electromagnetic/brain waves-2

Zamanlf zamanlf at aol.com
Thu Apr 25 08:38:43 EST 1996


	My previous offering in “electromagnetic/brain waves,” whose title
and abstract met with heated criticism (and counter-criticism), has been
rewritten to address legitimate points of concern. One point was that the
“physics” of the proposed account of brain waves was unclear, which will
always result in much criticism whether deserved or not. A second point
was that my discussion was “arcane,” which suggests that it was not firmly
grounded on what is presently known about the nervous system (despite my
protestions to the contrary). Yet a third (and most important) point was
that, if the prevailing fear of physical theory in neuroscience is to be
overcome, the empirical details of nervous system operation (the magnitude
of which is the “curse” of  modern neuroscience) must be addressed in
terms of solidly established applications of physical theory. I am
rewriting the paper from a point of view that hopefully will eliminate--or
at least minimize--these concerns, the title and abstract of which
follows:


		ELECTROMAGNETIC PARADIGM FOR HOLISTIC NEUROSCIENCE

	W.J. Freeman, in “Mass Action in the Nervous System” (1975),
postulated that the “pulse probability wave” (PPW) produced by the axon
discharge of a single neuron within a densely-interconnected mass of
neurons is a collective property that is determined by the neural mass
dynamics. In this paper I give an electromagnetic-based demonstration of
Freeman’s postulate, which is founded on the additional postulate that the
PPW of multiunit axon discharge generating an electroencephalographic
(EEG) wave (extracellular dendritic gross response or potential) within a
cortical neural mass is physiologically correlated with the wave’s
dendritically-generated magnetoencephalographic (MEG) field. MEG model
calculations show that the magnetic field lines produced by dendritic
current encircle the EEG wave peak, in a way that the MEG intensity is
related to the wave’s transverse rate-of-change or “slope.” Also, previous
research on neural network dynamics in central sensory systems by M.
Verzeano et al. indicates that the PPW associated with an EEG wave
similarly circulates in a closed loop around the wave peak. It thus can be
deduced that the cortical PPW produced in conjunction with an EEG wave
indeed is closely correlated with--and actually follows the field lines
of--the dendritically-generated MEG field. A novel “magnetic current”
representation of the cortical PPW, redefined in terms of an axon pulse
density, interprets this phenomenon in electromagnetic terms. This
interpretation suggests that a new term in Faraday’s law for magnetic
current will be found useful in nervous system theory. Finally, the MEG
field is interpreted as an emergent “order parameter” for cortical mass
action, which provides a novel electromagnetic understanding of some of
the nervous system’s dominant “psychological effects.” It is concluded
that the correlations established by neural mass action between the
amplitudes and derivatives of the intracortical EEG, MEG and PPW, when
defined in electromagnetic terms, may provide a theoretical perspective
that can include both physical and psychological aspects of the nervous
system.

	The new version thus will build on a theory of the nervous system
that was earlier proposed by W.J. Freeman, who is a major neuroscientist.
The research and theoretical perspectives of E.R. John (Mechanisms of
Memory, 1967) and K. Pribram (Languages of the Brain, 1971), who also
advocated a similar “holistic view” of the nervous system, also seem to
fit neatly into an electromagnetic account of brain waves. The account in
the new version thus hopefully will seem less arcane with respect to how
it relates to the theoretical viewpoints of other neuroscientists. The new
version also will be more clear as to the application of “solidly
established physical theory.” [The concept of “magnetic current” is
presently used--as a mathematical formalism--to simplify some problems in
Advanced Engineering Electromagnetics (Balanis, 1989), which
neuroscientists should also feel free to employ when needed.]


Fred Zaman




More information about the Neur-sci mailing list