Quantum Consciousness Supported by Semiconduction and Superconduction

COULD CONSCIOUSNESS DRAW ON BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS WHICH ACT AS ORGANIC SEMICONDUCTORS AND/OR SUPERCONDUCTORS?

Manifestations of quantum coherence can be found in different solid state systems including semiconductor confined magnetic systems, crystals and superconductors.

PJ  Hore (2016) has pointed out that certain organic semiconductors (OLEDs) exhibit magnetoelectroluminescence or magnetoconductance, the mechanism of which shares essentially identical physics with radical pairs in biology – specifically singlet and triplet states generated during magnetoreception. 

Biological materials implicated in quantum biology are similar in structure to organic semiconductors.  Organic molecules that serve as chromophores (of which flavins such as cryptochrome, are examples) consist of extended conjugated π-systems (the same structure as organic semiconductors) – which allow electronic excitation by sunlight and provide photochemical reactivity. Eukaryotic riboflavin-binding proteins typically bind riboflavin between the aromatic residues of mostly tryptophan- and tyrosine-built triads of stacked aromatic rings…Ultrafast electron transfer mechanisms from an aromatic moiety to a photoexcited flavin are not only observed for riboflavin-binding proteins but for other flavoproteins, like for BLUF (blue light sensing using FAD) domains, cryptochromes, and DNA photolyases. H Staudt 2011.   

And in biology, evidence has been found that the existence of central aromatic acids can serve as stepping stones to support an electron hopping mechanism W Sun 2016, including in flavins, with suggestions that a redox doping type mechanism may be in operation (also see Orf 2015 and 2016 

These ideas are further explored in another posting – click here to find out more.  This includes evidence of solid state photo-CIDNP and its involvement in ultra-fast electron transfer, singlet and triplet states and quantum coherence within biology (and therefore at high temperatures).

IS THERE EVIDENCE OF MAGNETORECEPTION AND THE PHOTO CIDNP EFFECT IN HUMANS?

J Kirschvink (Caltech) claims to have found evidence of magnetoreception in human beings (June 2016).

He has used a Faraday cage to demonstrate that human brains can be influenced by magnetic fields.  When the magnetic field is rotating counterclockwise, there’s a drop in participants’ alpha waves. The suppression of α waves, in the EEG world, is associated with brain processing: a set of neurons were firing in response to the magnetic field, the only changing variable.

Kirschvink’s experiments found that when magnetic field is rotating counterclockwise, there’s a drop in participants’ alpha waves.  Existing research suggests there is a mutual relationship between gamma and alpha oscillations in the visual cortex.  K Hepp (ed P Blanchard and J Frohlich 2015).

Currently the sample size is very small (24 participants) and the results need to be peer reviewed for publishing, but it will be interesting to see further information on this in the future.

The mechanism behind such magnetoreception is unknown, however recently it has been found that a polymer-like protein, dubbed MagR (Drosophila CG8198)  forms a complex with a photosensitive protein called Cryptochrome (Cry).  The MagR/Cry protein complex, the researchers found, has a permanent magnetic moment, which means that it spontaneously aligns in the direction of external magnetic fields. This is the only known protein complex that has a permanent magnetic moment. Cry likely regulates the magnetic moment of the rod-shaped complex, while the iron-sulfur clusters in the MagR protein are probably what give rise to the permanent magnetic polarity of the structure. S Qin – ‎2016.

In transgenic C Elegans, expressing this magnetoreceptor in myo-3-specific muscle cells or mec-4-specific neurons, application of an external magnetic field triggered muscle contraction and withdrawal behaviour of the worms, indicative of magnet-dependent activation of muscle cells and touch receptor neurons. It was also found that the magnetoreceptor could evoke membrane depolrisation and action potentials, generate calcium influx, and trigger neuronal activity in both HEK-293 cells and cultured primary hippocampal neurons when activated by a remote magnetic field. The magnetogenetic control of neuronal activity could be dependent on the direction of the magnetic field and exhibits on-response and off-response patterns for external magnetic fields applied. The group also screened other species’ genomes and showed variants of both proteins were highly conserved across several animals, including pigeons, monarch butterflies, whales and even humans. X Long 2016

Evidence of reduced triplet product yield in brain tissue following exposure to magnetic fields would be required to demonstrate that the solid state photo CIDNP state effect was present in the brain.

A number of papers have proposed that oxidative stress could be caused by electro-magnetic fields e.g ELF-EMFs exposure (50 Hz, 0.1–1.0 mT) was shown to significantly affect antioxidant enzymatic capacity in both young and aged rat brains (S Falcone 2008).  However such findings have been contradicted in other studies.   H Kabuto et al 2001 demonstrated that no ROS generation nor lipid peroxidation could be detected in brain homogenates of exposed mice. Interestingly, they observed a slight decrease in oxidative damage in mice exposed to static field (2–4 mT). S R Balind 2014  also found extremely low frequency magnetic field (50 Hz, 0.5 mT) reduces oxidative stress in the brains of gerbils.  ELF-EMF exposure, in the form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (60-Hz, 0.7 mT) applied to rats for 2 hr twice daily, can prove neuroprotective. Extremely low-frequency EMF can mitigate oxidative damage, elevate neurotrophic protein levels in brain and ameliorate behavioral deficits in rats (I Tunez 2006, I Tasset 2010 and 2013 found that EMFs activated the antioxidant pathway Nrf2 in a Huntington’s disease-like rat mode), Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields land   as well as potentially augment neurogenesis. Such studies reiterate that the level and timing of exposure are critical factors impacting outcome measures. M Reale 2014.  

A V Chervakov 2015 has recently explored possible mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation.

EXAMPLES OF HOW MAGNETISM COULD BE INFLUENCING BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES

Transient receptor potentials

The transient receptor potential (TRP) multigene superfamily encodes integral membrane proteins that function as ion channels. B Nilius 2011.

In mice, Ferritin nanoparticles associate with a camelid anti-GFP–transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 fusion protein, αGFP-TRPV1, and can transduce noninvasive RF or magnetic fields into channel activation, also showing that TRPV1 can transduce a mechanical stimulus. This, in turn, initiates calcium-dependent transgene expression.   S A Stanley 2015.   R Chen 2015.

A single-component, magnetically sensitive actuator, “Magneto,” has been created comprising the cation channel TRPV4 fused to the paramagnetic protein ferritin.  Scientists validated noninvasive magnetic control over neuronal activity by demonstrating remote stimulation of cells using in vitro calcium imaging assays, electrophysiological recordings in brain slices, in vivo electrophysiological recordings in the brains of freely moving mice, and behavioral outputs in zebrafish and mice. Results present Magneto as an actuator capable of remotely controlling circuits associated with complex animal behaviors. M A Wheeler 2016.  Another researcher had already stated that  they had found that magnetic activation of TRPV4 channels enables remote control of cell function in the absence of chemical or biological agents (although this article has been withdrawn). O Lunov 2013.    Ca(2+)-permeable TRPV4 channels are highly expressed in rat hippocampal astrocytes and are involved in oxidative stress-induced cell damage. J Z Bai 2014. 

By examining magnetotaxis in mutant Caenorhabiditis elegans worms that lack responses to particular sensory stimuli,  Andrés Vidal-Gadea 2015 found that a pair of neurons called the AFD neurons  (equivalent to TRPs) – which were already known to carry information about temperature and chemical stimuli from the environment (Mori and Ohshima 1995 – are critical for magnetic navigation. C H Rankin 2015.   Also see .JM Gray at al – ‎2005, and  R Adachi 2008.

Cryptochrome may also bring together a clock (circadian rhythms) and compass (magnetoreception) mechanisms.

Coupled Clocks and Compass  

In Drosphila it has been proposed that CRY activation involves intramolecular electron transfer and presumably subsequent confirmational changes, thus, the cellular redox status also regulates the transfer of photic information and CRY stability.  Results suggests that the cellular redox status and electron transfer modulate the light dependent activation of CRY, which in turn affects the subsequent transmision of the light signal to TIM and the degradation of CRY itself, with subsequent clock setting….In zebrafish cells, the light-induced redox changes stimulating intracellular mitogen- activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling that transduces photic signals to zCry1a gene transactivation. Importantly, light also drives the production of intracellular ROS, such as H2O2 , that leads to an altered redox status and increases intracellular catalase activity by stimulating catalase transcription, an event which occurs after the maximum expression of the zCry1a gene has been reached. This increased catalase activity diminishes light induced cellular ROS levels, resulting in decreased zCry1a transcription and creating a negative feedback loop. Thus, this altered redox state triggers the transduction of photic signals that regulate and synchronize the circadian clock.  M L Fanjul-Moles 2015. 

Data suggests that the clock gene CRY2 may have a dual role in the monarch butterfly’s brain—as a core clock element and as an output that regulates circadian activity in the central complex, the likely site of the sun compass.  H Zhu – ‎2008. Hugh Dingle – 2014.   Steven Reppert   PA Guerra – ‎2012.   The Monarch butterfly also possesses an inclination magnetic compass to help direct their flight equatorward in the fall. PA Guerra – ‎2014 .

There are a number of other examples in nature, where cryptochrome may be operating in a way that integrates the clock and compass mechanisms – find out by clicking here for a separate posting.

Radical pairs process could influence the biological clock. Thus, the bio-effects can be arisen due to the weak magnetic fields even the magnetic fields are much higher than the hyperfine coupling strength. Chathurika D. Abeyrathne 2010.  It has been proposed that a Cryptochrome/Radical Pair Mechanism signalling is a fundamental component of the robustness and temperature insensitivity of circadian systems. It has been highlighted that RPM/CRY is an ideal biophysical candidate for temperature insensitive signalling within the phosphorylation processes of multimeric post-translational circadian clocks. The biological outcome is to influence circadian behaviour in a manner that is independent of the influences of temperature and molecular environment on kinetic constants, thus further contributing to the robustness of circadian systems.   J Close 2014   

Mechanistic links between the redox state and the Transcriptional, translational, feedback loop (TTFL) framework of circadian rhythms have been identified in a variety of organisms, including mammals. Although a single model has yet to emerge, studies strongly suggest that redox state may be an oscillation that feeds back upon the TTFL, whereby a cell’s redox state may alter clock gene expression and the clock genes, in turn, regulate redox state. And the effects of oxidative stress and oxidative challenges may be processes that are mediated by the circadian clock’ (Wulund and Reddy 2015).

Circadian clocks regulate different aspects of sleep, suggesting that redox and metabolism may affect sleep homeostasis through their impact on the state of the circadian system  .  Binding of certain clock proteins may be regulated by intercellular redox potential, indicating the potential for cross-talk between the circadian clock machinery, energy metabolism and sleep regulation. (Ray and Reddy 2016).

Recent results indicate a key role of cryptochrome proteins in Time and place learning (TPL) and confirm the limited role of the SCN in TPL. It is thought that TPL involves the hippocampus, and reflects an episodic-like memory task, but due to its functional nature, also entail the translation of experienced episodes into semantic rules acquired by training. The Dentate gyrus (a sub region of the hippocampus) is one of the few brain areas where adult neurogenesis occurs, and thought to be particularly involved in the formation of new episodic memories . It has been proposed that experience-related cues (cognitive training) may act as a zeitgeber to the hippocampus, where local timekeeping mechanisms may be entrained. Whether Cry, but not Per genes are essential for temporal coding in the hippocampus remains to be further investigated, for example by using hippocampus specific mice without Cry and Per genes. CK Mulder 2016 .

It is known that circadian rhythms influence learning, cognitive performance, and memory formation across different species. Studies describe disruption of circadian rhythms altering learning and memory performance, spatial learning, intra and intersession habituation, place learning, long-term potentiation, and trace fear memory (A Jilg 2010 (implicating Per 1), A A Kondratova 2010, E A Van der Zee 2008). E A Van de Zee’s study found that cryptochrome genes are necessary for time-place learning). These studies provide much evidence that a functional circadian clock is required for optimal memory formation and persistence. A Malik 2015. It has also been found that the circadian-controlled mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cAMP signal transduction pathway plays critical roles in the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memory. KL Eckel-Mahan – ‎2012 

Mice deficient in cryptochrome exhibit impaired recognition memory, increased anxiety, and lack of time-place associations, although no deficits in working or long-term memory formation were reported. In contrast, mice deficient in Bmal1show a diminished learning ability and have previously been reported to display phenotypes associated with accelerated aging. Mice deficient in Per2 showed impaired trace-fear memory, suppressed long-term potentiation (LTP), and diminished CREB phosphorylation. Equivalent effects were observed in mPer1 knockout mice in which spatial memory, CREB activation, and LTP declined, further suggesting that Per genes have additional effects on hippocampal functions, perhaps independent of their role in circadian timing. A Malik 2015.

Memory 

Further links between circadian rhythms, redox and neurology (particularly memory) are explored in a separate posting.

Here it is suggested that a classical dissipative system could support short term linear memory (as such memory can be created within a reaction diffusion process), coupled with a long term spin based associative memory (e.g the Hopfield model).

Cryptochrome’s role in Vision

Cryptochrome is found throughout adult human retina. CRY2 is localized throughout the cytoplasm of cells in the ganglion cell layer as well as within nuclei… C L Thompson et al 2003. Human cryptochrome 2 protein (hCRY2), can sense magnetic fields when implanted into Drosophila. LE Foley – ‎2011.    Mammalian cryptochromes can respond to EMF when placed into transgenic Drosophila, whereas in mammalian clock neurons, they cannot. Consequently, the EMF responsiveness of cryptochrome is determined by its intracellular environment, suggesting that other, unknown molecules that interact with cryptochrome are also very important.  G Fedele 2014.

Electrophysiologic responses to magnetic fields have been detected in several parts of the avian nervous system that receive projections from the visual system. The nucleus of the basal optic root (nBOR) receives projections from retinal ganglion cells, and some neurons in the nBOR respond to directional changes in ambient magnetic fields. Similar responses have been observed in certain cells within the optic tectum. Responses to magnetic fields in both locations disappeared when the optic nerves were cut. These results suggest that one locus of magnetoreception in birds is in the visual system (perhaps in the photoreceptors).  Sönke Johnsen 2004.

Characterisation of the space-coding properties of gamma-band oscillations in the avian Optic Tectum lays the foundation for understanding the role of these oscillations in spatial localisation and spatial attention across different classes of vertebrate animals.  Findings in line with recent physiological studies of the neocortex (Liu and Newsome 2006, Katzner et al 2009, Xing et al 2009) and models of gamma oscillations (Tiesinga and Buia 2009 and Paik et al 2009) indicate that the local field potential oscillations can represent input current with high spatial resolution.  In the optic Tectum this corresponds to a high resolution topological, multimodal map of space.   Extensive similiarities between mid-brain gamma oscillations in birds and those in the neocortext and hippocampus of mammals offer important insights into the functional significance of a midbrain gamma oscillatory code.  D Sridharan et al 2011.  Sridharan 2014 

In the Ansell’s mole rat (a mammal) It has been shown that magnetic information is integrated with multimodal sensory and motor information into a common spatial representation of allocentric space within the superior colliculus, the head direction system and the entorhinal–hippocampal spatial representation system (Nemec et al.,2001; Burger et al., 2010). “The specific mechanisms underlying this integration have yet to be identified and characterized”. Ludmila Oliveriusová et al 2012

Here is it suggested that gamma oscillations may be the result of magnetoreceptive sensoring (via the superior colliculus/optum tectum and the generation of microsaccades).

Gamma Oscillations

For decades, theta rhythms (5–10 Hz) have been thought to play a critical role in memory processing in the entorhinal– hippocampal network. However, recent evidence suggests that successful memory performance also requires coupling of 30–100 Hz gamma rhythms to particular phases of the theta cycle.  L L Colgin 2015J Lisman 2013,  T K Rajji 2016.

Findings that gamma oscillations may only exist as a result of microsaccades (very small eye movements) has led to some questioning of the importance of gamma oscillations in neural processing and memory. S Yuval-Greenberg et al 2008 found that no gamma band activity was observed on trials without any saccades whatsoever, indicating that the gamma band activity observed at the scalp might solely reflect saccade-related muscle activity. Also see C A Bosman et al (2009).  

Microsaccades are thought to contribute to foveal and peripheral vision and to trigger perceptual transitions in a number of bistable illusions, including binocular rivalry. They may drive perceptual flips in binocular rivalry. Bistability may be of particular relevance to biological systems that switch between discrete states, generate oscillatory responses, or production of self-sustaining biochemical “memories”.  D Angeli 2003.

Turing Patterns in Vision

The visual cortex is partitioned into fundamental domains or hypercolumns of a lattice describing the distribution of singularities or pinwheels in the orientation preference map. Each hypercolumn is modelled as a network of orientation and spatial frequency selective cells organised around a pair of pinwheels, which are associated with high and low spatial frequency domains, respectively. P Bressloff 2002.

Such a structure is thought to generate/support phosphenes (common visual hallucinations e.g seen as migraine auras)

  • Phosphenes can be stimulated by flickering light, and both electricity and magnetic fields (e.g TMS). Perceived phosphenes can occur through ionizing radiation, electrical, or magnetic stimulation of the visual cortex  Manzar Ashtari et al 2014. Magnetophosphenes have been found to occur also in strong magnetic field during movement of the head and in transient fields during energising or deenergising of high-field magnets. This effect was first described by díArsonval in 1896 and the possible explanation was reported by Lövsund. The maximum sensitivity is at 20 Hz where the flashes are synchronised with the field. S Zannella – ‎1998.  PC Talyor 2010
  • Stimulating the visual cortex at the extreme rear of the brain interrupts the patient’s normal vision and causes him to see specks of light. When electrodes are moved to the adjacent region, the visual associative area, the patient reports seeing phosphenes of geometric design. When the electrodes are moved father forward, the patient frequently reports a visual scene of some past experience that is so vivid as to be current (Oster 1970:86).
  • Research on astronauts experiencing phosphenes found that frequency [of phosphenes] was up to 25 times higher near the magnetic poles than in equatorial latitudes”. Photic stimulation within a specific frequency and luminance range also causes them in control subjects.D H Ffytche 2008.
  • I Bokkon (2008) has  explored how phosphenes might support vision e.g he proposes that phosphenes are bioluminescent biophotons in the visual system induced by various stimuli (mechanical, electrical, magnetic, ionizing radiation, etc.) as well as random bioluminescent biophotons firings of cells in the visual pathway. This biophoton emission can become conscious if induced or spontaneous biophoton emission of cells in the visual system exceeds a distinct threshold.

Ermentrout and Cowan, and more recently Bressloff, have explored diffusion-driven Turing instabilities in the Wilson–Cowan neural field equations supporting formation of stationary activity patterns that have been likened to visual hallucinations. E Negahbani 2014.  Also see  P Bressloff 2002,  Kilpatrick and Ermentrout, 2012a,b; Froese et al., 2013, V A Billock – ‎2012  and P Tass 1995.

Further images of phosphenes can be found on a site by Dr Ida Pearce. They seem to resemble phase transitions, and have been compared to BZ reactions by a number of scientists. It asked whether this patterning could be related to other non linear activity in the retina and critical brain dynamics (e.g Janina Hesse 2014). 

Klüver (1926) reported that the mescaline-induced imagery (form constants) could be observed with the eyes either closed or open and that with the eyes open it was impossible to look at a blank wall without seeing it as being covered with various forms (Siegal, 1977:132). He defined four main types of constantly occurring hallucinations:

  1. grating, lattice, fretwork, filigree, honeycomb and chessboard
  2. cobwebs
  3. tunnel, funnel, alley, cone and vessel; and
  4. spirals.

phosphenes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symmetric bifurcation theory has been used to explain how low frequency flicker should produce hexagonal patterns while high frequency produces pinwheels, targets, and spirals (M Rule et al 2011).

It should, however be emphasised that such geometric patterns are common to human beings and do not have to be drug and diseased induced. They can also be perceived  during meditation,  upon entering sleep, in lucid dreams and on awakening.  They are more common in childhood (Oster 1970:83).

I have seen the following phosphenes as I go into the waking state.  Initially I see luminous ‘bubbling’ which shifts in a chaotic manner (this can remind me of liquid crystal going through phase transitions), but this then changes to form clear geometric shapes including pinwheels and grids.  On one occasion I saw a snowflake like visual, on another occasion they looked very similar to a BZ reaction.

bubbles

Descriptions of phosphenes can also be found in lucid dreamers. “Although I have often seen darkness in a (lucid) dream, it was not until I began to examine darkness closely that at times I came across faintly seen patterns. The time I saw the patterns most distinclyt.  My view was divided into possibly eight to twelve irregularly shaped sections. Each contained its own pattern. Each section of pattern seemed to vibrate or twitch within itself, though the section divisions remained stable. I was able to examine the whole display, scanning right to left and back again. Most of the sections had line or herring bone designs; one had all dots close together; and one had a chess board pattern. The chess board and dot designs I have seen often in hypnopompic experiences, though not the parallel lines. Sometimes I see only swiftly moving patterns covering my visual field and appearing to surround me. They are constantly changing versions of lattices, lines, dots, and colors”.  G Gillespie, University of Pennsylvania – taken from a lucid dreaming site.

Phosphenes and Retinal Prosthesis

Phosphenes are already routinely being used as part of the design of retinal prosthesis systems.

“Visual prostheses have the potential to restore partial function to individuals by electrically stimulating different parts of the visual pathway (retina, optic nerve, or cortex) and have become an increasingly prominent topic in the field of neural prosthetics.  A prosthesis may provide useful visual percepts in the form of spots of light called phosphenes.

These phosphenes form rudimentary building blocks in prosthetic vision that can be used to realize more complex patterns representing visual scenes. The possibility of restoring vision by using multiple simultaneously elicited phosphenes with a microelectronic prosthesis is the foundation for current clinical trials and is the general assumption made in prosthetic visual simulations….

Cai et al. investigated prosthetic visual acuity by altering the geometric irregularity of simulated phosphene maps and two different down-sampling schemes. Their findings showed that the irregularity of simulated phosphene maps had a negative effect on visual acuity”.  y Zhao et al 2011.

Holographic optogenetic stimulation of patterned neuronal activity is also being explored for vision restoration.  Again such systems make use of phosphenes to deliver information to the visual system. G A Goetz et al 2013.

In non linear optics, information can be coded and processed as an optical pattern.  These patterns can include hexagons, spiral and complex geometries –  including the coexistance of different patterns.  The capacity of such systems is determined by the number of different pattern models that can exist and interact as a system. Mikhail A. Vorontsov 1995.    Information processing in the retina has been modeled as cellular automata e.g  F Devillard – ‎2014,  S Gobron 2007.  M Beigzadeh et al 2013.

Phosphenes Used as Coding to Create Visual Imagery

It is proposed that the brain is using the black and white elements of phosphenes as universal code in order to encode ‘visual scenes’, and this is supported by recent findings.

The patterns of light and dark that fall on the retina provide a wealth of information about the world around us, yet scientists still don’t understand how this information is encoded by neural circuits in the visual cortex—a part of the brain that plays a critical role in building the neural representations that are responsible for sight. But things just got a lot clearer with the discovery that the majority of neurons in visual cortex respond selectivity to light vs dark, and they combine this information with selectivity for other stimulus features to achieve a detailed representation of the visual scene.  Scientists have long known that neurons in the retina that provide information to higher centres in the brain respond selectively to light vs dark stimuli. ‘ON’ cells that respond selectively to light stimuli  and ‘OFF’ cells that respond selectively to dark stimuli were known to form separate parallel channels relaying information to circuits in visual cortex.  Recent research has visualised the neurons that responded to these stimuli, and identified patches of neurons that responded preferentially to dark vs light stimulation. The cortical neurons that responded selectively to the orientation of edges or to the direction of stimulus motion also responded preferentially to dark vs light stimuli. In short, it has been discovered that information about dark and light is preserved in the responses of most neurons in visual cortex, and it is an integral part of the neural code that cortical circuits use to represent our visual world.  J Kremkow 2016.    G B Smith 2015.   Kuo-Sheng Lee 2016.

So it has been shown that Hubel & Wiesel’s discovery of orientation-tuning is not the primary job of cortex. Instead, the cortex’s primary organizational principle is to create a giant switchboard that pits light vs dark at every position in the visual scene.

The visual brain maps are dark-centric, and just as stars rotate around black holes, lights rotate around darks in the brain representation of visual space.

Orientation and direction maps would originate in a sensory map that is represented as continuously as possible.  In the visual cortex this continuous representation could be accomplished by precisely matching response properties of on and off thalamic afferents.  The same principle may apply to other sensory spaces and afferents feeding other cortical areas that have maps for touch, hearing and spatial navigation.  J Kremkow 2016.

Why does a phosphene resemble an optical illusion and why do both of these resemble a phase mask used in a process to produce an optical vortex?

phosphenes

Figure 1: Phosphene image from What Geometric Visual Hallucinations Tell Us about the Visual Cortex. Bressloff, Cowan, Golubitsky, Thomas, Wiener; Neural Computation 14 (2002) 473–491.

optical-illusion

Figure 2: A flickering wheel illusion.  Such illusory motion has been found to be driven by microsaccades (with their close links to gamma, and possibly alpha neural oscillations) e.g see the work of Martinez-Conde (2012), and J Lange – ‎2014.  Perception of illusory movement can be found various species (including those without higher level cortical mechanisms). Optical illusions are not specific to humans.

phase-mask

Figure 3: A schematic diagram of dynamic holographic optical tweezers creating an optical vortex. The SLM imposes the phase   on the incident TEM  beam, converting it into a helical beam that is focused into an optical vortex. The inset phase mask encodes an optical vortex.    http://physics.nyu.edu/grierlab/vortex5c/

Here is it suggested that the resemblance is due to phosphenes being a direct representation of the holographic universe.  Our brain/vision system then converts the two dimensional data in the three dimensions we directly perceive.

A hologram is essentially a phase mask but instead of a single luminous point, all the points on the surface or surfaces of an entire three dimensional object or scene act as sources of light.   

According to the biological signal-processing model presented, the visual system uses neural matrixes functioning as spatial filters in a holographic form, and the CNS acts as a Fourier analyzer. Thus, it can be assumed that, if this model is a functionary one indeed, nonspecific stimuli (e.g., electric or magnetic stimulation, etc.) when acting on such a function group, may result in a visual pattern sensation characteristic to the filter pattern the CNS used in its signal processing. Such so-called “subjective light patterns of the second kind” are not unknown in physiology (phosphenes) and in psychiatry (hallucinations). Some of them might be regarded as a perceived filter pattern“. Pal Greguss 1999.

In holographic data storage technology, holographic data can be encoded onto a signal beam using a spatial light modulator.  This translates electronic 0’s and 1’s into an optical checkboard pattern of light and dark pixels. A hologram is formed in the light sensitive storage medium at the point where a reference beam and signal beam intersect.  Chemical reactions occur causing the light distribution to be recorded as a permanent polymerisation pattern.

Reaction diffusion type patterns found in superconductors might have a role in this effect. 

Electrons involved in superconductivity can form patterns, stripes or checkboards, and exhibit different symmetries – aligning preferentially along one direction.  These patterns and symmetries can have important consequences for superconductivity – they can compete, coexist or possibly enhance superconductivity.

Stripes formation occurs in type 1 superconducting film.  In two gap superconductors, superconducting vortices accommodation themselves by forming stripes fluxed patterns. Physicists have  also found that the bubble-like arrangement of magnetic domains in superconducting lead exhibits patterns that are very similar to everyday froths.  In type II superconductor systems, a magnetic field can penetrate a sample in a tube-like configuration.  The magnetic flux (superconducting vortices) arrange in the lattice with hexagonal symmetry.  Competition between superconducting and non superconducting phases can result in a formation of a hexagonal pattern. (Y Holovatch 2015).

Interaction Between the Classical and Quantum May Create An Effect Analogous to a Quantum Zeno Effect

It has been suggested that a mechanism leading to the Quantum Zeno Effect (QZE) could be analysed within a model interaction between a classical and a quantum system. The Zeno’s effect then appears when a classical device, that is able to high frequency switching between two alternate states (i.e bistability), is strongly coupled to a quantum system prepared in an appropriate initial state. The Hamiltonian evolution of the quantum system is then slowed down, and it stops completely in the limit of infinite coupling constant.    P Blanchard 1993,  19952003., 2013.

The Quantum Zeno Effect (QZE) could be analysed within a model interaction between a classical and a quantum system. The Zeno’s effect then appears when a classical device, that is able to high frequency switching between two alternate states (i.e bistability), is strongly coupled to a quantum system prepared in an appropriate initial state. The Hamiltonian evolution of the quantum system is then slowed down, and it stops completely in the limit of infinite coupling constant – P Blanchard 1993,  19952003.

Recent results show that a simple dissipative time evolution can result in a dynamical exchange of information between classical and quantum levels of Nature. With a properly chosen initial state the quantum probabilities are exactly mirrored by the state of the classical system and moreover the state of the quantum subsystem converges for t → +∞ to a limit which agrees with that required by von Neumann-Luders standard quantum measurement projection postulate.  P Blanchard 2013.

Within biology, quantum mechanics (through an organic superconductor) could potentially interface with the classical mechanics of biological clocks and switches (which exhibit bistability – see A Goldbeter 2008).

H Strapp has suggested that calcium waves can be explained by the quantum zeno effect.   H Strapp 1998.  There are also theories that a quantum zeno effect underpins consciousness through binocular rivalry.

Efstratios Manousakis has recently given a quantum mechanical description of the phenomena of binocular rivalry. It rests heavily upon the quantum Zeno effect, which is a strictly quantum mechanical effect that has elsewhere been proposed as the key feature that permits the free choices on the part of an observer to influence his or her bodily behavior.. Within the von Neumann dynamical framework this intervention can, with the aid of quantum Zeno effect, cause a person’s brain to behave in a way that causes the body to act in accord with the person’s conscious intent (Henry P Stapp. 2013).   Further explanation of Strapp’s theory of how the QZE would effect consciousness can be found by clicking here.

During rivalry, transitions in dominance from one stimulus to the other can appear highly ordered. Rather than constituting an abrupt transition from one view to the other, one experiences waves of dominance whereby one stimulus sweeps the other out of conscious awareness. These waves of dominance are particularly prominent with larger rival patterns subtending several degrees of visual angle. Every few seconds the perceptual every few seconds the perceptual dominance will dominance will switch switch….

A theoretical approach to describe the dynamics of alternating perceptive configurations was recently proposed in terms of the so-called Necker-Zeno model (Atmanspacher et al. 2004). This model is inspired by the Zeno effect for unstable quantum states (Misra and Sudarshan 1977) and describes the perceptual instability of ambiguous stimuli in a formal fashion. In contrast to attempts to apply standard quantum physics to brain functioning and consciousness directly, the Necker-Zeno model is based on a generalized formal framework, particularly suited for applications beyond physics (Atmanspacher et al. 2002). Earlier suggestions to use Zeno-type arguments for cognitive systems are due to Ruhnau (1995) and Stapp (1999) Quoted in H. Atmanspacher et al 2007.

Other Models

The approach taken in this posting could complement a number of other models of quantum consciousness including:

  1. The dissipative brain (W J Freeman and G Vitiello).
  2. Spin based consciousness.
  3. Consciousness on the poised state (S Kauffman and Vattay)
  4. The holonomic brain, with phospenes providing a platform for perception of holographic information as ‘normal visual imagery’.
  5. Quantum consciousness (Hameroff and Penrose)

More information on these models is available from www.slideshare.net/accipio/quantum-physics-in-consciousness-studies-dirk-k-f-meijer-and-simon-raggett

2016. This article merely joins up other peoples work into an overall system.  These works have been referenced so it is clear that others have provided the individual pieces of evidence that have been used to shape a specific systems approach.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

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