Friday, 25 January 2013
Quantum Brain- Inside the Bits and Bytes of Consciousness
Enter a world where the game is played by breaking the rules. One where uncertainty and entanglement reign while coherence and complementarity occupy the ultimate domain. A duality of particle and wave coupled with the non-locality that seeks the proposition of superposition. An unchartered and probabilistic scheme of jiggling things to which its laws humbly sing. And enter a realm at the epitome of the self, an enchanted loom of biochemical symphony and cellular synchrony. Convoluted with furrows and grooves it is custodian to the interconnections that define the sum of what it means to be human. Quantum mechanics and the brain share parallels rather than a diverging dichotomy; on the one hand we are confronted with probabilistic wave-functions and on the other with a 300º Kelvin mass of protoplasm at the cutting edge of consciousness. But is it feasible to assume a model of quantum computation in the framework of the brain? Are the both mutually exclusive or two points on the same Möbius strip? To approach such compendious questions we may assume a purely computational framework of quantum bits and bytes, so called qubits and run them via a linear yet reversible probabilistic mapping sequence towards controllable logic gates and into a concluding state with a final outcome, secured by the tendency of entanglement to converge on the most desired of those outcomes. On the neurobiological level, such phenomena may translate as the flux of electrons in the hydrophobic pockets of cytoskeletal microtubles; superposition may manifest itself via its constituent helical tubulin and tunnelling may even exchange quantum states via gap junctions between neurons producing the gamma oscillations consistent with consciousness. And overcoming the decoherence that the wet and tepid remainder of the brain poses. For unlike the generic architecture of a Von Neumann machine, the brain amalgamates elements of memory in the form of alterable connections within the parenchyma of the neuronal membrane, the processing substrate. In addition, to further comprehend the problem of consciousness and the collapse of the wave function; imagine a person staring at a superimposed succesion of faces and a Schrödinger's cat system, the faces are readily apparent but however the fate of the cat remains unverified until it surrender's its superposition and settles into an eigenstate. And if consciousness was needed to be aware of such a state, the fate of the feline subject would still remain undecided until such time interval; contending the notion that a discrete quantum scheme is needed to explain conscious perception and awareness. But whatever the configuration or architecture, the realities of quantum mechanics and the brain remain spokes of the same wheel; the wheel of perception and cognition that turns with every passing moment and waning second.