Will quantum biochemistry ever be able to explain consciousness?

Dr. Deepak Ranade, a Consultant Neurosurgeon from Pune, India, is interested in the possibility of being able to model consciousness using Quantum Mechanical phenomena.  The essay below is from his blog at http://neuroconsciousness.blogspot.com/2011/07/bose-einstein-samadhi.html

Bose Einstein Samadhi

Scientific Basis Of Meditation
Matter and energy are inter-convertible. This was a path –breaking contribution by Einstein and was unequivocally proven albeit in very morbid and destructive circumstances. Thus, matter is present in various energy states. These energy states were found to be temperature dependent. The higher the temperature, the greater the energy. A simple example of this would be water that boils upon heating to higher temperatures. This increases the disorder in the molecules as they are energized. This disorder is referred to as entropy. It represents the excitability and chaos of the molecules that constitute matter. Satyendra Bose, a reputed Indian scientist proposed to Einstein that if matter was cooled to very low temperatures (Absolute Kelvin- minus 273 degrees ) then the entropy of that matter should decrease and matter should come down to a zero energy state. This remained only in the realms of hypothetical speculation until it was proved much later on. This zero energy state is now known to physicists as the Bose –Einstein condensate. This state of matter is also called a superatom as the entire mass behaves as if it were a single atom. It loses all its characteristics of shape, charge, polarization etc. It probably reverts to a shapeless attributeless phenomenon. De-evolution of matter, reverting back to just the potential to manifest as anything and everything.
Our brain is as aggregate of close to a 100 billion neurons. The various thoughts that constantly crowd our minds are the sum- total of simultaneous activity of different neurons. No wonder that there is such chaos in our awake state. These thoughts then translate into various biological changes mediated by the hormonal apparatus at the pituitary interfacing system. The complex interconnections that abound the nervous system ensure that even a small impulse rapidly spreads seismically via this dense network. Certain individuals have innate higher entropy levels and therefore find it harder to concentrate. They are known as distractable in common parlance. They have fleeting thoughts and are very restless. The sensory organs serve as an important pathway to increase the entropy as they stimulate various neuronal circuits adding to the entropy. Therefore closing the eyes helps in the process of concentration. Continuous stimulation of the neural networks is what happens in awake states.Sleep is therefore necessary for minimizing these constant excitatory inputs. Sleep deprivation leads to fatigue of the neural networks
When one concentrates, there is a resultant decrease in the disorder of the neural system. As concentration increases, the tendency of the mind to waver and scatter decreases. The mind is more sharp focused. We all have experienced the need to concentrate when we are studying or performing some important activity. So when we concentrate, we are increasing the synchronicity of a specific group of neurons and silencing unrelated neuronal activity. In scientific parlance, concentration decreases the entropy of the neuronal apparatus. Reverting to the earlier example, as we approach the Absolute Kelvin, just as the entropy of matter drops to near zero levels, similarly, the neuronal disorder keeps waning as we concentrate. The neuronal firing decreases in amplitude as well as frequency. So would the propagation across various networks.
In awake states, when one consciously attempts to decrease the entropy of the nervous system, it is referred to as meditation. As the entropy of the neurons keeps decreasing, a state of calmness is perceived. As this progresses further, the neurons start becoming synchronous. That is, they neither modulate or amplify any incoming signal. They just resonate in harmony. As this orchestra starts becoming more in synch the subject experiences varying states of bliss and happiness. Till what is presumably the final state of zero entropy, where all 100 billion neurons function in total unified quantum coherence . This Bose Einstein condensate equivalent of the neuronal system is what may be termed as Samadhi.Dr Deepak Ranade

About Robert Fields

See http://cv.robertfields.org
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