Physicist Claims To Have Solved the Mystery of Consciousness

Brain Memory Intelligence Consciousness

Scientists have developed a brand new conceptual and mathematical framework to grasp consciousness from a relativistic standpoint.

According to the speculation, all that’s wanted to resolve the exhausting drawback of consciousness is to alter our assumptions about it. When we understand that consciousness is a bodily, relativistic phenomenon, the thriller of consciousness naturally dissolves.

How do 3 kilos of mind tissue create ideas, emotions, psychological photographs, and an in depth internal world?

The means of the mind to create consciousness has baffled individuals for millennia. The thriller of consciousness lies in the truth that every of us has subjectivity, with the power to sense, really feel, and assume. In distinction to being below anesthesia or in a dreamless deep sleep, whereas we’re awake we don’t “live in the dark” — we expertise the world and ourselves. However, it stays a thriller how the mind creates the aware expertise and what space of the mind is accountable.

According to Dr. Nir Lahav, a physicist from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, “This is quite a mystery since it seems that our conscious experience cannot arise from the brain, and in fact, cannot arise from any physical process.” As weird because it sounds, the aware expertise in our mind, can’t be discovered or decreased to some neural exercise.

“Think about it this way,” says Dr. Zakaria Neemeh, a thinker from the University of Memphis, “when I feel happiness, my brain will create a distinctive pattern of complex neural activity. This neural pattern will perfectly correlate with my conscious feeling of happiness, but it is not my actual feeling. It is just a neural pattern that represents my happiness. That’s why a scientist looking at my brain and seeing this pattern should ask me what I feel, because the pattern is not the feeling itself, just a representation of it.” Because of this, we are able to’t scale back the aware expertise of what we sense, really feel, and assume to any mind exercise. We can solely discover correlations to those experiences.

After greater than 100 years of neuroscience, we now have very sturdy proof that the mind is liable for the creation of our aware skills.  So how is it potential that these aware experiences can’t be discovered wherever within the mind (or within the physique) and may’t be decreased to any neural advanced exercise?

This thriller is called the exhausting drawback of consciousness. It is such a tough drawback that till a few many years in the past solely philosophers mentioned it. Even immediately, though we now have made enormous progress in our understanding of the neuroscientific foundation of consciousness, nonetheless there is no such thing as a passable concept that explains what consciousness is and learn how to clear up this difficult drawback.

In the journal Frontiers in Psychology, Dr. Lahav and Dr. Neemeh just lately revealed a brand new bodily concept that claims to resolve the exhausting drawback of consciousness in a purely bodily manner. According to the researchers, after we change our assumption about consciousness and assume that it’s a relativistic phenomenon, the thriller of consciousness naturally dissolves. In the paper, the authors developed a conceptual and mathematical framework to grasp consciousness from a relativistic standpoint. According to Dr. Lahav, the lead creator of the paper, “consciousness should be investigated with the same mathematical tools that physicists use for other known relativistic phenomena.”

In order to grasp how relativity dissolves the exhausting drawback, take into consideration a special relativistic phenomenon, fixed velocity. First, let’s select two observers, Alice and Bob. Bob is on a prepare that strikes with fixed velocity and Alice watches him from the platform. There is not any absolute bodily reply to the query “what is the velocity of Bob?” The reply depends on the body of reference of the observer. From Bob’s body of reference, he’ll measure that he’s stationary and Alice, with the remainder of the world, is shifting backward. But from Alice’s body of reference, Bob is the one which’s shifting and he or she is stationary. They have reverse measurements, but each of them are right, simply from totally different frames of reference.

We discover the identical state of affairs within the case of consciousness as a result of, based on the speculation, consciousness is a relativistic phenomenon. Now Alice and Bob are in several cognitive frames of reference. Bob will measure that he has aware expertise, however Alice simply has mind exercise with no signal of the particular aware expertise. On the opposite hand, Alice will measure that she is the one which has consciousness and Bob has simply neural exercise with no clue of its aware expertise.

Just as within the case of velocity, though they’ve reverse measurements, each of them are right, however from totally different cognitive frames of reference. As a outcome, due to the relativistic standpoint, there is no such thing as a drawback with the truth that we measure totally different properties from totally different frames of reference. The undeniable fact that we can not discover the precise aware expertise whereas measuring mind exercise is as a result of we’re measuring from the mistaken cognitive body of reference.

According to the brand new concept, the mind doesn’t create our aware expertise, at the very least not by means of computations. The purpose that we now have aware expertise is due to the method of bodily measurement. In a nutshell, totally different bodily measurements in several frames of reference manifest totally different bodily properties in these frames of reference, though these frames measure the identical phenomenon.

For instance, suppose that Bob measures Alice’s mind within the lab whereas she’s feeling happiness. Although they observe totally different properties, they really measure the identical phenomenon from totally different factors of view. Because of their totally different sorts of measurements, totally different sorts of properties have been manifested of their cognitive frames of reference.

For Bob to watch mind exercise within the lab, he wants to make use of measurements of his sensory organs like his eyes. This form of sensory measurement manifests the substrate that causes mind exercise – the neurons. Consequently, in his cognitive body Alice has solely neural exercise that represents her consciousness, however no signal of her precise aware expertise itself.

However, for Alice to measure her personal neural exercise as happiness, she makes use of totally different sorts of measurements. She doesn’t use sensory organs, she measures her neural representations immediately by interplay between one a part of her mind with different components. She measures her neural representations based on their relations to different neural representations.

This is a totally totally different measurement than what our sensory system does and, because of this, this sort of direct measurement manifests a special form of bodily property. We name this property aware expertise. As a outcome, from her cognitive body of reference, Alice measures her neural exercise as aware expertise.

Using the mathematical instruments that describe relativistic phenomena in physics, the speculation reveals that if the dynamics of Bob’s neural exercise could possibly be modified to be just like the dynamics of Alice’s neural exercise, then each will likely be in the identical cognitive body of reference and would have the very same aware expertise as the opposite.

Now Dr. Lahav and Dr. Neemeh wish to proceed to look at the precise minimal measurements that any cognitive system wants with a view to create consciousness. The implications of such a concept are enormous. It could be utilized to find out which animal was the primary animal within the evolutionary course of to have consciousness, which sufferers with consciousness issues are aware, when a fetus or child begins to be aware, and which AI methods already immediately have a low diploma (if any) of consciousness.

Reference: “A Relativistic Theory of Consciousness” by Nir Lahav and Zachariah A. Neemeh, 12 May 2022, Frontiers in Psychology.
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.704270

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