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Sleeping neurons and TGD

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I learned of a very interesting finding related to cerebellar neurons associated with so-called climbing fibers and Purkinje cells. (see this). The popular article tells about the findings described in an article by N.T. Silva et al published in Nature (see this). Climbing fibers and Purkinje cells are involved with the receival information from the external world and with the conditioning to external stimuli. Mice were studied and the external stimulus was light and produced eye blink as a response. It was possible to produce conditioning by using preceding cues. It was found that even a subtle reduction of the signalling using light-sensitive protein ChR2 made the neurons in question “zombies”, which were not able to receive information from the external world. Can one understand the zombi neurons in the TGD framework? The TGD based view of consciousness as a generalization of quantum measurement theory relies on zero energy ontology (ZEO), which solves the quantum measurement problem (see this, this and this).

  1. The first prediction is a hierarchy of Planck constant, meaning the possibility of quantum coherence in arbitrarily long scales: the phases of ordinary matter with this property behave like dark matter.
  2. Second prediction is that quantum physics dominates in all scales but in zero energy ontology we do not see this since quantum jumps occur between superpositions of Bohr-orbit like space-time surfaces and there is no violation of classical determinism!
  3. The third prediction is that in ordinary “big” state function reductions (BSFRs) the arrow of time changes. This is analogous to death or following sleep and means reincarnation with an opposite arrow of time. Quantum tunnelling means to such states function reduction and return to the original arrow of time. Sleep would initiate a life with an opposite arrow of time. Life would be a universal phenomenon appearing in all scales. The most dramatic example is provided by stars and galaxies older than the universe. The evolutionary age of a galaxy living forth and back in geometric time is much longer than according to the ordinary view of time.

The zombie neurons would be sleeping! During the sleep period they would not receive information from the environment and would not learn. The dose of Chr would induce a BSFR. How?

  1. TGD inspired quantum measurement theory predicts also a second kind of SFR, “small” SFR. In SSFR the state of the system changes but not much and the arrow of time is preserved. SSFRs are the TGD counterparts of repeated measurements of the same observables, which, according to the standard quantum theory (Zeno effect), have no effect on the state. In the TGD Universe, SSFRs give rise to the flow of subjective time and their sequence defines a conscious entity, which “dies” or falls asleep in BSFR.
  2. SSFRs correspond to a measurement of a set of observables. The external perturbation can change this set such that it does not commute with the set measured in the previous SSFRs. This forces the occurrence of a BSFR changing the arrow of time. How this happens, requires a more detailed view of ZEO (see this and this). In the recent situation this would mean that the neuron falls asleep and does not receive sensory input from the external world.
  3. This falling asleep phenomenon would be universal (see for instance (see this)and apply also to other neurons: BSFR could be induced by inhibitory neurotransmitters whereas excitatory neurotransmitters would help to wake up. A short sleep period of about 1 ms could take place also during the nerve pulse (see this).

Sleep would also have other functions than causing a sensory decoupling from the external world. Sleep is essential for healing and learning. These analogs of sleep states are encountered also at the level of biomolecules. BSFRs make it possible to learn by trial and error. When the system makes a mistake it falls asleep and wakes up after the next BSFR. We would be doing this all the time since our flow of consciousness is full of gaps. External noise males possible this learning by changing the set of observables measured in SSRS.

Interestingly, this learning mechanism has obvious parallels with how large language systems learn in presence of noise (see this, this, and this). TGD predicts the possibility of quantum coherence in arbitrarily long scales and this allows us to consider the possibility that computers are actually conscious entities when the quantum coherence time is longer than the clock period. This artificially induced noise could induce conscious learning. This could help to explain why large language systems seem to work “too well”.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

For the lists of articles (most of them published in journals founded by Huping Hu) and books about TGD see this.


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