Friday, August 29, 2014

About time delays related to passive aspects of consciousness: once again

Libet's experiments about the strange time delays related to the passive aspects of consciousness serve as a continual source of inspiration and headache. Every time one reads again about these experiments, one feels equally confused and must start explanations from scratch. The following explanation is based on the model of the sensory representations on the magnetic canvas outside the body and having size measured by typical EEG wave lengths.

The basic argument leading to this model is the observation that although our brain changes its position and orientation, the mental image of the external world is not experienced to move: as if we were looking some kind of sensory canvas inside cortex from outside so that the motion of canvas does not matter. Or equivalently: the ultimate sensory representation is outside brain at a fixed sensory canvas. In this model the objects of the perceptive field are represented on the magnetic canvas. The direction of the object is coded by the direction of ME located on brain whereas its distance is coded by the dominating frequency of ME which corresponds to a magnetic transition frequency which varies along the radial magnetic flux tubes slowly so that place coding by magnetic frequency results.

According to the summary of Penrose in his book 'Emperor's New Mind' these experiments tell the following.

  1. With respect to the psychological time of the external observer subject person becomes conscious about the electric stimulation of skin in about .5 seconds. This leaves a considerable amount of time for the construction of the sensory representations.

  2. What is important is that subject person feels no time delay. For instance she can tell the time clock shows when the stimulus starts. This can be understood if the sensory representation which is basically a geometric memory takes care that the clock of the memory shows correct time: this requires backwards referral of about .5 seconds. Visual and tactile sensory inputs enter into cortex essentially simultaneously so that this is possible. The projection to the magnetic canvas and the generation of the magnetic quantum phase transition might quite well explain the time lapse of .5 seconds.

  3. One can combine an electric stimulation of skin with the stimulation of the cortex. The electric stimulation of the cortex requires a duration longer than .5 seconds to become conscious. This suggests that the cortical mental image (sub-self) is created only after this critical period of stimulation. A possible explanation is that the stimulation generates quantum phase transition "waking up" the mental image so that threshold is involved.

  4. If the stimulation of the cortex begins (with respect to the psychological time of the observer) for not more than .5 seconds before the stimulation of the skin starts, both the stimulation of the skin and cortex are experienced separately but their time ordering is experienced as being reversed!

    A crucial question is whether the ordering is changed with respect to the subjective or geometric time of the subject person. If the ordering is with respect to the subjective time of the subject person, as it seems, the situation becomes puzzling. The only possibility seems to be that the cortical stimulus generates a sensory mental image about touch only after it has lasted for .5 seconds.

    In TGD framework sensory qualia are at the level of of sensory organs so that the sensation of touch assignable to cortical stimulation requires back-projection from cortex to the skin (presumably using dark photons producing biophotons as decay products). The mental images generated by direct stimulation of cortex could be called cognitive this is created first and takes some time. If the construction of cognitive mental images about cortical stimulation and the formation of back projection takes at least about .5 seconds the observations can be understood. Genuine sensory stimulus starts to build cortical mental image almost immediately: this mental image is then communicated to magnetic body.

    For instance, assume that the preparation of cognitive mental image at cortex takes something like .4 seconds and its communication to magnetic body about .1 seconds and that back projection is possible only after that and takes roughly the same time to the sensory organs at skin and back. This would explain the change of time order of mental images.

  5. If the stimulation of the cortex begins in the interval T ∈ [.25-.5] seconds after the stimulation of the skin, the latter is not consciously perceived. This effect - known as backward masking - looks really mysterious. It would be interesting to know whether also in this case there is a lapse of .5 seconds before the cortical stimulation is felt.

    If the construction of cognitive mental image about direct stimulation of cortex takes about .4 second, it does not allow the buildup of cognitive mental image associated with the stimulation of skin. Hence the stimulation of skin does not create conscious cognitive or sensory mental image communicated to magnetic body.

Questions and answers about time

Answering to question is the best possible manner to develop ideas in more comprehensible form. In this respect the questions of Hamed at my blog have been especially useful. Many questions below are originally made by him and inspired the objections, many of them discussed also in previous discussions. The answers to these questions have changed during latest years as the views about self and the relation between experienced time and geometric time have developed. The following answers are the most recent ones.

Question: The minimalistic option suggests very strongly that our sensory perception can be identified as quantum measurement assignable to state function reductions for upper or lower boundaries of our personal CD. Our sensory perception does not however jump between future and past boundaries of our personal CD (containing sub-CDS in turn containing…)! Why?

Possible answer: The answer to this question comes from the realization that in ordinary quantum theory state function reductions leaving the reduced state invariant are possible. This must have counterpart in ZEO. In ZEO reduces zero energy states are superpositions of zero energy states associated with CDs with second boundary fixes inside light-cone boundary and the position of the second boundary of CD varying: one can speak about wave function in the moduli space of CDs. The temporal distance between the tips of CD and discrete lattice of the 3-D hyperbolic space defined by the Lorentz boosts leaving second tip invariant corresponds to the basic moduli.

The repeated state function reductions leave both the fixed boundary and parts of zero energy states associated with this boundary invariant. They however induce dispersion in the moduli space and the average temporal distance between the tips of CDs increases. This gives rise to the flow of psychological time and to the arrow of time. Self as counterpart of observer can be identified as a sequence of quantum jumps leaving the fixed boundary of CD invariant. Sensory perception gives information about varying boundary and the fixed boundary creates the experience about self as invariant not changed during quantum jumps.

Self hierarchy corresponds to the hierarchy of CDs. For instance, we perceive from day to day the - say- positive energy part of a state assignable to this very big CD. Hence the world looks rather stable.

Question: This suggests that our sensory perception actually corresponds to sequences of state function reductions to the two fixed boundaries of CDs of superposition of CDs so that our sensory inputs would alternately be about upper and lower boundaries of personal CDs. Sleep-awake cycle could correspond to a flip flop in which self falls asleep at boundary and wakes up at opposite boundary. Doesn't this lead to problems with the arrow of time?

Possible answer: If we measure time relative to the fixed boundary then the geometric time defined as the average distance between tips in superposition of CDs would increase steadily and we get older also during sleep. Hence we would experience subjective time to increase. Larger CDs than our personal CD for which the arrow of time remains fixed in the time scale of life cycle would provide the objective measure of geometric time.

Question: What is the time scale assignable to my personal CD: the typical wake-up cycle: 24 hours? Or of the order of life span. Or perhaps shorter?

Possible answer: The durations of wake-up periods for self is determined by NMP: death means that NMP favors the next state function to take place at the opposite boundary. The first naive guess is that the duration of the wake up period is of the same order of magnitude as the geometric time scale of our personal CD. In wake-up state we we would be performing state function reduction repeatedly to say "lower" boundary of our personal CD and sensory mental images as sub-CDs would be concentrated near opposite boundary. During sleep same would happen at lower boundary of CD and sensory mental images would be at opposite boundary (dreams,…).

Question: Are dreams sensory perceptions with opposite arrow of time or is some sub-self in wake-up state and experiences same arrow of time as we during wake-up state? If the arrow is different in dreams, is the "now" of dreams in past and "past" in the recent of wake-upe state

Possible answer: Here I can suggest an answer based on my own subjective experiences and it would be cautious "yes".

Question: Why we do remember practically nothing about sensory perceptions during sleep period? (Note that we forget actively dream experiences).

Possible answer: That we do not have many memories about sleep and dream time existence and that these memories are unstable should relate to the change of the arrow of personal time as we wake up. Wake-up state should somehow rapidly destroy the ability to recall memories about dreams and sleep state. Wake-up memory recall means communications to geometric past, that is to the boundary of CD which remains fixed during wake-up state. In memory recall for dreams in wake-up state these communications should take place to geometric future. Memory recall of dreams would be seeing to future and much more difficult since the future is changing in each state function reduction so that dream memories are erased automatically during wake-up.

Question: Does the return to childhood at old age relate with this time flip-flop of arrow of time in the scale of life span: do we re-incarnate in biologically death at opposite end of CD with scale of life span?

Possible answer: Maybe this is the case. If this boundary corresponds to time scale of life cycle, the memories would be about childhood. Dreams are often located to the past and childhood.

Use Noether theorem, not moment map

Peter Woit has posting entitled "Use moment map, not Noether's theorem" in Not Even Wrong. Peter Woit argues that moment map which is the meth of dealing with conservation laws associated with continuous symmetries is superior to the Noether's theorem. His claim is wrong.

Noether's theorem is more general than moment map since it requires only Lagrangian formalism. Moment map requires the existence of also Hamiltonian formalism. In Lagrangian formalism the invariance of the action under infinitesimal symmetries leads to the expressions for conserved quantities using standard recipes of variational calculus easy to understand.

The use of moment map requires that the system allows transition from Lagrangian to Hamiltonian formalism which requires the introduction of phase space whose points are labelled by generalized positions and momenta (field values and canonical momentum densities in field theory). In Lagrangian formalism one as generalized positions and velocities (field values and their time derivatives in field theory). Moment map assigns to continuous symmetry a Hamiltonian. The continuous flow generated by this Hamiltonian is identifiable as the time development of the system. The value of the Hamiltonian is constant along the orbits of the flow and defines a conserved quantity if the dynamics is time-independent.

What Peter Woit does not notice is that this transition is not always possible.

  1. Already in gauge theories gauge symmetries produce difficulties since some canonical momentum densities vanish identically and one must perform gauge fixing. Same happens in general relativity: now one must introduce preferred space-time coordinates. The lesson number one is that Hamiltonian formalism is essentially Newtonian notion raising time in preferred position. In relativistic theories this is not natural.

  2. Also the non-linearity of the basic action principle can cause difficulties and this tends to be the case for general coordinate invariant action principles which have geometric content and have surfaces as the extrema of the action. In the case of string models with action identified as surface area of string world sheet the situation can be still handled but TGD represents a school example about failure of Hamltonian formalism. The time derivatives of imbedding space coordinates as functions of canonical momentum densities for Kähler action are many-valued functions and there is no hope of solving them.

    For vacuum extremals this difficulty becomes especially acute. All space-time surfaces having CP2 projection, which is Lagrangian manifold having vanishing induced Kähler form. In the generic situation Lagrangian manifolds of CP2 are 2-dimensional so that vacuum degeneracy is gigantic. For them canonical momentum densities vanish identically whereas time derivatives of imbedding space coordinates do not. The variation of vacuum extremal keeping it as vacuum extremal changes time derivatives but keeps canonical momentum vanishing.

  3. 3-surface would represent the point of the configuration space and the possibility of topology change for 3- surface destroys even the idea about Hamiltonian dynamics which should keep the topology unchanged along the orbit of this point (4-surface).

The extreme non-lineary and vacuum degeneracy have also other implications, which deserve to be mentioned.

  1. Minkowski space would be the vacuum extremal around which perturbation would be carried out if one would take perturbative quantization of general relativity as a model. The action density however vanishes up to fourth order around Minkowski space in the derivatives of CP2 coordinates so that linearization makes no sense and perturbative approach fails completely since there are no kinetic terms and one cannot define propagators.

  2. Path integral approach fails- this irrespective of whether it is based on Lagrangian formalism or the hopeless attempt to construct Hamiltonian formalism. This eventually led to the realization that the notion of "world of classical worlds" as infinite-dimensional geometry consisting of pairs of 3-surfaces at the opposite ends of causal diamond (in zero energy ontology) provides the only imaginable manner to consctruct quantum TGD. It means generalization of Einstein's geometrization of physics program from classical physics to entire quantum physics.

  3. The vacuum degeneracy is very much analogous to gauge degeneracy since the symplectic transformations of CP2 generate new vacua and act like U(1) gauge transformations on Kähler gauge potential. These symmetries are not however gauge symmetries and this makes the situation hopeless if one wants to stay in Newtonian framework. Vacuum degeneracy and the associated non-determinism also leads to various notions like 4-D spin glass degeneracy and hierarchy of effective Planck constants allowing an interpretation as hierarchy of dark matter phases playing a key role in the understanding of living matter as macroscopic quantum system.

  4. Critical reader could of course ask critical questions. Why to stick to K\"ahler action? Why not use say 4-volume?
    The answer is that 4-volume is wrong choice for WCW geometry: it would allow only rather small space-time surfaces (also in temporal direction) and would force to introduce dimensional fundamental coupling which does not give much hopes for divergence free theory. K\"ahler action does not suffer from these problems and has many other merits. For instance, Kähler-Dirac action - supersymmetric fermionic counterpart of K\"ahler action - leads to the emergence of string world sheets at which induced spinor modes are localized to guarantee well-definedness of em charge and which carry vanishing weak gauge potentials. This guarantees also absence of strong parity breaking effects above weak scale (which however is proportional to effective Planck constant so that strong parity breaking in living matter is obtained).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Three news

Below comments about three news which I have seen during the last week and which are interesting from TGD point of view.

Subterranean ocean

The first news tells about subterraean "ocean" consisting of mineral ringwoodite with a high concentration of water. The ocean is at the depth of about 600 km which is still considerably small that the depth of the inner core of Earth. The conjecture is that this water is responsible for the formations of the ordinary oceans. The model for expanding Earth that I constructed few years ago led to the prediction that the water below ground in this kind of reservoirs has bursted to the surface of Earth during relatively fast expansion of the Earth radius by a scale factor of 2. This explains the findings that the continents seem to fit nicely together to form a connected continent covering the whole surface of Earth provided the radius of Earth is one half of its present values. A phase transition increasing the value of effective Planck constant by factor 2 at some level of hierarchy of space-time sheets would be in question. These discrete expansions would define the counterpart for continuous cosmological expansion at the level of many-sheeted space-time.

Nasa's quantum space-time ship questioned

The researchers from NASA have reported a new kind of mechanism generating a small momentum without any identifiable counter momentum required by Newton's laws (see this). The system involves RF cavity excited at 935 MHz frequency claimed to cause the thrust on low-thrust torsion pendulum. The thrust is very small: 30-50 micro-Newtons.

The claim of course raises the eyebrows of physicists and strong critique has been represented. Instead of labeling the researchers as crackpots one can ask whether there could be counter momentum but such that we cannot measure it with our recent technology. Here TGD might provide a possible answer. Also the system studied has field body or magnetic body. The small unbalanced momentum would go the dark matter at the magnetic body identifiable as large heff=n× h phase.

I have proposed that the transfer of momentum and energy between system and its magnetic body or magnetic body of some other system could be basic elements of metabolism in living matter. Magnetic body could serve as kind of fuel storage storing energy as cyclotron energy. One can imagine several mechanisms. One example is following. Suppose that there is dark RF radiation with large photon energies at the magnetic body of the RF cavity, which is spontaneously magnetized: the dark RF photons could have been created by this process. Kind of dark Alfwen waves might be in question. Suppose that the flux tubes of RF cavity reconnect with those of the magnetic body of pendulum. The dark photons could be transferred to the pendulum and transform to ordinary photons and provide it with momentum. Since the dark photons at the flux tubes of the magnetic body of RF cavity are not seen experimentally, an apparent violation of momentum conservation is observed. This is what comes first in mind and is probably not the simplest explanation. What is important is the idea of large energy and momentum transfer
between the system and its field body.

The dark RF photons could be absorbed by the magnetic body of pendulum and momentum could be transferred then to the pendulum. induce flow of charged particles from magnetic body to the pendulum where they would become dark and suffer a spontaneous magnetization. This would libererate large energy since the interaction energy of spin with the magnetic field is proportional to heff and therefore large. RF radiation inducing boiling of water could be analogous effect.

Electron mechanism of anesthesia

Luca Turin is the researcher who found strong evidence that odor perception involves infrared light and that quantum effect is in question. Now Turin has represented experimental evidence that electron currents through cell membrane are essential for consciousness by studying the effects of anesthetes (see this). The effectiviness of anesthete correlates directly with its lipid solubility. It seems that general anesthetes can bind to lipids. The study of Turin and colleagues suggests that anesthetes affect the internal electronic structure of proteins and change the electronic currents through the cell membrane.

In TGD framework electronic and also ionic supracurrents are essential for consciousness. They run along as pairs of electrons at parallel flux tubes. S=1 Cooper pairs have large negative spin-spin interaction energy if magnetic fluxes have same direction due to the large value of heff to which this energy is proportional S=0 states of Cooper pairs spins are possible if magnetic fluxes have opposite directions. This mechanism could work also for high temperature super conductivity and it is now known that anti-ferromagnetism suggesting strongly antiparallel flux tubes as current carriers is essential for high temperature superconductivity.

The TGD inspired model for cell membrane assumes that transmembrane proteins act as generalized Josephson junctions. In other words, the Josephson energy contains besides electrostatic energy difference over the membrane also the difference of cyclotron energies at the two sides of the membrane and this contribution dominates over Josephson energy which varies - especially so during nerve pulses- and codes neural activity to the frequency modulations of the generalized Josephson radiation going to the magnetic body and in this manner communicating sensory input to it. If heff is proportional to the mass of charged particle, this energy is independent of particle and the spectrum of cyclotron photons emitted is universal and correspond to that for biophotons being in the visible and UV range and thus optimal for inducing molecular transitions so that they can be applied in biocontrol.

If this model is correct then the action of anesthetes would be simple: they would induce the loss of super-conductivity or cut the protein Josephson junctions through cell membrane. This is consistent with Turin's findings.