Re: Quantum entaglement, human cognitive capacity

From: Maksym Taran (
Date: Mon Mar 03 2008 - 21:00:05 MST


Your last question about was posed in various forms in the past, and was
answered through experiments which showed that quantum mechanical phenomena can
not be explained through a theory of local hidden variables. My best advice
on how to understand it is to read the
Philosophy Encyclopedia
<>article. If all else
fails, Google is your friend.


On 03/03/2008, Adam Safron <> wrote:
> Ross,
> Can you please elaborate on what you mean by determinism? If you mean
> what I think you mean, that past state-descriptions contain the information
> for present and then future state-descriptions, then the brain is probably a
> deterministic system. Even if quantum computation is important for
> cognition––which it most likely isn't––then brain could still potentially be
> thought of as deterministic, depending on your favored interpretation of
> quantum mechanics.
> But more importantly, neurons are perfectly capable of supporting complex
> processing/behavior without quantum computation: complex patterns of action
> potentials in large numbers of neurons, vast numbers multiple kinds of
> synapses that change their strengths with experience, higher-level
> processing structures such as limbic nuclei interacting with a columnar
> organized cortex; we're still figuring out the specifics of how this all
> works together, but there probably isn't a significant role for quantum
> effects in influencing the flow of information in our neural systems.
> Quantum computation in neurons is unnecessary to explain
> behavior/cognition and the theory relies on speculative mechanisms that have
> not been empirically demonstrated and seem unlikely a priori.
> Question on quantum physics: My background is in neuroscience, so I'm
> certainly not in a position to have strong opinions on this matter, but I've
> always been baffled by the quickness with which people conclude
> ontological indeterminacy from epistemological indeterminacy. If
> measurement is uncertain/whacky at the quantum level, then doesn't that
> limit the strength of conclusions we can draw about the ontological status
> of quantum phenomena? Couldn't the quantum systems be just as deterministic
> as classical systems, but we're unable to properly measure all of the
> relevant variables?
> Best,
> -adam
> On Mar 2, 2008, at 6:35 PM, Krekoski Ross wrote:
> Yah, the argument regarding the degree, or lack of degree of interaction
> that quantum effects have on a more macro level I suppose holds quite well.
> My curiosity was somewhat two-pronged -- firstly, are current models
> regarding the complexity and processing power required for a reasonable
> simulation of the human brain adequate (ignoring the necessary overhead that
> a software implementation would entail), and secondly, a more general
> curiosity regarding the degree of determinism implied if all human reasoning
> is computable.
> summarizing penrose's argument:
> assume that my reasoning capabilities can be simulated by formal system F.
> for every statement S of F that I determine true, S is a theorem of F, and
> vice versa. Since I believe F describes my reasoning, I believe F is
> sound. Since F is sound, G(F) (goedel) is true, but not a theorem of F.
> however, since F is sound, G(F) is also true. However, G(F) is not a
> theorem of F, but I know it to be true, therefore F does not describe my
> reasoning.
> Rgds,
> Ross
> On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 11:03 PM, Adam Safron <> wrote:
> > Ross,
> > Quantum entanglement is not considered to be an important factor by
> > most well-regarded neuroscientists.
> > With ~100 billion neurons and 10^14 synapses, the brain is plenty
> > complex to explain human cognition/behavior without resorting to
> > exotic physical properties. And more importantly, no one has come up
> > with a reasonable account for how quantum entanglement would impact
> > information processing. Quantum explanations for the mind are both
> > unnecessary and unhelpful.
> > -adam
> >
> >
> > On Mar 2, 2008, at 5:09 PM, Krekoski Ross wrote:
> >
> > > Why has there not been any discussion that I can find, regarding the
> > > very real possibility that quantum entanglement plays a large role
> > > in the functioning of the human brain?
> > > It certainly is a factor in the low-level motion of particles, and
> > > in a chaotic system where local disturbances can lead to large
> > > systemic changes, such as cascade effects in neurons, it seems to be
> > > a significant oversight to not at least acknowledge it's likely
> > > presence. It has significant implications for the processing
> > > capacity of the human brain since it multiplies the number of
> > > interactions by a significant number of orders of magnitude, and is
> > > also quite relevant therefore in talking about at what point we have
> > > the machine capacity with current architecture to begin to simulate
> > > things.
> > >
> > > Rgds
> > >
> > > Ross
> >
> >

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