electromagnetic/brain waves

Stephan Bonfield spbonfie at acs.ucalgary.ca
Thu Mar 21 14:56:50 EST 1996

zamanlf at aol.com (Zamanlf) wrote:
>      There seems to be substantial resistance to the idea that
> electromagnetic theory can have anything to do with mind and brain, 

The reason that there is resistance is owing to the fact
that such a theory you propose is simply not needed.  There
are already numerous avenues of research to explore.  Try,
for example, Gordon M. Shepherd's excellent book "The 
Synaptic Organization of the Brain", particularly the 
chapter written by Shepherd and Christof Koch "Dendritic
Electrotonus and Synaptic Integration".  It directly 
addresses the questions you raise and illustrates admirably
why there is no need for "kinematic" or "electrodynamic"
theories of consciousness.  Electrotonus measurements only 
spell out the complexity of the problems inherent in 
understanding the diversity of cellular types and synaptic
organization in brain.  

There are serious problems with identifying an ego, 
or as you put it "little man" or "little woman" theory
as the underpinning of consciousness.  The 
homunculus idea has been long since overturned, most 
efficiently and recently by Daniel Dennet in "Consciousness
Explained". A unifier of consciousness, or an ego called
"little man" or "little woman" which you promote, 
indicates to me that you have misunderstood the nature of 
what constitutes electrochemical signalling and its 
resultant effects in creating the illusion of what we call
"self".  It would also indicate that you are perhaps 
unaware of the larger systems of cortical organization and
the recent literature expounding the various theories.
If you are interested in this try Christof Koch's 
and Joel L. Davis' "Large-scale Neuronal Theories of the 

You may also want to look at Shepherd's "Foundations of the
Neuron Doctrine", Patricia Churchland and Terence J.
Sejnowski's "The Computational Brain".  Above all, you may
wish to question the grand unified field thinking that you
are doing with repect to consciousness by reading 
Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini's book recently translated into
English "Inevitable Illusions".  It discusses that feeling
that you tend to project in your writing, that somehow, 
you just know you're right about a theory. But it is a 
rightness that is an illusion created as a product of our
consciousness awareness.  Therefore, I would encourage you
to read some more so as to gain a fundamental grasp of the
problems of consciousness.  

Stephan Bonfield


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