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TGD and EEG
Note: Newest contributions are at the top!
I am continung the updating the books about TGD inspired theory of consciousness. I just finished the chapter about quantum model of hearing- certainly the ugliest duckling in the flock represented by the books about TGD and TGD inspired theory of consciousness.
The key idea was inspired by a model of photoreceptors. The question was whether nearly vacuum extremals of Kähler action for which parity breaking is large due to the presence of classical Z0 field might explain chiral selection in living matter and provide model for a sensory receptor and even cell membrane space-time sheet in general as a critical system. The completely unexpected discovery was that the peak frequencies of photoreceptors coincide with Josephson frequencies of the 4 biologically most important ions in the effective membrane potential containing also Z0 contribution provided the value of Weinberg angle is sin2(θW)=.0295. After this observation the ideas started to flow rapidly and it took two weeks to build a reasonably stable general picture.
The quantum model of hearing has evolved through several twists and turns. The emergence of zero energy ontology, the explanation of dark matter in terms of a hierachy of Planck constants requiring a generalization of the notion of imbedding space, the view about life as something in the intersection of real and p-adic worlds, and the notion of number theoretic entanglement negentropy led to the breakthrough in TGD inspired quantum biology and also to the recent view of qualia and sensory representations including hearing allowing a precise quantitative model at the level of cell membrane. This also modified dramatically the speculative ideas about the role of neutrinos in hearing.
Also in the recent view long range weak play a key role. They are made possible by the exotic ground state represented as almost vacuum extremal of Kähler action for which classical em and Z0 fields are proportional to each other wheras for standard ground state classical Z0 fields are very weak. Neutrinos are present but it seems that they do not define cognitive representations in the time scales characterizing neural activity. Electrons and quarks for which the time scales of causal diamonds correspond to fundamental biorhythms, take this role.
The ensuing general model of how cell membrane acts as a sensory receptor has unexpected implications for the entire TGD inspired view about biology.
The model for hearing follows as a special case from the general model for sensory receptor and representations.
Soon after starting to develop TGD inspired theory of consciousness, I somehow ended up to an email correspondence with Gene Johnson who insistently emailed me links to abstracts about neuroscience. I read the classic Bible about brain by Kandel et al  and tried to make sense of it in my own conceptual framework. This was of course hopeless task since I had only the notions of quantum jump and self. The feeling that something very simple -about which I do not and perhaps cannot ever have a slightest clue- must be behind this incredible complexity made the situation really frustrating. The deeper meaning of EEG, nerve pulse neurotransmitters, hormones- actually of entire brain chemistry and also biochemistry- remained a total mystery.
Development of ideas After required number of years however some concrete ideas began to emerge.
Fractality replaces standard reductionism in TGD Universe. An old idea inspired by p-adic length scale hypothesis is that the binary structures associated with p-adic scales L(k) propto 2k/2 and L(k+2) define a fractal hierarchy. Brain hemispheres would represent one example of this kind of pair, lipid layers of the cell mebrane second one, and DNA double strand third one. Just for fun one could assume that the structure and functions of brain hemispheres have fractal analogs at the level of DNA double strand and vice versa and look what kind of questions this inspires.
What can one say about the function of neurotransmitters?
Can one say anything interesting about the the function of neurotransmitters if one combines this highly speculative picture- which can be defended only by the belief on fractality as universal principle- with the idea that bound state and negentropic entanglement make possible the fusion of mental images.
For background see the chapter TGD Inspired Model for Nerve Pulse.
If one accepts the vision about life as something in the intersection of real and p-adic worlds 40 Hz EEG synchrony can be interpreted as a correlate for the generation of negentropic entanglement between cortical neurons. Before proposing this interpretation let us first describe the experimental findings of a finnish neuroscientist Antti Revonsuo (see his article Binding and the Phenomenal Unity of Consciousness).
The interpretation for 40 Hz EEG frequency inspired by the binding hypothesis is as a synchronizing frequency necessary for the generation of unified percepts. This hypothesis has been studied using auto-stereograms. There was no detectable difference in the power spectrum at 36-44 Hz range in the situation when auto-stereogram was experienced as a set of random dots as compared to the situation when it was perceived as a coherent, symmetrical gestalt. The situation was same also in 8-13 Hz and 13-20 Hz beta bands.
On the other hand, when the conscious percept was transformed from a random set of points to a coherent gestalt, there was a detectable increase in 40 Hz power in the occipital and right posterior sites for EEG electrodes in a time window 300-500 ms before the unified percept was reported. There could be also some time lapse between the unified percept and the report about it but probably this cannot explain the entire lapse. No increase of power in beta bands was detected: this might be due to the fact that the widths of the measured bands are much wider than the widths ofthe narrow sub-bands reported masked by other EEG activity according to Nunez (Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 2000). Note that in the model for a hierarchy of EEGs based on dark matter hierarchy beta band correspond to data communicated to the magnetic body (see this).
That the change in activity is associated with the emergence of a new percept suggests that the temporary increase of the EEG power could be assigned to the communications of the forming percept to the magnetic body.
Interpretation in terms of a generation of a negentropic entanglement
A fresh view about what really happens during 40 Hz synchrony came with the realization that negentropic entanglement is possible in the intersection of real and p-adic worlds. The generation of negentropic entanglement between two subselves means that the corresponding mental images are fused (see see this and this). The process is experienced by the fusing subselves as an expansion of consciousness whereas consciousness is lost when when bound state entanglement is generated. Also the meditative states begin with enchanged 40 Hz activity and interpretation would be same. Quite generally, the generation of negentropically entangled neuron groups could be a correlate for the emergence of a new idea or a new holistic pattern emerging from a chaos. Synchronous firing would be a natural correlate for the synergic state resulting in this manner. The paradoxical looking reduction of the oxiditative metabolism associated with 40 Hz firing could be seen as a signature of reduced dissipation when dissipating ensemble of neurons forms a single quantum coherent system.
What could then be the interpretation of the 300-500 ms time scale and synchronous firing in TGD framework?
For background see the chapter Magnetic Sensory Canvas Hypothesis.