electromagnetic/brain waves

Zamanlf zamanlf at aol.com
Tue Mar 19 09:44:18 EST 1996

     There seems to be substantial resistance to the idea that
electromagnetic theory can have anything to do with mind and brain, as
demonstrated in the following quote " While applauding every experimental
and theoretical research effort in the field, I ought to repeat what was
already said in this forum by Prof. M. Szirko and other researchers;
namely to prevent against every reduction of subjectivity to the
dimensions of a kinetized physics."

    I include part I of the paper Consciousness, Causality and the Faraday
Law here, in the hope that such thinking can be changed:


A. The little man or woman inside

     Of the four fundamental forces known in physics, only the
electromagnetic force is believed to be significant in biological
processes. This is known to be true at the most fundamental
level--molecular interactions. Can evolution alter this fundamental fact,
by causing the electromagnetic force to somehow become insignificant at
macromolecular, intracellular, and multicellular levels of biological
organization? Reason suggests that, unless some other force can be
discovered which supercedes the electromagnetic at the higher levels of
biological organization, the electromagnetic force is causal at these
levels also.
     Based on this reasoning I postulate that the “self”--the “little man”
or “little woman” that appears to be inside each one of us--is a
neurophysiological manifestation of the electromagnetic force that
operates at the highest level of nervous system organization. In this
model, thought is composed of the phase-locked oscillations of a
superordinate electrodynamic control system which I call the “self-excited
psychobiomagnetic dynamo” (SEPD). What is a thought in this perspective of
nervous system dynamics? Some have suggested that consciousness is
associated with particular rhythmic, oscillatory patterns of EEG and MEG
activation, which some evidence suggests may be phase-locked, 40-Hz
oscillations. The SEPD in this model of nervous system dynamics is that
which thinks, whose thoughts indeed are manifested as oscillatory patterns
of EEG and MEG activation. In this model then, the “little man inside” is
not so much eliminated as explained in physical terms. We perhaps can know
who and what we are in this model, as unique individuals, in terms that
are consistent with the principles of modern physics.
     The intial reaction to this paper may be incredulity--that it is
proposing a crazy (irrational) idea. This response is understandable. The
proposed connection between consciousness and the MEG field, from the
perspective of conventional theory in electromagnetics and
electrophysiology, indeed is a “crazy” idea. But then so have many of the
ideas that later proved to be foundation stones in the development of
modern physical theory (Young’s wave theory of light, Faraday’s field
theory of electromagnetism, etc). Reality sometimes is crazy (not
comprehensible in terms of rational thought), as modern quantum physics
has clearly demonstrated. Perhaps the seemingly crazy idea of a
relationship between consciousness and the nervous system’s EEG and MEG
fields ultimately will prove to be yet another foundation stone in modern
physical theory--achieving that status by placing consciousness and the
mind squarely within the framework of classical and quantum physics, and
thereby completely overthrowing the Cartesian mind-matter dualism.
     Some scientists have suggested that research on consciousness, while
every experimental and theoretical research effort in this field should be
applauded, should “prevent against every reduction of subjectivity to the
dimensions of a kinetized physics.” This attitude, however, essentially
elevates the Cartesian mind-matter dualism to an unexamined metaphysical
doctrine. In my opinion, nothing but a kinetized physics of the nervous
system can provide the foundation for a science of consciousness. That is,
it will only be through a kinetized physics of consciousness that this
subject can legitemately become a part of natural science.

B. A causal foundation for consciousness

     The question that this approach to consciousness poses is: how can
the time-changing fields of biological systems, at any level of
organization, be understood in terms of the theory of time-changing
fields? Major aspects of the electromagnetic force in physics are defined
in terms of time-changing fields. Can this theory also be applied to the
time-changing electric and magnetic fields in biology? Electromagnetic
theory has been routinely applied to the space dimension of
electrophysiological fields for many years, in terms of the static or
quasi-static field theory, but it has never been applied to the time
dimension of these fields.
     The solution to the problem of accounting for the causality of the
electromagnetic force in biology at the higher levels of organization may
lie in a new, more logical understanding of electromagnetic induction, one
that enlarges the domain of the electromagnetic field to encompass the
time-changes of the electric and magnetic fields produced by ongoing
biological activity at all levels of organization. The system that I
discuss in this regard here is the cerebral cortex--the biomolecular
system lying at the pinnacle of evolution.
     The purpose of the ideal inductor analysis in this paper is to
provide a physical basis for suggesting that Faraday’s law, without a term
for magnetic current that makes it consistent in inductor cause and
effect, is a stumbling block in the general application of field theory to
time-varying bioelectromagnetic systems. There presently is no term in
Faraday’s law for the magnetic current Mi, and the ideal inductor analysis
provides a physical basis for suggesting that one is needed. The basic
idea is that the cerebral cortex, relative to the flow of neural multiunit
spike activity into, out of, and within the cortex interior, when the Mi
term for magnetic current is included in Faraday’s law, effectively
constitutes an “equivalent ideal inductor.” Nervous system dynamics from
this point of view is a novel form of electromagnetic induction in which
the MEG field, no less than the EEG field, plays a fundamental role.
     The ideal inductor model of cortex does not contradict any of the
well-known facts regarding the cellular organization and biochemical basis
of nervous system dynamics. To the contrary, it explains important aspects
of the statistical dynamics of large-scale neuronal assemblies, notably
those aspects discovered by Marcel Verzeano and others in several decades
of research (1953-1981), that to this date have remained unexplained by
anyone. It thus represents a pioneering effort in the endeavour to define
nervous system dynamics in terms of a wide range of well-documented
experimental data. The postulated connection between consciousness and the
MEG field is thus a serious proposal, and deserves to be treated as such.
      There will be those in science who will try to block any endeavour
to establish an electrodynamic theory of mind and consciousness,
regardless of how well it explains the evidence--even after it is fully
developed and understood. Metaphysics is alive and well in this sphere of
human (mis)understanding. However, this should not prevent those who are
willing to take a more reasoned approach from fully pursuing and
establishing a kinetized neurophysics of this extremely important subject.

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