The possible quantum interface and the hybrid nature of reality. Part II, Exploring the Interface.
“…. shaping future history as a viable continuation of the past in harmony with natural law, all done at everyfleeting instant we call the present..”
“No limits to my freedom can be found except freedom itself, or, if you prefer, we are not free to cease being free.” Sartre.
In part I of this discussion we made an attempt to flesh out some of the complex issues contained in our previously published book “Neurophilosophy of Consciousness”. In it we encompassed all relevant multidisciplinary aspects of the consciousness debate to defend the thesis that self-consciousness is a biological, psychic and sociological (BPS) survival strategy for the human species when confronting the quotidian contingent variations in both the internal body-physiological and external environmental milieu. We discussed the importance of free will & intentionality in getting a handle in the process of adaptation to novel situations fraught with all kinds of possible dangers to the human species. For pedagogical purposes we viewed reality as the ontological and the epistemological layers joined together as a hybrid unit by a quantum interface. The ‘three-layered’ approach was hardly sufficient to distinguish between those human ‘choices’ that are really unconscious / subconscious and those which are the result of deliberate and intentional volition. This time around we ‘solubilize’/disperse the layers and characterize quantum fields as the ubiquitous continuous interface medium containing all ‘discontinuous’ elements of reality (whether internal body proper, external environmental or the brain proper) dynamically interacting in such colloidal-like ‘chaotis’ dispersion medium. The transduction of the empirical information content (meanings) of the environment by exteroceptors now include also the input from visceral interoceptors and the muscle / joint propioceptor activity, all of which initiate the kind of brain processing activity that will culminate in the generation of possible alternatives from which to select those with the best contingent adaptive potential. Besides receptors, we now incorporate in the process the participation of neuroeffectors at both the autonomic visceral brain and somatic motor cortex. Both motor systems are dynamically involved with the primary sensory cortex as will be outlined below. We will, on an ad-hoc basis, access relevant multidisciplinary arguments previously published to sustain this interpretation, as needed. An elementary familiarity with neuroscience, basic philosophy and biophysics will be helpful in following how the recursive flow of information (inherited and / or acquired ‘meanings’), from the Planck to the existential dimensional level…and back, i.e., the recursive dynamic transition from chaos to such probabilistic order scenario as would, arguably, make free choices possible.
To have free will is to act with a conscious capacity for rational self-governance and being able to determine independently whether and how one exercises that capacity on any given occasion. To what extent we are free to generate a plurality of alternatives to choose from is open to scrutiny. Ultimately –as discussed- the spectrum of choices are fashioned according to a hierarchy of BPS survival strategies operating at unconscious levels where the inherited and the acquired meanings are balanced not so much to optimize the adaptive response of the species as to identify the viable individualized choice for a given contingency arising in the ecosystem niche.
It is not self-evident how the truth of a natural determinism underlying a biopsychosocial survival strategy may NOT preclude free will. Hence, it would be proper to explore and identify experimentally the sort of residual indeterminism that survives and makes possible the survival of freedom of choice. To act with free will requires that there exist somewhere a plurality of futures available to the agent causally connected with the preceding past and consistent with the laws of nature. Can quantum theory probabilities actually be considered ‘actual futures’ at the existential bio-psycho-social level? We believe so and will ground the argumentation on laboratory data and the mathematical inferences derived therefrom, never losing sight of the philosophical implications.
Experimental neurodynamic profile. We all have experienced a check-out transaction at the cashier’s counter in the local supermarket; it leaves no doubt that the brain is a poor digital processor with no working memory for more than the few digits of the ID password in the credit card, not to mention the limited ad hoc computational capacity to deduct the grocery stamps discounts, etc. Consequently, any hope to reduce brain function to an exclusive Turing computer processor is a futile exercise. However, experimental data coming from intracellular and / or extracellular neuronal recordings, electroencephalograms (EEG), event related potentials (ERP), magnetoencephalograms (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission technology (PET) and neuropsychological observations of behavior, evidences the relevance and importance of unconscious analogical and quantum field computations based on other non-linear memory resources.
But, can we always rely on what is being recorded in those tracings? Or is the solipsistic, first person account narrative of the experience felt (after the presentation of the stimulus) a reliable sign of the agent’s active control over the outcome of the response? A stereotaxic stimulation at a relevant brain neuronal locus would have elicited a similar recording where any active desire or volition from the agent is obviously absent. Then who or what, if anything, controls an intended result?
On the deterministic side we have discussed elsewhere how the amygdaloidal complex initially responds to environmental stimuli it prejudges as potentially nociceptive to human species, i.e., a threat to biological survival. The ‘fast’ response circuitry is wired up genetically and results in a transient motor inhibition to act (freeze response) while a slower ongoing circuit (hippocampus) analyzes the environmental context surrounding the genesis of such particular stimulus. Meanwhile, pending the resolution of the ‘context’ analysis by the hippocampus, the amygdala organizes a Cannon (fight / flight) contingency plan to match the results from the hippocampus memory database. Should the sensory stimulus be judged to represent a survival threat, within the context of the particular surroundings, motor activity relay switch is released from inhibition and, based on the individual’s physical resources to respond, a prefrontal cortex decision is made from the alternatives of facing or retreating from the source of the stimulus. The particularities of the response involves various brain modules, not the least of which is the cingular cortex and hypothalamus as will expand later on. Many years back, on an experimental fishing expedition, we registered recordings from exploratory electrodes in the insular cortex representing the ‘visceral homunculus’ and were only able to obtain much noise, internal from the multiple neurohumoral synaptic events and external from the tissue / metal interface of the recording electrodes, the electronic equipment, etc.; any valuable extracellular and scalp EEG tracings in rats were hidden behind the noise background notwithstanding our use of a computer of average transients (CAT) in an attempt to extract (add on) meaningful low amplitude signals above noise levels. With the miniaturization of electronics and modernization of computers we now recognize the importance and necessity of such signal noise to augment the weak signals by resonance / phase coupling as will be expanded later on below.
Likewise, the alpha, beta and gamma wave components of brain EEG tracings behave chaotically because of the ample distribution of extracellular interdendritic many à many interconnectivity giving the wave transmission profile the characteristic fractal dynamics fingerprint aptly described in Pribram’s hologram model. The small individual output from all relevant neurons responding to a specific nociceptive stimulus cohered by becoming integrated (locked in phase) giving rise to the related ERP. The nonlinearity of so many inhibitory / stimulatory neuronal / humoral transmitters moving to and fro the neuronal membrane generates the consequent ‘chaos’ dynamics reflected in the instrument’s tracings. Needless to say that such information content is computationally intractable, as discussed elsewhere. Some of this chaotic activity could even be traced to central motor nuclei controlling effectors. What then is the need and justification for all this measured recursive cyclic activity between neuromuscular effectors and the receptors once the stimulus has passed? Why the active involvement of cingular and hypothalamic cortices? Dr. Walter J. Freeman, of the University of Berkely in California, has provided, in our opinion, the best model to explain this ‘chaos’ in his ‘attractor theory’ after careful mathematical analysis and computer simulations. His seminal studies on rabbit olfaction has convinced us that the premotor and motor cortices along with the limbic system are continuosly involved in controlling central autonomic (hypothalamus) and neurosecretory activity in the body economy to support the postural and musculo-skeletal adjustments in the execution of chosen adaptive behaviors. What is the meaning of all this?
Causal chains run from past to future, and not in the other direction. Our conscious deliberation causes our particular choice among available alternatives, which causes our actions. We need to get a feeling for the many parts of the brain active in the dynamic synthesis of a global state of cooperative synergy in the premotor cortex, in particular the particularities of the sensory system that initiated the action. We have discussed elsewhere the role of emotions in the harnessing and creation of the neuroendocrine millieu that will sustain effective motor-adaptive responses. The analysis of the sense receptor participation is a tad more complicated and may require a finer distinction between free will and intentionality or between means and ends because we can either choose to activate the means resources that will obtain a specific end result or, lacking the resources, I can only form an intention to achieve such ends whenever resources (physiological, etc.) become available, i.e., it becomes a goal intended whenever a spectrum of alternatives become available to choose again from. This way intentional acts precede in time the execution of the viable effective strategy to achieve that goal. Meanwhile the perceptual sensory apparatus continues actively monitoring the changes in the environmental scenery as directed by the executive cortex acting as a central command parsing and sorting among the available alternatives to adaptively respond, based on the internal body state of physiological homeostasis (visceral brain, compartment 1) vis a vis its adequacy to meet the environmental contingency encountered. This requires a dynamic / continued self adjustment, self configuration sustained by an exhaustive parsing, sorting out and continuous recursive recycling between effectors and sensory receptors. Through the aegis of recursion, neuronal plasticity, Hebbian and neurohumoral bias control of synaptic gates, an evolving construction of adaptive alternatives is built up where genetic and acquired BPS survival strategies are represented in neuronal populations to choose from when needed, constituting thereby the possible future states, custom tailored for the particular individual in his ecological niche. In addition, the recursive cycling potential allows the agent to go back in time, as it were, not to change the past but to choose a better alternative that is a possible continuation of that same past and consistent with the laws of nature. This way the current brain representation the agent has of his internal body state (insular cortex?) and the external world at large (sensory cortex) will understandably have the highest probability to come up in a future search for alternatives. What is important is to keep in mind is how those internal and external mental states are kept continuosly updated (dynamic self configuration) by the active participation of exteroceptors, interoceptors and propioceptors which inform the effector network of relevant variations in state. These variations may generate new alternative scenarios to be chosen from if needed. In a previous publication we suggested the amygdaloidal complex and the hippocampus as the main data source about on-line sense-phenomenal and off-line memory data respectively that informs the executive cortex command center. Needless to say that, in the hierarchical prelation totem pole, the controlling neuronal assemblies genetically charged with assuring the biological viability and perpetuation of the species (amygdala) are at the top; they would reflexly override any other activity pattern contrary to this biological survival imperative. The fact that we can consciously neutralize its driving force in cases of altruism or heroism argues in favor of the survival of a free agency albeit possibly acting ‘contra natura’. These complex patterns of self-organizing recursive neuronal activity that functionally integrates a set of viable solutions under a given set of conditions and perspectives with an assigned probability of realization constitutes an ‘attractor’ alternative or brain state available to the human agent to choose from. A search for viable alternatives involves ‘state transitions’ which are partially controlled by ‘de novo’ variations in the initial conditions (triggered by changes in the internal / external environment) when amplified to cause jumps from one brain state to another. Measurements are consistent with an initial reticular activating system (ras) in the brain stem inducing hippocampus theta waviform activity (4 Hz / sec.) via septal nuclei (see Freeman 1992).
We disagree with Dr. Freeman’s assigned role to emotions as the driving force behind the generation of intentions. In our view emotions have a secondary subsidiary role in providing the hypothalamic neurohumoral fuel that orients and drives the collective effort to structure an adaptive motor response by inducing the subjective affective qualic experience as a rallying background behind the collegiate effort. Neither do we consider the amygdala as either a functional or structural part of the cingular cortex. As we have repeatedly affirmed, based partially on LeDoux measurements, it is the strategically located amygdaloid complex, with its direct lateral connections with basal ganglia and ascending / descending motor pathways (lateral forebrain bundle, LFB) on the one hand and its direct medial connections with septal, hypothalamic and nucleus accumbens (medial forebrain bundle, MFB) on the other hand, that provides the best position in the loop to qualify as the organizer of the global response combining the lateral executive cortex foresight with the medial cingular cortex insight preceding a choice of action; all of which Dr. Freeman conceptually encapsulates in his “generation of intentions” idea.
In our BPS model the conscious deliberation on appropriate alternatives is no more than the anticipation of possible effective / affective scenarios likely to play out in the different alternatives available. Deliberation is a mental rehearsal play back of ‘attractor’ package candidates until a best neuronal coalition fit (with the attending participation of pain / pleasure network filters) is identified and is consciously willed to be executed, what we have described as ‘proximate cause’ free will. In the context of this essay we’d like to stress the importance of these recursive, dynamic mental exploratory journeys into prospective futures -and failed pasts- that makes possible a better logistic control of past strategies to take into consideration new environmental scenarios as they dynamically play themselves out anew online at the biological, psychic and sociological level; the beginning of a new alternative or the modification (changes in Hebbian synaptic strenghts or connectivities, regional blood flows, etc.) of an old ‘future’ attractor basin to choose from. It is like shaping future history as a viable continuation of the past in harmony with natural law, all done at every fleeting instant we call the present.
One may wonder how may these different options in the attractor landscape co-exist without interactive annihilation, destructive interference or disuse atrophy? The clue to the answer is a paradox in itself, the shifting, asynchronous global spatio-temporal chaotic activity patterns we measure on the scalp electrodes of resting subjects arguably maintain ALL options open at random. Contrasting as they may be in terms of goals (intentions), possible outcomes (probabilities), viabilities, oxygen supply requirements, or neuro-motor execution strategies, they all get a chance to rehearse the changing script, no disuse atrophy is possible under these circumstances. Because of this seeming ‘chaos’, not in spite of it, a relevant and appropriate ordered alternative is possible to be selected, reminiscent of Edelman’s neo-Darwinian natural selection of neuronal populations. But how?
In our view the receptor input, whether coming from an exteroceptor, interoceptor or propioceptor location, alerts (via reticular activating system) the relevant sensory cortex (EEG synchrony) as to the change monitored and readies the system to focus its resources on likely attractor candidates. The bracketing selection continues narrowing (shifting transitional states) by inferential processing (‘reductio ad absurdum’) in harmony with real time resources for adaptive solutions until a best fit attractor with the highest probability of success is ‘enslaved’. This cooperative evolution of order from chaos cannot be simply explained by the entrainment of coupled oscillators into recursive synchrony as classical neuroscience may have it. Baars’global entrainment model is, in our opinion, insufficient unless it incorporates quantum / chaos dynamics in his description. This way we may move closer to a model that is capable of explaining how the internal generation of chaos (measured noise) paradoxically is required at different stages to entrain, constrain and enslave the global networks representing each and all attractors in the landscape maintaining in the process a dynamic self-generative recursive updating from which to choose when the proper environmental stimulus is monitored by sense receptors. Motor neuron feedback will adjust focus of sense receptors on new variations according to priorities established by previous similar experiences, all in defense of species survival and perpetuation according to the individualized BPS equilibrium, custom modeled for that individual in his ecological niche.
Another way of conceiving a chosen ‘attractor’ is to view it as the most probable neuronal network complex to be triggered into action in a global landscape in response to a KNOWN characteristic contingency arising in the individual or his niche which was previously recorded in the primary sensory cortex as an amplitude modulated (AM) oscillating wave front (now hidden inside the chaotic interactivity). The latter results from the integration (phase coupling?) of the contributions of a multitude of relevant synapses recruited to participate. While the attractor was being structured (modified, reinforced, etc.) by the various internal / external receptor inputs to the primary sensory cortex, the latter became thereby the basin for the particular attractor, the same one that when accessed de novo triggers it into activity as identified by the phase transition and its macroscopic AM, a varying ‘fingerprint’. The variation corresponds to the arrival of the stimulus plus the resonant phase locking with attractor.
In our opinion, there must also be present the input of ‘mirror neurons’ in the anterior cingulate gyrus and insular cortex, especially if they recognize the perceptual profile and became part of the attractor population of neurons. The mirror neurons, it would seem, add another dimension to the choice process as they are able to distinguish between self (internal) and non-self (external environment). Soon after they were discovered in 1995 by Rizzoletti of the University of Parma we incorporated them into our BPS model to explain how the lactating newborn would be able to map mother’s baby talk phonemes (cooing) and facial movements onto frontal motor cortex controlling such movements (via Cranial nerves VII,IX) so important in the vocalization stage of language development and the ability of viewing the environment as ‘being out there’, and not an extension of self as discussed elsewhere in the context of self-consciousness generation. At that time of publication we excluded the participation of the primary sensory cortex based on a chronology of mielinization of talamo-cortical projections criteria which left the oculo-kinetic, s. collicular / mesencephalic reflex as solely responsible for the newborn imitation responses; we may have to review that interpretation. We have no doubt that mirror neurons will provide a unifying view in any attractor modeling, especially after a very recent non-invasive study by Iacobini at UCLA describing how we can use our mirror neurons to figure out the intentions of others (theory of mind). A few days ago, January 2006, NY Times published an interesting review, (see "Cells That Read Minds"), i.e., the ability to bring to life goal-directed imitation rehearsals including the affective component. I had also used those results in my book to underestimate the importance of the newborn maps in his un-myelinized, undeveloped premotor cortex (cingular gyrus?) that controls the muscles involved in the facial and laryngeal expression / phonation (Cranial nerves VII, IX). But we insisted on how, somehow, all sorts of facial movements and cooing baby talk sounds from his lactating mother form a vinculum between his genetic past and acquired present so important in the posterior post-natal evolution of language. That forms the basis of our previous claim that a ‘protosemantic’ data base precedes and guides the elaboration of syntax, contrary to the opposite dogma by Chomsky. I also charged these mirror neurons with participation in the emergence of that crucial moment in the development of self-consciousness when the infant can tell the external ‘other’ as not an extension of self. Furthermore, we considered the stereotaxic evidence that there is a poor homuncular representation of the vegetative system (explained also by the somatization of ‘referred pain’) in the insular cortex and how those neuron populations had developmentally been substituted mostly by mirror neurons. The latter are activated (fMRI data) during the qualic feeling of emotional states of anger, sadness, guilt, etc.- when elicited by either memory recalls or empathy when witnessing equivalent events as they occur in the ‘other’ person. This was additional evidence that mirror neurons constitute an essential component in the elaboration and accessing of relevant ‘attractors’.
Our long held suspicion that a Lysenko / Lamarckian mode of inheritance made intuitive sense had now been given a good experimental footing with the discovery of mirror neurons notwithstanding our past failed experimental attempts to find evidence in the germinal cells DNA in trained rats to verify their modification. Imitation learning, when goal directed, is essential in the incorporation of behavioral variations memes into the updating and reconfiguration of attractor content. The incorporation of acquired memes into the gene pool remains an unsolved puzzle and the answer may well reside in the activity of mirror neurons and ‘silent genes’ of the genome. It is not an exaggeration to predict that mirror neurons will change many dogmatic conceptions about Darwinian evolution as the exclusive explanation of existential reality. See the Conclusions below for additional arguments.
Philosophical implications. If we are to consider the preceding arguments as ‘prima facie’ evidence in support of the survival of ‘free will’ notwithstanding the determinism imposed by nature’s laws governing the sense-phenomenal world, we still have to answer many questions, e.g., what kind of control may the agent have over his choices, is he / she really free? To start, we may have to distinguish analytically between 1st. level guidance and 2nd. level regulatory aspects of such causal influence on the evolution of volition in the ‘willing’ agent. When we are able to choose or not from available alternate scenarios we are talking about ‘regulation’. Once chosen we have to consider the ‘guidance’ control available to the agent of the particularities of his choice, can they be modified during the execution phase? From a legal viewpoint only the consequences ascribed to the ‘guidance’ control during the execution phase bear scrutiny and generate moral / legal responsibilities because it is assumed the agent could have chosen to act differently….., but could he? Is the guidance sequence different from the regulatory neuronal script which, in principle, generates no moral / legal responsibility?
Before we give the obligatory and controversial answer we’d like to remind the reader about the supercomplexity of human decision making when reckoning with a myriad of conflicting facts and feelings and biomedical resource problems pressing on the agent. Even main frame supercomputers can crash land a NASA satellite! Considering the ever changing adjustments the physiological homeostatic machinery must undergo to maintain the relative constancy of the agent’s internal milieu and his / her psycho-social adjustments to maintain an interactive harmony with the changing external environment he / she didn’t choose to be born in, it is amazing that the agent’s brain can still self-renew, reconfigure and self-generate in harmony with its survival & reproductive imperative as well as the social conviviality demands, as discussed. We may have relatively few crash landings but our jails are full of citizens that could have made different choices and fell through the cracks nonetheless. Limited as we are in our sense-phenomenal and brain-computational resolution abilities as a species, by and large we still can handle adequately such supercomplex processing which somehow was intelligently put together for our use and benefit as a chosen species. Can we conceive of a causally-efficient but uncaused intrinsic intentionality? To live is to be constantly choosing but, can we be unconscious of our ‘choices’ as existentialist Sartre would have it in his contradiction. The Shakespearian choice “To be or not to be” is ultimately resolved as to “consciously choose to be or unconsciously not to be”. Even the choice of not choosing may be available when you’d rather vegetate like petunias do and let your life events be caused by controlled substances or other external political agents! Notice that when we for example raise our hand to point out with our finger at a perpetrator the act is essentially different from when you reflexly raise your hand away from the hot oven, unless you want to ascribe the raising of the hand at the police station to an unconscious intrinsic intention to facilitate your conscious identification of the perpetrator before consciousness took over! Regardless of the extent of our conscious participation in the configuration of a future attractor, we still hold the key to release its content or not and may even choose ‘contra natura’ against our own best BPS survival interests for the sake of higher lofty goals of our own choosing.
Summary and Conclusions.
In the original BPS model published we suggested how a bio-psycho-social equilibrium was maintained by a complex, interactive recursive neuronal system (involving the visceral brain, the ‘talking’ brain and the sensory cortex) capable of updating at every instant the mental state of the agent to meet the demands of a changing internal / external environment. Having to reckon with the stochastic dynamics inferred from the role of the visceral brain (compartment 1) we found it necessary to account for a dynamic high dimensional system, its evolution, changes of state and sudden state transitions as registered experimentally, enter quantum dynamics! We had identified the amygdaloidal complex as the possible locus of this recursive differentiating / integrating activity where the visceral brain homeostasis (inner) and the complex environmental ongoings (outer) are monitored for their compatibility (sensory brain) with bio-survival imperatives that take into consideration the inherited (amygdala) and the acquired (hippocampus) contributions to the mental state during the execution of adaptive responses. As a result, the agent’s internal organization is adaptively modified to harmonize with the agent’s other external survival psycho-social imperatives (the ‘talking’ brain)
At the micro level we can measure how infinitesimal external environmental variations are picked up by sensory receptors where the ensuing initial conditions produced are rapidly amplified, triggering a divergent flow of non-linear EM activity to attractor basins (much like noise would ordinarily behave in a chaotic system). Engineers are familiar with such behaviors in kinematic flows, crystal growth, synchrony of optical systems and neuronal systems. The long range challenge is to provide a syncretic, ‘physical’? interface just explaining how the ‘measured’ chaotic dynamic activity at the micro level interacts with the observed ongoing macro level activity in the sociological domain. But neuronal networks, besides their plasticity and Hebbian dynamics, may also exhibit the non-local connectivities we have to live with! Coupling makes possible that sense receptor electronic noise induce phase transitions (resonance / stochastic coupling?). Interacting neuronal populations are organized via the traditional action potentials born at synaptic junctions and measured with microelectrodes inside the cells. In the extracellular milieu we cannot always measure the field potentials they generate and depend on EEG tracings to reflect activity as an epi-phenomenonal event. It can be demonstrated that cortical neurons are quasi-independent and exquisitevely responsive to inputs coming from internal / external receptor sources to maintain a self-organizing readiness to respond to ad hoc contingent variations in the environment as observed in space / time phase transitions. When you subsequently register similar reccuring events at a broader scale of time-space you witness the imprint of a fractal dynamics system. For example, when sense-phenomenal data is transmitted by receptors to sensory cortex the latter becomes destabilized and wave packets formation therein follows as information is being processed. For example, amplitude modulated (AM) waves in the gamma range (ca. 50 Hz) have been measured in rabbits when they respond (discriminate) to conditioned olfactory stimuli. The field potentials measured by EEG is generated by dendritic potentials when they cohere (entangle) as self organizing domains of neuronal processing (chaotic wave packets). One can follow the transition from the cortical AM activity to AM wave packets. The Katchalsky (K) model of Freeman (see Int’nal J. of Bifurcation & Chaos, 2003) describes how coupling of excitatory, inhibitory, positive , negative, lateral inhibition / excitatory as well as feedbacks of layered networks, can exhibit quasi periodic oscillations, attractors and chaos, all typical of dynamic systems. Freeman describes the dynamic interaction beginning at olfactory receptors à periglomerular cells à olfactory bulb à anterior olfactory nucleus à pre-pyriform cortex à deep cortical pyramidal cells. During rest or inactivity the system is acting as an aperiodic (chaotic) global attractor with spatial coherence. During the duration of a stimulus it switches to coherent AM fluctuations becoming very sensitive to ongoing variations in the parameters. The input oscillations are seen at the gamma band 50 Hz AM pattern during a phase transition. Paradoxically, noise is now the outcome of an underlying deterministic process. There are many variables involved in the evolution of individual neurons into integrated cooperative populations operating far away from thermodynamic equilibrium. Stochastic chaos dynamics provides the basis for self organization based on the sensory cortex integration of non-linear neuronal inputs that makes it possible to create / amplify and integrate the minute perturbations into the global dynamic profile of chaotic systems. E.g., empirical objects / events are non-linear and their analog sensory inputs are initially transduced into the complex dynamic system of a stable chaotic profile. The complexity results from the synaptic interfaces and their non-linear membrane dynamics when bombarded by an assortment of contrasting (potentiating / inhibitory) asymmetric neurotransmitter molecules being transported to and fro across membrane ionic / lipid channels. The much slower axonal events transmitted seem more like convenient linear physical conveyances to coordinate the non-linear chaotic activities with distant neuronal circuit modules distributed in the parallel arrangements of classical sensory pathways. How are decisions made possible in this seemingly chaotic system? It seems like the brain depends on its chaotic resonant excitations to amplify the initial conditions and generate a holographic wave processing. The apparent randomness of the chaotic behavior makes it possible to be selective in locking phase with an attractor. In Freeman’s experiment the olfactory cortex went into high energy excitation (after subject sniffed a known chemical) until a basin of low potential energy (attractor) is found that corresponds with the sniffed molecule. An unexpected, novel object /event, i.e., a chemical, will cause a bifurcation and the formation of a new basin memory locus to become accessible in future encounters with relevant objects / events. Fractal neuronal dynamics is the common denominator to the neuronal membrane’s macromolecular asymmetry channels and global instability. The transmission of the nerve action potential is the only linear activity, the rest shows the typical chaos à bifurcation à sink.
At another level of analysis we intuitively experience two contradictory gut feelings, we are convinced that we can mentally deliberate to make actual what now only exists in potency as one of many futures and choose the one that really will make a difference in our future lives. But we also know that ultimately, it was based on how comfortable we felt with the choice, an affective consideration hopefully reflecting the truth value of our decision. We don’t know how the influential pain-pleasure system interacted with the ongoing parsing among the propositional premises being considered, i.e., which aspect weighted more in our ‘choice’ from a spectrum of alternatives, each with differing probabilities. Consistent with the BPS model position on the language generation of thoughts issue we discussed elsewhere, we escape again from the infinite regressions / progressions philosophical trap by concluding that the affective qualia and the logically-inferred judgment co-generate recursively at unconscious levels of processing.
We also discussed a possible quantal architecture of attractors following a lead from Walter Freeman’s experimental data. The model suggests how intimately the possible futures are linked with past experiences as the former continuosly self configures suggesting that we may never really ‘break with the past’ but we can modify the past strategy and use it more effectively in the future. The temporal direction of empirical causation runs from past to future except at the quantum directed microscopic level during a parsing search before a final selection from ‘possible’ futures in the landscape by recursive feed-back reshapes the ‘future’. Yes, we can change the past from the possible-futures instant present.
At the sub-Planck level of organization we briefly reiterated how macroscopically insignificant perturbations in the initial conditions of the receptor field get reinforced / amplified by phase coupling with background internal / external noise until an attractor basin is targeted and a resonance-coupled, non-linear state transition is initiated. How may receptor or primary sensory cortical neurons give rise to such destabilized global state transitions is akin to asking, as Freeman suggested, how may few molecules of air and water create a hurricane? We mentioned how Edelman’s goal directed neuronal populations are entrained, constrained and enslaved by synaptic plasticity, weighted Hebbian synaptic configuration, neuro transmitter modulation, feedback recursion, memory inputs, interactions with other mini global dynamic networks, etc. This is not to be construed as an indication of having created a stable state of synchrony in the totality that will interfere with the intrinsic autonomy of the constitutive parts. In our view, a global state maintains its autonomy at subconscious (not unconscious!) levels as the result of a continuous receptor monitoring of objects / events in the internal / external milieu, the differential extraction of their features and their integration into a new brain configuration representing the object / event before interacting reciprocally with amygdaloidal complex as discussed above. It remains questionable whether Crick’s recording of 40 Hz synchrony describes the brain representation or binding of the extracted of the sense-phenomenal features after achieving their initial phase / frequency synchronization. The global unit formed is stabilized by the downward constrainment of its participating neurons which maintain their self-configuring dynamics capable of the instantiation of ‘intentional’ goal-directed behavior that includes the affective and attention mental state in its implementation. Repeating, once a familiar or novel pattern is recognized in the environment it leaves a trademark readout in the amplitude-modulated tracing very easily distinguished from the uneventful resting state tracing containing the background basal state noise from receptor instability.
The alert reader may have noticed that the preceding account smacks of a self-configuring, self-generating circular causality that eludes assigning responsibility for identifying the agent or entity designing this recursive strategy whose complexity far exceeds that of Dr. Behe’s macromolecular assemblies which prompted a mathematical analysis by Dr. Dembsky of the probability of such assemblies to self-configure as guided by Darwinian principles. Everybody knows how Darwinism fared when explaining such lesser specified complexities.
Dr. Angell O. de la Sierra, Esq. Jan 2006, Deltona Lakes, Florida
 Ramachandran, V.S., "Mirror Neurons and imitation learning as the driving force behind "the great leap forward" in human evolution", Edge, no. 69, May 29, 2000.
 Altschuler, E., Pineda, J., and Ramachandran, V.S.,Abstracts of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 2000.
 WJ Freeman, LJ Rogers – International Journal of Bifurcation & Chaos, 2003 –
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 JC Principe, VG Tavares, JG Harris, WJ Freeman – Proceedings of the IEEE, 2001 –
 WJ Freeman – Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1999 –
 WJ Freeman – Behavioral and Brain Science, Berkely U. He discusses local and global interactivity and the role of ‘mesoscopic’ elements in Stochastic Chaos dynamics.
Epistemontological S… on Controlling the ‘self-de… cersecove1954.weebly… on The possible quantum interface… Mark Germine on The possible quantum interface… Owen N. Martinez on Reflections on the BioPsychoSo… Owen N. Martinez-San… on Beliefs and Reason
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