Theory of Brain Function, Quantum Mechanics and Superstrings


D.V. Nanopoulos

Center for Theoretical Physics, Texas A&M; Huston Advanced Research Center; CERN Theory Division. A Los Alamos National Lab Publication.




Summary and comments in red




This paper attempts to develop a scientifically sound framework of brain dynamics, based on new developments in neural science and (non) critical string theory. It supports the conjecture put forward by Hameroff and Penrose that microtubules are the microsites of consciousness. It also supports an interpretation of non-critical string theory developed by Ellis, Mavromatos, and the author, D.V. Nanopoulos, which reformulates the doctrines of quantum mechanics from the ground up. It appears that the resulting modified quantum dynamics of microtubules  leads to a concise and experimentally verifiable theory of brain function.


1. Introduction (p. 1)


How does the brain function? A reductionistic approach has worked well in many areas of biology and physics, and will be used to develop our model. The situation is more complicated, because  the mind pops into the issue, so the working of the associated mental world needs to be considered. Strong Artificial Intelligence proposes the brain [and its workings, the mind]  is just a computer, and we just need to figure out the algorithm. Cartesian dualism assumes that the brain and mind are two different things. The brain is associated with the attainable physical world, which we will call W1, while the mind is associated with the mental world, which we will call W2.


This paper presents an alternative proposition: that an “effective” (apparently dualistic) mental world [W2] emerges from the physical world [W].



                                          W                           W1                 W2                 W1                   Equation 1




                                         Physical world                             Causes   “collapse”   



” is a symbol from set theory, meaning “is a proper subset of” ( )


” is “bigotimes” from representation theory, which seems to be associated tensor multiplication


My best guess is that Equation 1 means that the attainable physical world, W1, known via the brain, is the result of a collapse of the wave function caused by the mental world,  W2, both of which are subsets of the physical world.


Note there are physicists, such as Bernie Haisch, Richard Conn Henry, and Roger Sperry, who would say the physical world arises from the mental; or consciousness creates an illusion of matter.


This approach combines several new ideas: that microtubules (cytosceletal protein polymer (hexagonal) paracrystalline structures) within neurons may be where most of brain function originates. (Hameroff); that quantum effects may play a central role in MT functioning (Hameroff, Penrose, who were both looking for a wave function collapse mechanism); that in one interpretation of non-critical string theory, one gets natural modifications of Quantum Mechanics, which leads to an explicit wave function collapse mechanism and microscopic arrow of time. This paper attempts to combine these ideas. The collapse of the wave function is what causes the system to “decide” it’s course of action,  which is compatible with the Jamesian view of consciousness as a selecting agency. [comment:  Although most would agree that however “consciousness” “works”, it has to be compatible with physics; however, the Jamesian view of consciousness as a “decider” is very limited.] The “collapse of the wave function” will result in a well coordinated exocytosis, which is the simultaneous emission of neurotransmitter molecules by the synaptic vesicles. From then on, standard neurophysiology applies. The connection between the mental world and the “collapse of the wave function” makes it clear how a mental intention is physically and causally related to a motor action. [comment: much physiological function occurs without mental intention, ie the autonomic nervous system keeps us alive] We may be able to develop a “mental code” that would translate feelings and intentions into specific neurochemical states. The universality of the mental world for all humans cries out for an objective mapping between mental and neurological processes. A good analogy is the “genetic code”, which maps base sequencing in DNA with amino acids; ie proteins.


2. Brain Mechanics (p. 3)

Experimental data suggests that brain function is non-local; ie; coherent neuronic activity at spatially remote cortical locations. Non-locality strongly suggests a quantum effect. Since we are dealing with macroscopic quantities, we have to look at “Macroscopic Quantum States” (MQS). Superconductivity, superfluidity, and magnetization are typical properties of MQS. For certain structures, a degree of coherence may be achieved that leads to high stability. 


“Weiss regions” are small regions in a ferromagnet (iron object) in which the electron spins are polarized in a specific direction. The electron spins in each region however, are randomly oriented, so there is no overall magnetization. When a magnetic (B) field, or low temperature is applied, the Weiss regions all tend to align, producing magnetization.  This is a highly stable macroscopic coherent (or quantum)  state; the ordered state. This transition from unordered to ordered is called a phase transition. The ordered state contains information ( electron spins polarized in the same direction), while the disordered state is more symmetric. Thus, ordered states are the result of spontaneous symmetry breaking.


Many different systems can be described by the same phase transition. The critical point for the phase transition acts as an attractor, which means no fine tuning is necessary [ the terms phase transition and attractor are reminiscent of chaos theory]  All the basic properties of phase transitions can be encoded in a set of  “evolution equations” called Renormalization Group Equations (RGE)


In MQSs, long range correlation is maintained by wave like self propagating excitation loops called phonons, spin waves or magnons.  These regulate other elements, and feedback to the element which caused a disturbance. MQSs exhibit nonlocality and emergence of new characteristics; for example, superconductivity, which by definition cannot exist at the level of individual electrons.


The concepts of MQS and phase transitions in magnetization can be used by analogy to describe certain brain functions; for example, random brain signals correspond to uncoordinated Weiss regions; an external stimulus may “straighten out” or put order into the random neuron signals “so that they are able to represent some coherent piece of information” [does this always follow from putting order into random neural signals?] this corresponds to imposing a magnetic (B) field, or low temperature; the highly stable coherent firing of neurons, described as memory, corresponds to the emergent property of magnetization, and may provide a solution to the “binding problem”; a similar but not identical stimulus causes again a stable coherent firing of neurons; ie, the ordered state.


This generic picture of brain function is supported by experimental data from the electroencephalogram. (EEG)

Spectral analysis of EEG data show random phase relationships during spontaneous cortical activity, which becomes coherent when an actual stimulus is supplied. It seems that the external stimulus not only adds energy to the brain, but also organizes it in a coherent way. [ It has been shown that the heart is composed of neural material much like that of the brain, and is considered by some to be the dominant organ. Thus, whatever theory is used to represent the brain should in some way be able to represent the heart].


3. Quantum Mechanics (p. 7)

Molecular biology is concerned with the function and structure of the cell. Most of the time classical (non-quantum) theory holds, but not always. The double helical structure of DNA, which allows for genetic properties, is due to the quantum mechanical H bonds between purines and pyrimidines. A central dogma of QM is wave particle duality. The wave aspect can be described by a wave function, typically expressed as a Schrodinger type wave equation, which provides a time evolution of the system.


Wave functions  may be linearly superimposed. A quantum system can, in principle, be in many wave states simultaneously. A measurement, or observation, causes a “collapse of the superimposed wave function”, leading to particle like behaviour, in accordance with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This paper is looking for a formal way to unify wave particle duality. [interesting mathematical notation] 


The wave function, or Schrodinger type wave equation, can be expressed in “density matrix” form, which is a quantum analogue of the classical statistics Liouville equation. The result is a time evolution of the phase space density function. The density matrix approach allows the description of mixed states; for example as a sum of pure quantum state probability densities and classical probabilities. Thus we have a unification of quantum and classical dynamics.


Quasicrystals are physical structures which may need QM to be described. According to Roger Penrose, the quasicrystal assemble cannot be obtained by a local adding of atoms one at a time. Rather, a non-local quantum mechanical process must be involved; something like an evolving quantum superposition of many different alternative arrangements of attaching atoms. Not one isolated thing happens; many alternative arrangements coexist.  At a certain point a collapse of the wave function will occur, resulting in a specific configuration. Usually crystalline configurations are of minimum energy, but the minimum energy state of a quasicrystal is hard to determine due to the large number of atoms involved all at once. This is a global, not a local problem. The quantum process “tries” large numbers of atoms simultaneously, until an intermediate solution is “found”, at which time the wave function collapses.


4. Brain morphology and Modeling (p. 13)

While the dynamic processes of neural communication suggest a computer analogue, there are some fundamental

differences relating to plasticity. The interconnections between neurons are continually changing The Hebb rules, developed by Donald O. Hebb, address the underlying mechanism of brain plasticity. Hebb says that the synapse between neurons is strengthened when both neurons fire, suggestive of a learning process. Many math models have been proposed, implementing is some way Hebb’s rules, and are called neural networks (NNs).


The total stimulus of a network of neurons on a given neuron is assumed to be given by the sum of the stimuli coming from each neuron.


The Hopfield model is the simplest neural network model, with neurons either on or off, and discrete time units.

With certain assumptions, the Hopfield model is similar to the dynamics of a statistical mechanics Ising type, or more generally a spin-glass model. This justifies using the statistical mechanics language of phase transitions, like critical points and attractors, to describe neural dynamics, and thus brain dynamics. This simplified model has many attractors, corresponding to many equilibrium points or ordered states, which would allow for storing many different patterns of activity in the brain. According to NN theory, a particular neural configuration corresponds to each pattern we are capable of recognizing and remembering.  According to Hebbian neurophysiology, an object is memorized by suitably increasing the synaptic strengths. This provides a basis for a theory of associative learning and memory.


Despite the progress made in understanding brain function using the NN paradigm, the NN approach can be seen as artificial, and far from providing a realistic model of brain function. The NN approach also does not shed light on the “binding problem” ie, how to “bind together” all neurons firing to different features of the same object or category, especially when more than one object is perceived simultaneously.


It has long been suggested that different groups of neurons, responding to a common object or category, fire synchronously. If so, this could help resolve the binding problem. EEG analysis of brain waves suggest alpha rhythms at 10 Hertz (Hz), and gamma, or “40 Hz” oscillations from 35 to 70 Hz. It has been shown that these oscillations can become synchronized in a stimulus dependent way. Studies of auditory evoked responses have shown inhibition of 40 Hz coherence with loss of consciousness due to general anaesthesia. Such results suggest that the gamma oscillations may be the neural correlate of visual awareness.


5. Stringy QM: Density Matrix Mechanics (p. 20)

The standard model of elementary particle physics is based on Quantum Field Theory. However, when gravitational effects are included, uncontrollable infinities arise which render the theory useless. Perhaps this means a  future revision of both QFT and our understanding of gravity. Even QFT has “gaps”; for example, there is no known mechanism which causes the mysterious “collapse” of the wave function. In applying QFT, the assumption of a static smooth spacetime ( ie Lorentz spacetime manifold characterized by a Minkowski metric)  usually works well. However, quantum fluctuations and our expanding universe defy a  truly static smooth spacetime at very small scales. At scales of the planck length (10 -33 cm), it could be that the very notion of a spacetime description evaporates. If quantum gravity is to be included in the unification scheme, conventional ideas about quantum dynamics and spacetime will need to be revised.


A well known and well studied example of a singular spacetime is the black hole, objects with such a strong gravitational field that nothing, including light can escape once the event horizon is crossed. Quantum vacuum fluctuations create pairs of particles, that in the absence of gravity, fall back together and annihilate on another, disappearing again into the QV. If one of these become trapped in a black hole, the other is left behind, forming an apparent emission called Hawking radiation. This Hawking radiation is thermal, which means that vast amounts of information are lost, being dragged into the black hole. Stephen Hawking realized that his black hole dynamics and QM were incompatible, and suggested QM be generalized to include pure state to mixed state transition, which is equivalent to abandoning the quantum superposition principle. Description of quantum states by wave functions or state vectors would be replaced by the more accommodating density matrix description, with an added term, for certain applications. The author suggests that this extra term, included in the past for practical reasons, actually needs to be included for dynamic reasons having to do with quantum gravity. In this case the extra term accommodates the transition from pure to mixed state; that is, it allows spontaneous decoherence and a collapse of the wave function.  To help evaluate Hawking’s proposal, a better  understanding of quantum gravity is necessary. String theory has provided the first and presently only known framework for a consistently quantized theory of gravity.


In string theory (ST) , one replaces point like particles with closed string like objects of characteristic length 10 -33 cm; ie one Planck length. In ST, one gets an automatic natural unification of all interactions including quantum gravity. It is natural to address the issues of black hole dynamics with ST. The author has done so and subsequently developed a dynamic theory of string black holes.


In ST, there is an infinity of particles of different masses, including the standard model ones, corresponding to the different excitation modes of the string. Most of these particles are unobservable (in particle accelerators) because they are too massive. There is an infinity of massive “gauge-boson” like particles, similar to the W-boson mediating the weak interactions, thus indicating an infinity of spontaneously broken gauge symmetries, each one characterized by a charge, generally called Q. These are “observable” at long distances at the quantum level by using the Bohm-Aharonov effect, [   ] where one measures phase shifts proportional to Q, and thus measures Q. This kind of Q charge is called “quantum hair” on a black hole. From the infinity of stringy symmetries, one subset has been identified, called the W 1+infinity symmetry, which causes the mixing, in the presence of singular spacetime backgrounds such as the black hole, of massless string modes, containing the quantum particles of the low energy world (quarks, leptons, photons), W 1-world and the massive string modes called global states, W 2-world. The global states have fixed energy and momentum, and by applying uncertainty type relationships, they extend over all space and time. While the global states are physical, they are not observable locally.


They do, however, effect W 1 world. Roughly:


The State of the World (W) = the state of W1 (W 1-world ) + the state of W2 (W 2-world )                 Equation 2


In density matrix mechanics,  one has a stochastic, indeterminate evolution of the quantum system, due to the unavoidable existence of spacetime foam (quantum fluctuations). Quantum fluctuations agitate our low energy quantum system, through the global or W 2-world states, to be spontaneously open. This is an objective mechanism, independent of any observer.


When density matrix mechanics  is incorporated into the State of the World Equation 2, we get



                   W                         W1                         W2   Causes  synchordic collapse”         W1      Equation 3


                   |||                               |||                          |||                    

           Physical world                Attainable             Global

          Including all local            Physical world      states

          and global states              all local states        world


The global or W 2-world states are the agents of the “synchordic” collapse.

When a particle enters a black hole, its W2 state goes from dormant to active


Note the similarity of Equation 1 (proposed world-brain dynamics) and Equation 3 (black hole dynamics). The author points out other similarities. For example,  presence or absence of quantum coherence, and its cause; the existence of an infinite number of possible equilibrium or critical points corresponding to an infinite number of spontaneously broken “gauge” (stringy) symmetries with appropriate selection rules; the possibility of moving away from one equilibrium point to another, or returning to the original equilibrium point.


If a structure could be found in the brain  that renders the author’s string dynamic equations applicable, explicit answers could be found for the binding problem, how the brain produces flowing time and free will, etc. These structures exist and they are called microtubules.



6. Microtubules I The biochemical profile (p. 30)

Microtubules (MT) are one of several types of structure occurring within the cytoskeleton of cellular cytoplasm. MTs are hollow cylindrical tubes of mean diameter about 20 nm, and can be centimeters  long. They are interconnected to form dynamic networks. MTs are an example of electret substances; that is, oriented assemblies of  dipoles (+ and -) , with piezoelectric properties; ie; they produce electric current when undergoing tension or compression. The crystal like symmetry of the internal MT structure suggests that MTs may be used as information processors. MTs are also able to disassemble and reassemble, and through chemical processes move electrons, and electron “holes” [functioning therefore as a semiconductor]. MTs also play a central role in cell division (mytosis), and in that capacity and in other ways,  interrelates and parallels  DNA. Careful study of MTs, notably by Koruga, show that MTs, through their tubulin  subunits,  also have a code system. They have one of the best binary error correcting codes, the “6-binary dimer”. MT symmetry and structure are optimal for information processing. The author speculates that since the MTs are strongly involved in exocytosis (release of neuro-transmitters), which is the most fundamental process that may somehow transform intentions/feelings into neural action, the MT “K codes” may be used as a dictionary to translate psychological “orders” into physiological actions. That is, DNA/RNA provides the genetic code, while MTs provide the mental, or K code. As such, MTs may play a role as microsites of consciousness.


Further evidence that neural MTs have a lot to do with learning, memory, cognition, and thus eventually with consciousness: single eukaryotic cell organisms, like the amoeba and paramecium have no neurons or synapses, but are capable of cognitive and adaptive activities. The key structure must be the cytoskeleton, including the MTs, which acts as the nervous system for single cells, as observed by the famous neuroscientist, C.S. Sherrington. In animals the drug colchicine causes defects in learning and memory which mimic Alzheimer’s disease,  by interfering with MT function.



7. Microtubules II The physical profile (p. 38)

The basic physical framework for understanding the high degree of biological order was put forward by Herbert Fröhlich. Fröhlich conjectured that quantum level events, such as the movement of an electron, act as a trigger for changing the conformational state of an entire protein. He conjectured that if biochemical energy such as ATP or GTP hydrolysis were supplied to a dipolar biological system, long range macroscopic coherence would result. He provided evidence that coherent excitation frequencies in the range 10 9  to 10 10 were possible. The MTs provide a structure that allows Fröhlich’s excitations to be realized. There is contemporary physical evidence for these global frequency excitations, including the demonstration of propagating signals in the MTs.


MTs are viewed as polymers of subunit proteins, the tubulins, and may be considered lattices of oriented dipoles. The dipoles may be randomly oriented, parallel-aligned (or ferroelectric), or occur as regions of locally frozen orientation, or spin-glass. Depending on temperature and external electric fields, the MT systems may exhibit these as different phases. In the ferroelectric phase, there is long range (global) order, encouraging the propagation of kink-like excitations, thus enabling MT signalling and assembly/disassembly.  The spin-glass phase seems usable for efficient information processing and computations. 


The MTs strong uniaxial diaelectric anisotropy align the dipole oscillators so they can be described by only one degree of freedom. That degree of freedom is a 29 degree shift in orientation of the monomer from the dimer.


In the language of QM, Two conformational states of the dimer exist; a and b; depending on where the electron is; a quantum transition occurs when the electron moves from one state to the other. These quantum transitions create abrupt distortions of spacetime, which increases the possibility of creation and annihilation of Planck size black holes. The Planckian black holes interact with the MT system through the global (W2) string states. The MT system is then agitated in a stochastic way, with a monotonic increase in entropy, which creates a microscopic arrow of time.


Together with the water surrounding it, the MT forms an electric field parallel to its axis.


The 1+1 dimensional MT physical mathematical model has been mapped to a 1+1 dimensional non-critical string theory, the precursor of the 1 + 1 black hole mathematical model.

Studies of MT dynamics indicate that the MT’s filamentous structure may be due to spontaneous symmetry breaking, a la superconductivity. Del Giudice et al proposed that the formation of the MTs cylindrical structure from tubulin subunits may be understood by the concept of self-focusing of electromagnetic energy by ordered water.  Like the Meissner (symmetry breaking) effect for superconducting media,  EM energy would be confined inside the filamentous regions around which the tubulin subunits gather. Del Giudice et al showed that this self focusing would result in filamentous beams of radius 15 nm, the inner diameter of the MTs. Jubi et al have proposed that the quantum dynamical system of water molecules and the quantized EM field confined within the hollow MT core can manifest a specific collective effect called superradience, by which the MT can transform any incoherent thermal and disordered molecular, atomic, or EM energy into coherent photons inside the MTs. They have also shown that these coherent photons penetrate along the  internal hollow core of the MT, as if the medium inside were made transparent by the photons themselves. This is the quantum phenomena of self-induced transparency. Superradience and self-induced transparency in cytosceletal MTs can lead to “optical” neural holography. Neurons and perhaps other cells may contain microscopic coherent optical supercomputers with enormous capacity. Thus, Jibu et al suggest that MTs can behave as optical waveguides which result in coherent photons. They estimate that this quantum coherence is capable of superposition of states in MTs spatially distributed over hundreds of microns.

8. Microtubules and (string theory based) Density Matrix Mechanics (I): Quantum theory of brain function (p. 45)

Brain plasticity, in which the interconnections in the brain are undergoing continuous and subtle changes due to microtubule network activity, shares some characteristics with quasicrystal growth. In brain plasticity, including dendritic growth and shrinkage, a similar process occurs; ie, many alternative arrangements coexist, and at a certain point a collapse of the wave function will occur, resulting in a specific minimal configuration. In the brain however, many minimumization conditions must be met, not just minimal energy. This would suggest that quantum computation is used to calculate these minimums, which is provided by the MT network in a stringy modified QM or density matrix mechanics framework.  Eccles and Beck have shown that exocytosis is a quantum phenomenon of the presynaptic vesicular grid. This grid is associated with hexagonal paracrystalline-like structures, as are the MTs. Further, this grid is adjacent to the MTs. The probability of quantum emission is a holistic property of the presynaptic vesicular grid. This probability is not fixed, but can be decreased or increased by physiological or drug treatment.


Theoretically there is some time lapse between brain input and output; characterized mainly by c, the quantum coherence lifetime. This is the time it takes for information processing and quantum computation, and is calculated to be about one second. This is rather long compared to the neuron cycle time of 1-2 milliseconds, and the neurosignal velocity of about 100 meters/second. Learning and memory, closely related to brain plasticity, involve shrinkage or growth of dendrite spines, and is supposed to occur within one second, which supports this calculation. Although the nominal value is one second, depending on parameter values, this number could be 1/50 second. The brain’s gamma (40 hz) oscillations may be due to successive synchordic collapses of an extended MT network. Generalizing, the “x” oscillations may give a clue as to the solution of the “binding problem,” also called the unitary sense of self. Some human experimental data has been collected which appears to be consistent with the 1.0 second  theoretical value. Kornhuber et al found that, averaged over many trials, the decision to flex an index finger preceeds the actual flexing by 1 to 1.5 seconds. This Nanopoulos calls an example of free will. He notes that when “free will” is replaced by response of a flash of a light signal, the index finger flexing occurs five times faster. Libet et al found that when a stimulus was applied to the skin of subjects, it took about a second before they were consciously aware of the stimulus. [The author suggests that these time delays support the one second quantum consciousness concept, and that understanding these time delays in helps in our understanding of consciousness. However, other physiological processes, with their time delays, could be intervening. He  suggests that consciousness is “explained” by MTs, which is merely an assumption. Athough MTs appear to be the most basic process, a more appropriate statement would be that these delays help in our understanding of the perceptual processes, some of which may still be unknown to us.] Nanopoulos states that “another key feature, supporting further the eminent direct connection between coherent MT conformational oscillations and the emergence of consciousness is the fact that absence of conformational oscillations, as by general anaesthesia, leads to the loss of consciousness.” Brains of patients under general anaesthesia are usually active; EEG, (except for 40 Hz oscillations?) evoked potentials and other brain functions are still active. [How do you measure conformational oscillations? This seems not too much different than saying that if you put a shutter over a window, there is a loss of light, so the window itself is the source of the light. The point is that although MTs may well be involved, there may be much more going on.]


The synergy between Planck scale physics and neurobiology is amazing.


Each conscious event is the result of the collapse of wave function in MT activity.  At each instant, and in a cohesive way, the sum of the conscious events consists of what we call consciousness.


Evidence is badly needed to either confirm or refute the ideas presented.


9. Microtubules and (string theory based) Density Matrix Mechanics (II): Quantum Psychophysics (p. 54)

Any scientifically sound theory of brain function has not only to provide a credible picture of what is happening microscopically, but it should also accommodate naturally all phenomena observed at the macroscopic level; ie personality level as described by psychology, including feelings, desires, intentions, cognitions, reasoning, decisions, etc.


Our scheme appears to be able to fit the Jamesian psychology of consciousness and the Freudian psychology of the unconscious.


The connection between Jamesian views of consciousness and Copenhagen quantum mechanics has been emphasized by H. Stapp.

James vigorously opposed the prevalent belief at that time that feelings can have no causal efficacy. For James, consciousness is primarily a selecting agency, being present when choices must be made. He also argued for the unity of each conscious thought; the whole thought is the proper element of psychology, not some collection of elementary components out of which thoughts are assumed to be formed by aggregation. Jame’s views of consciousness are mapped, almost one to one, to our theory of brain function. Nanopoulos’ thesis is that every conscious event is the psychological counterpart of a related synchordic collapse event in the brain, that triggers a specific neural activity; ie MT dynamics; that is, there is an isomorphism, or one to one mapping, between mental events and neural patterns.


To complete this isomorphism, we have to consider the preliminary phase that “prepares” the specific set of superimposed MT quantum states for collapse, from which only one will be chosen. This brings us to Freud, who believed that consciousness is only a thin slice of the total mind, much of which, as an iceberg, lies below the surface of awareness. He believed that the work of scientific psychology is to translate unconscious processes into conscious ones. He argued that the personality is a complex psychic energy system. He insisted that there is nothing mystical, vitalistic, or supernatural about psychic energy. There is a continuous transformation of bodily energy into psychic and vice versa.

A mental event, according to Freud, is conscious or not, depending on the magnitude of energy invested in it and the intensity of the resisting force. Freud assumed that we can be conscious of only one thing at a time, but that by a constant shifting of energy among ideas, memory, perception and feeling provides for a wide range of conscious awareness in a short time. The perceptual system is like a radar mechanism which rapidly scans the world and comes to focus on objects of desire or danger. Threatening events can be repressed. Dreams are filled with disguised or symbolic representations of repressed desires.

There is a stunning resemblance between Freud’s theories and the author’s concept of brain function. “Since his time, ample evidence has accumulated from the study of neurosis, hypnotism, and parapraxes to show that his basic views on the unconscious were essentially correct.”

[Within the behavioural sciences, and specifically with the Jungian school, there is also the belief that Freud’s views were too limited, focusing on neurosis rather than health.]


Freud’s transformations between psychic and bodily energy corresponds to the exchange of energy between the W1-world, or physically attainable world of localizable states and the W2-world or global states, as indicated in Equation 3. In the development of this equation, it is found that energy is conserved. The “preparation” of superimposed MT quantum states corresponds to Freud’s “preconscious state”: if they can easily “straighten up” the relevant states, synchordic collapse occurs easily; or to his “unconscious state” if they have no effect on those states; ie no synchordic collapse. Our understanding of the theory of synchordic collapse in dream states corresponds to Freud’s views on dreams.


Freud’s terms are psychological, while Nanopoulos’ terms are structural. It is in this sense that we consider the mental world as somehow isomorphic to the W2-world of physical global states that help to “prepare” and dismantle, by synchordic collapse, the relevant superimposed MT quantum states of the W1-attainable physical world. The MT K-codes are important in completing Nanopoulos’ theoretical isomorphism between the mental world and the W2-world, by acting as a translation dictionary between psychological orders and physiological actions.  There is nothing mystical or supernatural about the W2-world global states or their interaction with the W1-attainable physical world states, except that, because of their delocalized nature, novel properties may emerge A description or some examples of the  W2-world global states, apart from the mental world, would be very helpful here. Through our isomorphism, these novel properties are transmitted to the mental world, which is thus an emerging part of the physical world, but with distinct (local)  qualities.


In particle physics, at high energies, we only talk about electroweak interactions, and only at low energies we may talk about “effective” electromagnetic and weak interactions. Similarly, in a unified theory sense, we should talk about the physical world (W) only when all states, localized and delocalized are accounted for, and talk about the attainable physical world (W1) and the mental world and their interactions (ie, an “effectively emerging dual world”) only when the delocalized states are truncated, which is what happens most of the time. This theory of brain function is compatible with the thought of Empedocles (490-430 B.C.), who ascribed to the whole universe the same animistic principle as is manifest in each individual organism. Formulation of the principle of conservation of energy, by Helmholtz, made possible the view that human beings are energy systems. Freud extended physical dynamics to include the personality. This led to dynamical psychology, which studies energy transformation within the personality, as well as between the personality and the physical body.


This unified theory of brain dynamics is consistent with the known laws of physics, including conservation of energy, and at the same time provides answers to questions such as what is consciousness; solves the binding problem or unitary sense of self; and explains free will. Since the truncation of global delocalized states is due to synchordic collapse, (by which a local observation is made) consciousness is “nothing but” a localized aspect of a global integrative process. Nanopoulos’ theory places human consciousness in the workings of a non-local global process that links the universe together, defying classical physics and common sense. It seems we are intimately and integrally connected to the same global process that is actively creating the universe.


A central organizing principle seems to be at work which Nanopoulos calls the Protean Principle. This new view is a truly scientific paradigm shift. Some have already started talking about the brain man, at the dawn of the Third Wave. [Reference to a book The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler, published in 1984.] This is just the dawn of the homo quantum.




D.V. Nanopoulos

Center for Theoretical Physics, Texas A&M; Huston Advanced Research Center; CERN Theory Division. A Los Alamos National Lab Publication.