The fields of England

New paper on electromagnetic fields as the basis for qualia and consciousness

I’m quite excited about a number of new papers published in our special issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, where I am lead guest editor, including this new one by Ward and Guevara on how consciousness arises from the complex electromagnetic fields of the brain. This is a cutting edge new area of research and theory in consciousness studies.

Here’s the new paper by Ward and Guevara:

Here’s the list of other papers in our topic published so far:

Here’s the abstract for the Ward and Guevara paper:

In this paper we address the following problems and provide realistic answers to them: (1) What could be the physical substrate for subjective, phenomenal, consciousness (P-consciousness)? Our answer: the electromagnetic (EM) field generated by the movement and changes of electrical charges in the brain. (2) Is this substrate generated in some particular part of the brains of conscious entities or does it comprise the entirety of the brain/body? Our answer: a part of the thalamus in mammals, and homologous parts of other brains generates the critical EM field. (3) From whence arise the qualia experienced in P-consciousness? Our answer, the relevant EM field is “structured” by emulating in the brain the information in EM fields arising from both external (the environment) and internal (the body) sources. (4) What differentiates the P-conscious EM field from other EM fields, e.g., the flux of photons scattered from object surfaces, the EM field of an electro-magnet, or the EM fields generated in the brain that do not enter P-consciousness, such as those generated in the retina or occipital cortex, or those generated in brain areas that guide behavior through visual information in persons exhibiting “blindsight”? Our answer: living systems express a boundary between themselves and the environment, requiring them to model (coarsely emulate) information from their environment in order to control through actions, to the extent possible, the vast sea of variety in which they are immersed. This model, expressed in an EM field, is P-consciousness. The model is the best possible representation of the moment-to-moment niche-relevant (action-relevant: affordance) information an organism can generate (a Gestalt). Information that is at a lower level than niche-relevant, such as the unanalyzed retinal vector-field, is not represented in P-consciousness because it is not niche-relevant. Living organisms have sensory and other systems that have evolved to supply such information, albeit in a coarse form.



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Tam Hunt

Tam Hunt


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