication with the brain — the organs both send each other signals. We see this when the heart reacts to various phenomena such as pain, attention, and motivation. Additionally, the heartbeat can be tied to short-term memory and aging

As the heart beats, it generates a signal called the heartbeat potential, or HEP. With each peak of the HEP, the researchers saw a corresponding spike in the NMR signal, which corresponds to the interactions among proton spins. This signal could be a result of entanglement, and witnessing it might indicate there was indeed a non-classical intermediary. 

“The HEP is an electrophysiological event, like alpha or beta waves,” Kerskens explains. “The HEP is tied to consciousness because it depends on awareness.” Similarly, the signal indicating entanglement was only present during conscious awareness, which was illustrated when two subjects fell asleep during the MRI. When they did, this signal faded and disappeared.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-12-07, 08:23 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: the article doesn't understand the Hard Problem

When do they ever?

Clickbait is such a cheap practice and its pretty gross IMO.
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(2022-12-08, 12:42 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Little bit more context from Big Think on these experiments:

Christian Kerskens gave a more detailed talk 3 days ago, on exactly what they were trying to measure in this paper, to a group from the University of Minnesota...

https://mediaspace.umn.edu/media/t/1_54i17bie

Definitely worthwhile watching, if a little technical. The Q&A at the end was also very interesting... Christian says he's waking up in the middle of the night thinking "what have I done!". I'm less skeptical now that he's provided more information on what they are measuring during the experiment... I do think they have found an interesting correlate, but exactly what that correlate is requires more work.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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(2022-12-09, 11:49 AM)Max_B Wrote: Christian Kerskens gave a more detailed talk 3 days ago, on exactly what they were trying to measure in this paper, to a group from the University of Minnesota...

https://mediaspace.umn.edu/media/t/1_54i17bie

Definitely worthwhile watching, if a little technical. The Q&A at the end was also very interesting... Christian says he's waking up in the middle of the night thinking "what have I done!". I'm less skeptical now that he's provided more information on what they are measuring during the experiment... I do think they have found an interesting correlate, but exactly what that correlate is requires more work.
At the end of the video, he says that it took 7 years to publish.  no easy road!!!!  My limited view on this is that Kerskens thinks he has "proof of concept".  He has the hard data that quantum entanglement happens in correlation with bio-functioning.  It will be a big deal, in the long-term if this is correct.  

Good & clever DOE.  The experiment hinged on having events to detect (witness) where they could have both a quantum and classical measurement.  

Then they define a limit to the classical signal.  With that they can rule out classical processes from creating the entangled signal.  Now having isolated quantum-based signals, they start to show them correlating to heart beat activation and other bio-signals.

This - for me - is wonderful progress.  Entanglement is about information, and how it exhibits non-local structure.  Not physical structure --- but informational structure.  The next proof of concept could be evidence for how mind changes real-world personal probability via qubits.  Of course, I have the contrarian view that it is not the brain, which is integrated with the quantum probability fields.  But the active element in the informational environment is mind - as the will and working knowledge.
(This post was last modified: 2022-12-09, 09:17 PM by stephenw. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2022-12-09, 09:10 PM)stephenw Wrote: At the end of the video, he says that it took 7 years to publish.  no easy road!!!!  My limited view on this is that Kerskens thinks he has "proof of concept".  He has the hard data that quantum entanglement happens in correlation with bio-functioning.  It will be a big deal, in the long-term if this is correct.  

Good & clever DOE.  The experiment hinged on having events to detect (witness) where they could have both a quantum and classical measurement.  

Then they define a limit to the classical signal.  With that they can rule out classical processes from creating the entangled signal.  Now having isolated quantum-based signals, they start to show them correlating to heart beat activation and other bio-signals.

This - for me - is wonderful progress.  Entanglement is about information, and how it exhibits non-local structure.  Not physical structure --- but informational structure.  The next proof of concept could be evidence for how mind changes real-world personal probability via qubits.  Of course, I have the contrarian view that it is not the brain, which is integrated with the quantum probability fields.  But the active element in the informational environment is mind - as the will and working knowledge.

With regards to this study, I was looking around to see if Matthew PA Fisher had published anything further regarding his QuBrain Project. That seems quiet at present, unfortunately. Instead he seems to be involving himself in quantum information, and in a very recent lecture he gave some really interesting insights into his Quantum information research, which I enjoyed. You may too Stephen...

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(This post was last modified: 2022-12-12, 01:06 PM by Max_B. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2022-12-12, 01:00 PM)Max_B Wrote: With regards to this study, I was looking around to see if Matthew PA Fisher had published anything further regarding his QuBrain Project. That seems quiet at present, unfortunately. Instead he seems to be involving himself in quantum information, and in a very recent lecture he gave some really interesting insights into his Quantum information research, which I enjoyed. You may too Stephen...

I don't have the background to follow much of the talk.  When he began specifying quantum entanglement entropy, I tried to get my bearings.  Thanx for posting it.  Not being qualified, I hesitate to discuss its import.  But it was helpful in getting a gist of how the author and the community are progressing.

Fisher seemed very upbeat about exploring further.  Kinda a kid in a candy shop attitude as new methods explore what is entanglement anyway.  I was impressed on his overlook to the whole field, tying a number to things together.

I would ask for a longer explanation (and not just in formal math equations) about how QMI and Entanglement Entropy are related.

Quote: In quantum information theory, quantum mutual information, or von Neumann mutual information, after John von Neumann, is a measure of correlation between subsystems of quantum state. It is the quantum mechanical analog of Shannon mutual information.....
When the state is pure, the mutual information is twice the entanglement entropy of the state:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mu...nformation
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