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Consciousness operates beyond the timescale for discerning time intervals: implications for Q-mind theories and analysis of quantum decoherence in brain

By Danko Georgiev

Abstract

This paper presents in details how the subjective time is constructed by the brain cortex via reading packets of information called "time labels", produced by the right basal ganglia that act as brain timekeeper. Psychophysiological experiments have measured the subjective "time quanta" to be 40 ms and show that consciousness operates beyond that scale - an important result having profound implications for the Q-mind theory. Although in most current mainstream biophysics research on cognitive processes, the brain is modelled as a neural network obeying classical physics, Penrose (1989, 1997) and others have argued that quantum mechanics may play an essential role, and that successful brain simulations can only be performed with a quantum computer. Tegmark (2000) showed that make-or-break issue for the quantum models of mind is whether the relevant degrees of freedom of the brain can be sufficiently isolated to retain their quantum coherence and tried to settle the issue with detailed calculations of the relevant decoherence rates. He concluded that the mind is classical rather than quantum system, however his reasoning is based on biological inconsistency. Here we present detailed exposition of molecular neurobiology and define the dynamical timescale of cognitive processes linked to consciousness to be 10-15 ps showing that macroscopic quantum coherent phenomena in brain are not ruled out, and even may provide insight in understanding life, information and consciousness

Topics: Biophysics, Neurophysiology
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:3318
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