Our Conscious Mind Could Be An Electromagnetic Field
With Dwayne Sheffield
Are our thoughts made of the distributed kind of electromagnetic field that permeates space and carries the broadcast signal to the TV or radio?
Professor Johnjoe McFadden from the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK believes our conscious mind could be an electromagnetic field.
“The theory solves many previously intractable problems of consciousness and could have profound implications for our concepts of mind, free will, spirituality, the design of artificial intelligence, and even life and death,” he said.
Most people consider "mind" to be all the conscious things that we are aware of. But much, if not most, mental activity goes on without awareness. Actions such as walking, changing gear in your car or peddling a bicycle can become as automatic as breathing.
The biggest puzzle in neuroscience is how the brain activity that we're aware of (consciousness) differs from the brain activity driving all of those unconscious actions.
When we see an object, signals from our retina travel along nerves as waves of electrically charged ions. When they reach the nerve terminus, the signal jumps to the next nerve via chemical neurotransmitters. The receiving nerve decides whether or not it will fire, based on the number of firing votes it receives from its upstream nerves.
In this way, electrical signals are processed in our brain before being transmitted to our body. But where, in all this movement of ions and chemicals, is consciousness? Scientists can find no region or structure in the brain that specializes in conscious thinking. Consciousness remains a mystery.
“Consciousness is what makes us 'human,' Professor McFadden said. “Language, creativity, emotions, spirituality, logical deduction, mental arithmetic, our sense of fairness, truth, ethics, are all inconceivable without consciousness.” But what’s it made of?
One of the fundamental questions of consciousness, known as the binding problem, can be explained by looking at a tree. Most people, when asked how many leaves they see, will answer "thousands." But neurobiology tells us that the information (all the leaves) is dissected and scattered among millions of widely separated neurones.
Scientists are trying to explain where in the brain all those leaves are stuck together to form the conscious impression of a whole tree. How does our brain bind information to generate consciousness?
What Professor McFadden realized was that every time a nerve fires, the electrical activity sends a signal to the brain's electromagnetic (em) field. But unlike solitary nerve signals, information that reaches the brain's em field is automatically bound together with all the other signals in the brain. The brain's em field does the binding that is characteristic of consciousness.
What Professor McFadden and, independently, the New Zealand-based neurobiologist Sue Pockett, have proposed is that the brain's em field is consciousness.
The brain's electromagnetic field is not just an information sink; it can influence our actions, pushing some neurons towards firing and others away from firing. This influence, Professor McFadden proposes, is the physical manifestation of our conscious will.
The theory explains many of the peculiar features of consciousness, such as its involvement in the learning process.
Anyone learning to drive a car will have experienced how the first (very conscious) fumblings are transformed through constant practice into automatic actions.
The neural networks driving those first uncertain fumblings are precisely where we would expect to find nerves in the undecided state when a small nudge from the brain's em field can topple them towards or away from firing. The field will "fine tune" the neural pathway towards the desired goal.
But neurons are connected so that when they fire together, they wire together, to form stronger connections. After practice, the influence of the field will become dispensable. The activity will be learnt and may thereafter be performed unconsciously.
One of the objections to an electromagnetic field theory of consciousness is, if our minds are electromagnetic, then why don't we pass out when we walk under an electrical cable or any other source of external electromagnetic fields? The answer is that our skin, skull and cerebrospinal fluid shield us from external electric fields.
“The conscious electromagnetic information field is, at present, still a theory. But if true, there are many fascinating implications for the concept of free will, the nature of creativity or spirituality, consciousness in animals and even the significance of life and death.
"The theory explains why conscious actions feel so different from unconscious ones - it is because they plug into the vast pool of information held in the brain's electromagnetic field,” Professor McFadden concluded.
The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research.
(Reference: The paper “Synchronous firing and its influence on the
brain’s electromagnetic field: evidence for an electromagnetic field theory of
consciousness" by Johnjoe McFadden is published in the current edition of
the Journal of Consciousness Studies, along with a commentary by Dr.
This just in; 6-1-2002
This just in; 6-2-2002
Just in;7-1-2002 What are Subtle Energy Fields?
By T.M. Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Also see Journal of Consciousness Studies
TMS: Twilight Zone Science?
By Daithí Ó hAnluain
2:00 a.m. April 18, 2002 PDT
Want to find God? Magnetism might provide the answer.
The technology at the core of professor Allan Snyder's experiments to boost creative intelligence, transcranial magnetic stimulation, is behind some pretty wacky claims. Subjects in experiments by Dr. Michael Persinger, of Laurentian University, believe they felt the presence of God, or some similar mystical experience.
Subjects, who were exposed to a specific series of pulses from TMS, described feeling an invisible presence near them or feeling connected to the whole world. Persinger believes that naturally occurring magnetic interference could be at the heart of mystical experiences and a whole host of paranormal phenomena, ranging from ghosts to alien abductions.
It's pretty bemusing stuff, but the God theory was tested by one Wired magazine correspondent in 1999, and he concluded that he felt some kind of thing. Furthermore, Persinger is a highly respected scientist with dozens of articles published on magnetism and the brain.
TMS works on principals of electrical current established in the last few centuries. In 1831, Faraday discovered that a rapidly changing magnetic field can induce electrical current in a nearby conductor. In 1985 this principle was used to induce twitches in humans' arm and leg muscles.
Since the 1990s, research has advanced swiftly, says Dr. Tony Ro, assistant professor in the department of psychology at Rice University. "TMS has been used in clinical neurology for quite some time to investigate motor dysfunction. More recently, within the past 10 years or so, it has been used to investigate basic brain function as well as cognitive function."
Scientists have also used the device to perform research that messes with the mind. All perception and thought is based on electrical activity in the brain; mess with the current and you mess with perceptions and how thought is processed. A magnetically stimulated reality or a natural reality: It makes no difference to the brain.
Persinger also posited that TMS could be used for mind control in a 1995 article in Perceptual and Motor Skills, called "On the possibility of directly accessing every human brain by electromagnetic induction of fundamental algorithms."
In fact, Persinger is trying to identify and catalog those fundamental algorithms, a series of specific magnetic pulses that correspond to a given reaction in the brain. One induces the mystical feelings mentioned earlier, another induces a general feeling of well-being, while another creates sexual arousal. Persinger believes others could be discovered, such as one to trigger the immune system.
Not surprisingly, the technology is viewed as potentially dangerous. Dr. Robyn Young, of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, who used TMS in a bid to boost the creative function of 17 volunteers' brains, was subject to stringent controls.
"We had to go through three ethical committees, and there were rigorous limits on what we could and could not do," Young said. But five of the volunteers showed a marked increase in creative skills during Young's experiment.
"We had to hold the experiment in a hospital; the subjects had to be young, with no case history of epilepsy, very healthy subjects," she said. "And we had to use TMS well within the limits. If we had been allowed to zap them harder, we might have had even more remarkable results."
TMS is considered an inexact technology, but researchers have just begun to explore its potential in neuroscience.
GOD Put all of these together with this one.
Article from Wired News: http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,51699,00.html
Is Your Brain on God
Michael Persinger has a vision - the Almighty isn't dead, he's an energy field. And your mind is an electromagnetic map to your soul.
(If the above is removed from their site I have copied it here.)
Is DNA hyper-communication a native internet?
The Neo-Noetics Page Papers On Consciousness:
be something to all this for world governments to be using humans as unwilling
guinea pigs. Think not? Click
Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies.
A must - All things - think.
How Thoughts Shape Matter
Thoughts On Thinking Matter: James Barham.
The Power Of Words
Also see Lynne McTaggart's "The Field" and FAQ page
Sparta and Baboonery - The Guesswork of Collective Mind (1,200 to 600 b.c.)
DNA Healing. PDF file
And this; DNA Can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies