[ExI] New consciousness paper

Colin Geoffrey Hales cghales at unimelb.edu.au
Thu Jun 26 05:06:15 UTC 2014

Hi Brent,
Send me a private email and I’ll give you a preprint.

The hard problem of consciousness is an explanation of mind; That is, why it is that the collection of material inside our skulls has a ‘first person, experienced’ perspective.

There are a huge pile of claims to have provided some kind of scientific account. Over time, however, empirical work is slowly drawing us towards the EM field. My paper paved that road a little further into plausibility. The background is all in the paper.

The difference this time is that I’ve located a perfect physically plausible place for the brain to deliver a first person perspective, physically.

It’s possible that I might have actually done something useful. Who knew?!

Happy to provide preprint to anyone that asks (and supplementary videos if asked).

Colin Hales

From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Brent Allsop
Sent: Thursday, 26 June 2014 3:44 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] New consciousness paper

Hi Colin,
So is the paper available for free, someplace?
I'm very interested in the "hard problem of consciousness" but am having troubles understanding how any of this has anything to do with that "Hard Problem".
It's probably because I don't understand a bunch of it.  For example, what is a "provision of consciousness"?
Isn't the 'hard problem' all about knowing what other minds are qualitatively like?  (as in is my redness the same as yours?)


On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 11:28 PM, Colin Geoffrey Hales <cghales at unimelb.edu.au<mailto:cghales at unimelb.edu.au>> wrote:
Dear Folk,
I thought you might be interested in the following paper, which is essentially my PhD outcome packaged into a journal paper (49 pages!), contextualised with respect to consciousness, and now finally published in a special journal issue on the ‘Hard problem of Consciousness’. Online-ready only at this point. Came out yesterday. There are 14 supplementary videos.
Hales, Colin G. 2014: 'The origins of the brain’s endogenous electromagnetic field and its relationship to provision of consciousness'. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, Vol 13 Issue 2, pp. 1-49.
As a potential source of consciousness, the brain's endogenous electromagnetic (EM) field has much to commend it. Difficulties connecting EM phenomena and consciousness have been exacerbated by the lack of a specific conclusive biophysically realistic mechanism originating the EM field, its form and dynamics. This work explores a potential mechanism: the spatial and temporal coherent action of transmembrane ion channel currents which simultaneously produce electric and magnetic fields that dominate all other field sources. Ion channels, as tiny current filaments, express, at a distance, the electric and magnetic fields akin to those of a short (transmembrane) copper wire. Following assembly of appropriate formalisms from EM field theory, the paper computationally explores the scalar electric potential produced by the current filaments responsible for an action potential (AP) in a realistic hippocampus CA1 pyramidal neuron. It reveals that AP signaling can impress a highly structured, focused and directed "sweeping-lighthouse beam" that "illuminates" neighbors at mm scales. Ion channel currents thereby provide a possible explanation for both EEG/MEG origins and recently confirmed functional EM coupling effects. Finally, a physically plausible EM field decomposition is posited. It reveals objective and subjective perspectives intrinsic to the membrane-centric field dynamics. Perceptual "fields" can be seen to operate as the collective action of virtual EM-boson composites (called qualeons) visible only by "being" the fields, yet objectively appear as the familiar EM field activity. This explains the problematic evidence presentation and offers a physically plausible route to a solution to the "hard problem".
For those impoverished and for those without institutional access I do have the preprint. Just email me.
Traction. Finally. ☺
Colin Hales

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