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.


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