Brain and mathematics

Karl Pribram

Georgetown University

In Globus, G., Pribram, H. & Vitiello, G. Eds. Brain and Being John Benjamins

Pribram stresses that the same mathematical formulations apply to a variety of databases, including brain processes, information, thermodynamics and quantum physics. The relationships can be portrayed by the Fourier transformation. The similarity implies that neural processes are based on relations between quantum events, or that quantum rules can be applied to some macroscopic features.

Pribram discusses two articles by another quantum mind theorist, Henry Stapp (Stapp, 1997a & b) (1-2) . Stapp took the view that the brain process was a search process for satisfactory responses conditioned by earlier experience. He envisages a point moving in a well that blocks out those brain states that are not good solutions, while not blocking out those that are good solutions. Classical solutions to this don’t work in the chaotic conditions of the brain. However, Stapp points out thay quantum solutions will work, because they can explore a superposition of all solutions.

Pribram notes that a number of publications have reported that quantum coherence characterises the oscillation of ions in neural ion channels. Pribram relates the ‘double’ suggested by Vitiello, which comprises the external world and the internal, so-called tilda copy. Pribram also refers to George Chapline, who suggested that quantum theory presented a method for solving pattern recognition problems, and that this could be a model for the type of distributing information processing carried out in the brain.

References:-

Adey, W. (1987) The modulation of brain tissue functions In Adelman, G. Ed. The International Encyclopaedia of Neuroscience

Barrett, T. (1993) Is quantum physics a branch of sampling theory? In Corrmier-Delanous, C. et al Eds. Ecueilsen Microphysique Fondation Louis DeBroglie

Bohm, D. (1973) Indication of a new order in physics Foundations of Physics, 3, 139-168

Bohm, D. & Hiley, B. (1993) The Undivided Universe Routledge

Bohr, N. (1961) Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge Science Editions

Chapline, G. (1999) Is theoretical physics the same thing as mathematics? Physical Reports, 315, pp. 95-105

Chapline, G. (2002) Entangled states, holography and quantum surfaces Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, 14, 809-816

DeValois, R. & Devalois, K. (1988) Spatial Vision In Oxford Psychology Series Oxford University Press

Fourier, J. (1807) Sine and cosine series for an arbitrary function In Joseph Fourier MIT Press

Gabor, D. (1948) A new microscopic principle Nature, 161, pp. 777-778

Hameroff, S. & Penrose, R. (1995) Orchestrated reduction of quantum coherence in brain microtubules In King, J.& Pribram, K. eds. Is the brain too important to be left to specialists to study? Lawrence Erlbaum

Hebb, D. (1949) The Organisation of Behaviour Wiley

Hiley, B. (1996) Mind and Matter In Pribram, K. & King, J. Eds. Learning as Self Organisation Lawrence Relbaum

Hiley, B. (2001) Towards a dynamics of moments In Bowden, K. Ed. Correlations, 23, pp.104-134

Lashley, K. (1942) The problem of cerebral organisation in vision In Biological Symposia, pp. 327-349

Moyal, J. (1949) Quantum mechanics as statitical theory Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 45, 99-123

Pribram, K. (1959) On the neurology of thinking Behavioural Science, 4, 265-287

Pribram, K. (1971) Languages of the Brain Prentice-Hall

Pribram, K. (1982) Brain mechanisms In Clynes, M. Ed. Music, Mind and Brain, pp. 21-35 Plenum Press

Pribram, K. (1991) Brain and Perception Lawrence Erlbaum

Pribram, K. & Bradley, H. (1998) The Brain, the Me and the I In Ferrari, M. & Sternberg, J. Eds. Self-Awareness, pp. 273-307 The Guildford Press

Pribram, K. (2004) Consciousness reassessed Journal of Mind and Matter

Shannon, C. & Weaver, W. (1949) The mathematical theory of communications The University of Illinois Press

Smolin, Lee (2004) Atoms of space and time Scientific American, vol. 290

Stapp, H. (1972/97) The Copenhagen Interpretation American Journal of Physics, 40 (8), 1098-1116

Vitiello, G. (2001) My Double Unveiled John Benjamins

Wigner, E. (1967) Symmetries and reflections Indiana University Press

Wigner, E. (1972) Time-energy uncertainty relation In Salam, A. & Woolf, P. Eds. Aspects of Quantum Theory

Leave a Reply