Consciousness and the World

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  2. The Spread Mind: Why Consciousness and the World Are One
  3. The World Atlas of Consciousness
  4. Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE

Neuroscientists have identified sync in their research, too.

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Large-scale neuron firing occurs in human brains at measurable frequencies , with mammalian consciousness thought to be commonly associated with various kinds of neuronal sync. For example, German neurophysiologist Pascal Fries has explored the ways in which various electrical patterns sync in the brain to produce different types of human consciousness. Fries focuses on gamma, beta and theta waves.

These labels refer to the speed of electrical oscillations in the brain, measured by electrodes placed on the outside of the skull. Groups of neurons produce these oscillations as they use electrochemical impulses to communicate with each other.

The Spread Mind: Why Consciousness and the World Are One

Gamma waves are associated with large-scale coordinated activities like perception, meditation or focused consciousness; beta with maximum brain activity or arousal; and theta with relaxation or daydreaming. These three wave types work together to produce, or at least facilitate, various types of human consciousness, according to Fries. But the exact relationship between electrical brain waves and consciousness is still very much up for debate.

Synchronization, in terms of shared electrical oscillation rates, allows for smooth communication between neurons and groups of neurons. Without this kind of synchronized coherence, inputs arrive at random phases of the neuron excitability cycle and are ineffective, or at least much less effective, in communication. Our resonance theory builds upon the work of Fries and many others, with a broader approach that can help to explain not only human and mammalian consciousness, but also consciousness more broadly.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Based on the observed behavior of the entities that surround us, from electrons to atoms to molecules, to bacteria to mice, bats, rats, and on, we suggest that all things may be viewed as at least a little conscious. The panpsychist argues that consciousness did not emerge at some point during evolution.


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But the large majority of the mind associated with the various types of matter in our universe is extremely rudimentary. An electron or an atom, for example, enjoys just a tiny amount of consciousness. But as matter becomes more interconnected and rich, so does the mind, and vice versa, according to this way of thinking. Biological organisms can quickly exchange information through various biophysical pathways, both electrical and electrochemical.

Living things leverage their speedier information flows into larger-scale consciousness than what would occur in similar-size things like boulders or piles of sand, for example. For us, this combination process is the hallmark of biological life. The central thesis of our approach is this: the particular linkages that allow for large-scale consciousness — like those humans and other mammals enjoy — result from a shared resonance among many smaller constituents.

The speed of the resonant waves that are present is the limiting factor that determines the size of each conscious entity in each moment.


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  • As a particular shared resonance expands to more and more constituents, the new conscious entity that results from this resonance and combination grows larger and more complex. So the shared resonance in a human brain that achieves gamma synchrony, for example, includes a far larger number of neurons and neuronal connections than is the case for beta or theta rhythms alone. What about larger inter-organism resonance like the cloud of fireflies with their little lights flashing in sync?

    Researchers think their bioluminescent resonance arises due to internal biological oscillators that automatically result in each firefly syncing up with its neighbors. Is this group of fireflies enjoying a higher level of group consciousness? Probably not, since we can explain the phenomenon without recourse to any intelligence or consciousness. But in biological structures with the right kind of information pathways and processing power, these tendencies toward self-organization can and often do produce larger-scale conscious entities.

    Our resonance theory of consciousness attempts to provide a unified framework that includes neuroscience, as well as more fundamental questions of neurobiology and biophysics, and also the philosophy of mind. Our resonance theory builds upon the work of Fries and many others, with a broader approach that can help to explain not only human and mammalian consciousness, but also consciousness more broadly. Based on the observed behavior of the entities that surround us, from electrons to atoms to molecules, to bacteria to mice, bats, rats, and on, we suggest that all things may be viewed as at least a little conscious.

    The panpsychist argues that consciousness did not emerge at some point during evolution. But the large majority of the mind associated with the various types of matter in our universe is extremely rudimentary.

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    An electron or an atom, for example, enjoys just a tiny amount of consciousness. But as matter becomes more interconnected and rich, so does the mind, and vice versa, according to this way of thinking.

    The World Atlas of Consciousness

    Biological organisms can quickly exchange information through various biophysical pathways, both electrical and electrochemical. Living things leverage their speedier information flows into larger-scale consciousness than what would occur in similar-size things like boulders or piles of sand, for example. For us, this combination process is the hallmark of biological life. The central thesis of our approach is this: the particular linkages that allow for large-scale consciousness — like those humans and other mammals enjoy — result from a shared resonance among many smaller constituents. The speed of the resonant waves that are present is the limiting factor that determines the size of each conscious entity in each moment.

    Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE

    As a particular shared resonance expands to more and more constituents, the new conscious entity that results from this resonance and combination grows larger and more complex. So the shared resonance in a human brain that achieves gamma synchrony, for example, includes a far larger number of neurons and neuronal connections than is the case for beta or theta rhythms alone. What about larger inter-organism resonance like the cloud of fireflies with their little lights flashing in sync?

    Researchers think their bioluminescent resonance arises due to internal biological oscillators that automatically result in each firefly syncing up with its neighbors. Is this group of fireflies enjoying a higher level of group consciousness? Probably not, since we can explain the phenomenon without recourse to any intelligence or consciousness. But in biological structures with the right kind of information pathways and processing power, these tendencies toward self-organization can and often do produce larger-scale conscious entities.

    Our resonance theory of consciousness attempts to provide a unified framework that includes neuroscience, as well as more fundamental questions of neurobiology and biophysics, and also the philosophy of mind. It gets to the heart of the differences that matter when it comes to consciousness and the evolution of physical systems.


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    Screen music and the question of originality - Miguel Mera — London, Islington. UEA Inaugural lecture: Alternative performance measures: do managers disclose them to inform us, or to mislead us? Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. How do things in nature — like flashing fireflies — spontaneously synchronize? Lasers are produced when photons of the same power and frequency sync up. Each type of synchronized activity is associated with certain types of brain function. A resonance theory of consciousness Our resonance theory builds upon the work of Fries and many others, with a broader approach that can help to explain not only human and mammalian consciousness, but also consciousness more broadly.

    Philosophy Neuroscience Consciousness Synchronisation Human consciousness. You might also like In an epileptic brain, the neurons fire wildly. British author Philip Pullman.