electromagnetic/brain waves

Zamanlf zamanlf at aol.com
Sun Mar 31 23:20:33 EST 1996


Dave,

	My first posting was simply the following abstract, with the
comment that I would make the paper available over the internet after
presentation at the upcoming Tucson II conference on consciousness:

		Consciousness, Causality and the Faraday Law

Abstract: When the Faraday law in electromagnetic field theory is
understood to specify an invariant cause and effect relationship between
its dB/dt (time changing magnetic field) and curl E (induced electric
field) terms, the Maxwell equations provide a causally inconsistent
account of the abstract system composed of an ideal inductor driven by an
ideal battery. The causal relationship between dB/dt and curl E in this
simple system is shown to be consistent only after a term is included in
Faraday’s law for magnetic current, which specifies an electrostatic
source of curl. This analysis establishes a conceptual model of
electromagnetic induction that can be applied to high-level
bioelectromagnetic phenomena. In an ideal inductor model of the cerebral
cortex, Faraday’s law governs a self-excited psychobiomagnetic dynamo that
determines the spatiotemporal dynamics of EEG and MEG fields. The model
suggests that what we consciously experience are brain electromagnetic
waves. Viewed from a philosophical perspective, the model suggests that
the electromagnetic force in biology may be causal at every level of
biological organization. The epistemology of this viewpoint is that a
completely logical understanding of electromagnetic induction may open the
door to a general knowledge of the diverse causes and effects which
characterize the living state of biological matter.

My purpose in this was to (1) find out how much interest there was in this
approach to nervous system theory, (2) be better able to present the
theory by learning through answering questions that hopefully would be
asked. It was not my intention to present through this email discussion
the formal presentation of a postulate and supporting evidence. That is to
be accomplished, for better or worse, in the paper itself. Because of so
many critical comments on even the possibility of such a theory, however,
even before the critics had a chance to read the paper, I have been drawn
into an ad hoc discussion that obviously leaves much to be desired.
Nevertheless, I shall continue this effort because it has shed much light
on the resistance to new ideas that undoubtedly will be met.
	I would like to thank you for your comments and questions. I’ll
address the ones on the nervous system first and the ones on consciousness
last. First, the model does not ignore the chemical mechanisms. The model
is based on the standard mechanisms operating as they are presently known
to operate. What the electromagnetic model does is to provide a higher
level of organization, above the level of the many discrete
electrochemical processes that are ongoing. It provides an account of what
all these processes are adding up to, in the way of producing a coherent,
large-scale process that encompasses all the various microscopic (axonal,
synaptic, etc) processes. The model suggests that the intracortical EEG
and MEG fields, the MEG field in particular, provide macroscopic “order
parameters” through which nervous system dynamics can be explained and
understood. Faraday’s law is discussed from this perspective, as a law
governing a macroscopic order parameter of nervous system dynamics. The
explanation does not deny the reality of the electrochemical events taking
place, it simply places them within an electromagnetic context.
	Next, the question of interference effects due to external fields
involves an understanding of the nervous system’s internal
“electromagnetic architecture.” The term “radiation hardened” in
electronics refers to circuits that are immune to disruption by external
fields. The question of the nervous system’s immunity to external fields
requires that one have knowledge of the nervous system’s “electromagnetic
architecture.” The absence of any effect due to a large magnet nearby,
without any understanding of the electromagnetic organization of the
nervous system’s endogenous fields produced by neuronal sources, by itself
proves nothing.
	You say my “emf theory” is just a philosophical revamping of
earlier ideas, but this simply is not true. Giving one example, there are
a number of questions regarding the relations of neuronal spikes (axon)
and waves (synaptic) that remain unresolved today, but are readily
explained by this theory. Do you understand exactly under what conditions
the axon spike probabality will be related to the synaptic wave amplitude,
and under what conditions the axon spike activity is related to the
synaptic wave slope? My guess it that you do not, nor does anyone else,
because Verzeano’s research on this important subject has been essentially
ignored by the Neuroscientific community. (Am I wrong? If so which
researchers have picked up from where Verzeano left off? Where are their
publications?) The theory also gives a logical reason for several aspects
of the cortex architecture, once the possibility of an electromagnetic
account is admitted and investigated.
	The postulate that the MEG field may be associated with
consciousness follows directly from the idea that the MEG is a macroscopic
order parameter of nervous system dynamics. The intent is not to talk all
day about it, but to establish a possible
neurophysiological-electrophysiological basis for consciousness that can
be investigated in ways not previously thought about. A hypothesis about
consciousness that is based on solid research about nervous system
statistical dynamics, including that provided by Verzeano and others,
hopefully can stimulate research on consciousness, on what consciousness
might be when viewed in physical terms. It seems to me that the muddiness
of this concept will go away only after theories have been devised that
can be given a solid foundation in nervous system dynamics.
	Being aware of many things, and being able to provide a logical,
coherent understanding of them are not the same thing. The controversy
over the relationship between the multiunit spike activity and the EEG is
one example of this problem in neuroscience. The possible connection
between brain waves and consciousness is yet another. What is needed is
some approach that can tie all of this together into a single coherent
theory. That is what electromagnetics might do, if given the chance. The
proof of such an approach, however, requires that the approach be first
given a chance. It does explain the statistical relationship between the
axon spike activity and synaptic graded waves documented in decades of
research. It also accounts for many more not yet discussed in this thread.
	Regarding the existence of one extremely convincing fact, one such
fact is the demonstrated statistical relationship of spikes and waves,
which I have mentioned I don’t know how many times but no one seems to be
listening. Verzeano’s findings have not been explained by any present
model or theory. This was confirmed in direct conversation with one of the
scientists involved--the mechanism responsible for this relationship is
unknown. An electromagnetic model in fact accounts for this relationship,
and many of the other results of studies dedicated to discovering and
explaining the relationship between neuronal pulses (axon spikes) and
waves (PSPs). It shows why there can be seeming contradictory data, with
the spikes sometimes being statistically related to the wave amplitude and
sometimes being statistically related to the wave slope or time rate of
change.
	You are asking to see a proof of the theory before you have even
tried to understand the theory. You seem to be saying, show me the proof
first and then I will try to understand it, but you cannot possible
understand what would prove the theory until you first understand the
theory itself. The hard evidence which supports the theory indeed is
there, but until you are willing to study and understand the theory, the
support the evidence provides for the theory will escape you.
	Regarding the failure of elitist science, Young’s wave theory of
light, Ohm’s theory of conduction, and Faraday’s theory of the field were
initially ignored or flatly rejected by their contemporaries. I’m sure I
could dig up several more examples if I tried. The elitist tendencies of
science sometimes have to be overcome in order for new theories to become
accepted. The elitist approach works best in the fleshing out of existing
theories. It does a much poorer job of coming up with substantially new
approaches that overcome the defects of existing theories, especially if
the the existing theories have been around a long time.
	I agree that insults are a lousy debating tactic.


Fred







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