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Baltic Journal of Psychology





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The assumption is often made in conventional cognitive science that consciousness is a computational process resulting from macroscopic neural activity as described by classical physics. That assumption has been questioned both because it has been unsuccessful in explaining consciousness and because it is based on outdated ideas about the nature of matter. More contemporary quantum theories may be more successful for understanding cognition. For example, Mari Jibu, Kunio Yasue, and Yasushi Takahashi have proposed a theory of memory as a spinor field underlying cortical dipoles in which quantum mechanical tunnelling instantiates memory decay and in which the creation of Goldstone bosons is the process of memory recall. Or, more radically, as proposed by Eugene Wigner, consciousness itself could be a causal agent that collapses the state vector describing physical reality. For Evan Harris Walker, such an effect occurs at synapses in the brain thereby regulating its electrochemical activity. According to Henry Stapp, Jeffrey Schwartz, and Mario Beauregard it is the attention density of our ongoing experiential stream that modulates neural activity through the quantum Zeno effect with demonstrated implications for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Such ideas address the possibility of the existence of a pre-physical substrate, akin to David Bohm=s implicate order, which could also be the referent of the transcendent consciousness experienced by John Wren-Lewis and Franklin Wolff. The notion of a deep consciousness as a pre-physical substrate from which physical reality is precipitated is one way in which some of the ideas of the theorists presented here could be integrated. It would be worth pursuing this line of investigation to determine eventually the goodness of fit of the resultant theories with observational data.


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