Archive for June, 2014

Alfred North Whitehead

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Whitehead places events rather than bits of matter at the centre of scientific enquiry. Qualia of subjective experiences are abstractions of the character of these events, while space and time are abstractions of the relations between events. The distinctions between both mind and matter and subject and object are abolished in dealing with subjective experience.

Recovery of consciousness

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Recovery of consciousness after anaesthesia is argued to involve particular brain hubs that are active for periods of minutes before processing moves to another brain hub in an orderly sequence. The findings here can be related to recent consciousness studies, which points towards conscious processing being the function of intense activity in restricted regions or hubs of the brain.

Neural convergence points

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Frigato identifies two areas of the cingulate brain region, the anterior cingulate and the precuneus-posterior cingulate as necessary for consciousness, while eight other areas, the medial-superior temporal lobe, the anterior and posterior insulas, the superior and inferior parietal, the inferior frontal and two motor cortices are involved at various stages in conscious processing. Frigato says that his own research concurs with the idea of points of convergence in the brain where both a perception and the memories and emotions related to that perception can be held in the same neural structure.

European robin migration

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Bird migration may be facilitated by an ability to see and navigate the Earth’s magnetic field. The process is suggested as being started by light entering a bird’s eye. Light would excite two electrons of a molecule in the bird’s eye in such a way that one electron was moved to another molecule. However, the two electrons would remain quantum entangled despite being separated. This means that a change in the spin or magnetic orientation of one electron would immediately alter the spin of its entangled partner.

Spin-spin interactions

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Professor Larry Hunter along with colleagues at Amherst College and the University of Texas have published a paper in the journal ‘Science’ describing their attempt to study long-range spin interactions between quanta. Such interactions have previously been proposed but not observed. The physicists mapped electron polarisation resulting from the Earth’s geomagnetic field.