Picture of the author
Topic :
Thread Created at Invalid date | Started by
Number of Post in this thread: 2Please Sign In to comment on this Thread
Brent_Allsop replied 13 years ago (May 24th 2010, 5:54:21 am)
Consciousness Theoreticians, In the e-mail discussion Stuart and I have had so far, I enumerated some of the key doctrines of the '''Representational Qualia Theory''' (and some of the difference between functional and material property dualism). He indicated he was in agreement with many of them. Apparently, the most significant disagreement is around this doctrine: "* A red qualia is not a property of the strawberry reflecting 700nm light, but rather is a property of our knowledge of such." To which Stuart responded: "No Qualia are properties of spacetime geometry, embedded at the Planck scale, but recurring in scale holographically. Specifically, certain regions of spacetime geometry correlating with quantum computations in microtubules inside brain neurons are conscious at any given moment." Then I asked: "Would I be right in saying our knowledge of say a red strawberry was phenomenal properties of spacetime geometry, embedded at the Planck scale, but recurring in scale holographically?" Stuart Responded: "Not sure what you mean by knowledge. I would say our conscious experience of..." And this is where I wanted to move the discussion to this forum, to hopefully get participation from all of you on this issue. My understanding of '''Orch OR''' so far is that the final result of our eyes detecting the 700nm light reflected from a point on the surface of the strawberry is a set of one or more neurons with something, probably microtubules in a quantum space-time geometry configuration such that it results in us having a red experience representing that one 3D point or voxel of the surface of the strawberry. Along with this there are a bunch of other similarly quantum configured neurons, or microtubules of such, representing the red points on the rest of the surface of the strawberry at the appropriate relative 3D locations to the first. Unified with all this would be some differently configured space time geometry that has our subjective green, at the appropriate 3D locations such that they are the brain's conscious knowledge of the leafs. A computer configured in a way that it could have the same amount of knowledge of the strawberry patch, sufficient for it to equally intelligently pick the strawberry, could be a set of voxel elements using ones and zeros to represent red and green. Of course since these elements would not be unified into anything like a conscious awareness, the algorithm that would enable the system to select the red strawberry from the green leaves would require some kind of searching through the entire set of voxels to find the red ones, and recording the location as representing the location to which to move the robot hand to pick the strawberry. Obviously all this is simplified and trivialized - but it represents the general possibility. I think this is all in complete agreement with the much more general '''Representational Qualia Theory''' and this is why I think '''Orch OR''' belongs as a supporting sub camp to it. Stuarts proposed statement includes: "To date, no facts or evidence have contradicted proposals supporting '''Orch OR'''. Testable and falsifiable, '''Orch OR''' remains the most complete, detailed and promising theory of consciousness ever put forward." I believe this claim is true and I believe that most competing theories, most of which are not yet represented in this survey topic, cannot be true because they cannot make this claim. They all have one or more fatal flaws or inconsistencies with what we know to be true. So, if my understanding of '''Orch OR''', as stated above, is correct, I believe it to be one of the best possible theories that science could still demonstrably prove to be true. So, if all this is true, and if '''Orch OR''' is placed as a supporter to the '''Representational Qualia Theory''' camp, then I would like to join and support the '''Orch OR''' theory camp as being one of the few good remaining contenders for what science could prove to be true. However, this would be my second place camp or theory at this level, as I think another theory about what qualia are, perhaps Steven Lehar's where the phenomenal qualities exist as simple subjective properties of macro level already quantum collapsed matter. Steven Lehar's wave theory, for example, would count as another theoretical possibility that is yet to be falsified, and one which I currently prefer to thinking quantum level complexity is required. So, graphically, I'm thinking along the lines of this structure: [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/6 Representational Qualia Theory] [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/88/7 Material Property Dualism] '''Orch OR''' '''Non Quantum Material Property Dualism''' With the Non Quantum camp being my current first choice, and '''Orch OR''' being an equally possible second choice theory that I would also join and support. I believe, eventually, one of these would be demonstrably falsified by effing scientific results, and at that time I would abandon whatever it turned out to be. This is just one point of view. Am I making any mistakes? Are there any competing points of view? What are everyone's thoughts on this proposal, and most importantly, would any current or possible future members of these camps object to having '''Orch OR''' integrated into the POV structure in this way? In other words, does this structure have a camp that you would agree with, along with all the doctrines of all the parent camps of that camp? And remember, silence implies consent, and that you will not object to such integrating changes. If there is something you do disagree with, or you don't think this is the best possible way to represent things, please help us improve it so everyone can be in agreement. Upward, Brent Allsop
Brent_Allsop replied 13 years ago (May 24th 2010, 5:35:10 am)
Theoreticians, Stuart Hameroff has expresses interest in helping us integrate '''Penrose-Hameroff Orchestrated Objective Reduction(Orch OR) theory''' into the consciousness survey project. We've already had some discussions about this via e-mail and it appears there is much in common with what we already have in the survey. I know all of you have played a critical part in integrating what each of you believe, and in helping with previous significant integrations of camps like the Smythies-Carr Hypothesis, that resulted in significant structural changes in what we have now. So I wanted to move our conversation here so all of you can help us best build these new ideas into the survey we have so far. Of course the goal is to developed the best, most concise, unbiased quantitative representation of what we all believe. Things tend to become biased towards those that are most active in this development process, and the only way to counteract this is to have everyone watching for this and assist in keeping things just and unbiased, when you have time. I know some of you think there is a better way to structure things, and we always want to do what the expert consensus thinks is best, so always be watching for people that agree with you on any such issues, so you can work together to pull things towards a better representation. As always our goal is to educating the world about what the experts agree is the best ways to think about consciousness, and the most fruitful theories to test for, how to test for them, and so on. Here is Stuart's first proposed draft of a camp. In a subsequent reply I'll summarize the discussions we've had so far about the best way to integrate this into the current structure. * Camp Name: '''Orch OR''' * Camp Title: '''Penrose-Hameroff Orchestrated Objective Reduction(Orch OR) theory''' * Statement: Penrose-Hameroff 'Orch OR' is a theory of consciousness which grew from a confluence of two originally separate theories. Beginning in 1982, Stuart Hameroff and colleagues had proposed that brain activities supporting consciousness were not limited to synaptic-level information processing in neuronal networks (as other theories suggest), but also extended downward to include computation in intra-neuronal cytoskeletal structures, specifically microtubules. But while microtubule computation would increase capacity and speed of brain information processing (~10^15 operations per second per neuron), there was no accounting for consciousness per se, i.e. the nature of phenomenal experience, known now as the 'hard problem'. In 1989 Sir Roger Penrose proposed that consciousness is a sequence of quantum computations, each terminated by a particular form of quantum state reduction occurring due to a specific objective threshold (hence 'objective reduction' – OR) related to quantum gravity. Quantum computing requires information (e.g. binary bits of either 1 or 0) to exist transiently as quantum superposition of both 1 and 0 (quantum bits, or 'qubits'). But while Penrose OR provided a mechanism for consciousness, it lacked a specific superpositioned qubit for OR-mediated quantum computing. Penrose conjectured that neurons could perhaps exist as superposition of both firing and not firing. But neurons are fairly macroscopic. Hameroff suggested to Penrose that microtubules might be the quantum computers in the brain he was searching for, and that objective reduction might be the mechanism Hameroff was seeking. In 1994 Penrose and Hameroff met for several weeks in Denmark and began to hatch a theory of OR-mediated quantum computing in brain microtubules. Penrose had proposed that OR occurred as E=h/t, where E is the gravitational self energy of the superposition, h is Planck's constant over 2 pi, and t is the time at which OR moments of consciousness occurred. So the larger the superposition E, the quicker the superposition would reach threshold for OR and consciousness at time t. E=h/t is related to the quantum indeterminacy principle, and similar to the equation describing photons of the electromagnetic spectrum. If h is replaced by the speed of light c, E would be the energy of a photon, and t its wavelength. Penrose OR was describing a spectrum of conscious moments. For consciousness in the brain, Penrose and Hameroff began by defining t in electrophysiological terms, e.g. related to the EEG (2 to 100 Hz; 10 to 500 milliseconds). They then calculated and found that superposition of microtubules in roughly hundreds of thousands, to millions of brain neurons was required for OR to occur in concert with EEG frequency bands correlating with consciousness (in particular, gamma synchrony at 30 to 90 Hz). OR quantum computations were 'orchestrated' by synaptic inputs, hence 'orchestrated objective reduction, Orch OR. Questions abounded. How did the quantum computations in microtubules avoid decoherence in the warm, wet biological environment? How could quantum states isolated in one neuron extend throughout the brain? How could isolated quantum states receive inputs and provide outputs to the external, classical world? How could Orch OR solve the 'hard problem' of conscious experience? Regarding the 'hard problem', P&H (1996) proposed that precursors of phenomenal experience were embedded in the fundamental level of the universe – spacetime geometry at the Planck scale, described through quantum gravity. Orch OR connected brain processes to the most basic level of the universe, and is thus consistent in a philosophical framework with neutral monism. In 1998 Hameroff published 20 testable predictions of Orch OR, and reviewed their status in 2007. A number have been validated, and none refuted. To accommodate extension of quantum microtubule states throughout the brain, Orch OR predicted that gap junctions- windows between cells which allowed continuous internal cytoplasmic states – would be important for the neural correlate of consciousness. Indeed, gap junctions have been shown to be involved in gamma synchrony EEG, the best brain marker of consciousness. Extensions of Orch OR include the 'Conscious pilot' model, developed by Hameroff to describe a gap junction-defined mobile zone of executive agency and Orch OR-mediated consciousness moving through the brain, and topological qubits in which winding pathways in microtubules (rather than individual microtubule subunits) function as qubits. Hameroff has further conjectured that consciousness as a process in fundamental spacetime geometry (in which Platonic values may be embedded, as suggested by Penrose) can account for various spiritual phenomena (interconnectedness, access to cosmic wisdom, and even after-life). Orch OR has been criticized since its inception along several lines, especially the question of quantum states in the warm, wet biological environment. Recent demonstrations of quantum coherence in photosynthesis at ambient temperatures show that biology avoids decoherence. To date, no facts or evidence have contradicted proposals supporting Orch OR. Testable and falsifiable, Orch OR remains the most complete, detailed and promising theory of consciousness ever put forward. '''More Info:''' [http://www.quantumconsciousness.org www.quantumconsciousness.org]