We’ve long suspected that the human brain is a quantum computer, but we’ve never had any real evidence to support this theory. That is, until now.
A pair of researchers from Trinity College in Dublin and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw recently published which may prove to be groundbreaking research in the quest to understand the human brain, consciousness and the physical nature of the universe itself.
The team’s paper, titled ‘Experimental indications of non-classical brain function’, describes an experimental MRI paradigm that showed that subjects’ brains tangled up with their heart.
Entanglement refers to a quantum state in which two objects remain connected even when they are distant from each other. It sounds complicated, but essentially it’s like throwing two coins in the air and knowing that no matter what happens, as long as the coins stay entangled, they will always land on the same side of each other.
In the quantum world, this manifests itself when two or more separate objects (such as photons) become entangled in such a way that any relevant measurements scientists make on one also apply to the other.
According to the scientists, this kind of entanglement may actually be present between our brain and our heart. To arrive at this experimental conclusion, they modified an MRI machine by applying a filter that blocks most of the signals it would normally receive. They then tuned it to pick up the spin of a specific proton in the subjects’ “brain water.” By doing this, the researchers were able to deduce certain other signals from their heartbeats that should not be detected by an MRI machine.
Essentially, what they found cannot be easily explained through classical physics. And so it seems like they found evidence for quantum entanglement based on the link between brain activity and the expected heartbeat signal.
The researchers state that the signals they deduced depended on “conscious awareness,” so they conclude that they “may have witnessed entanglement mediated by consciousness-related brain functions.”
In other words, consciousness can arise as a feature of quantum entanglement. This is not a controversial position, but as far as we know no scientific team has ever experimentally demonstrated quantum phenomena in the human brain.
It mentions that this team has not done that either. What they have done, according to the researchers themselves, is experimental evidence for non-classical activity. This research is potentially an argument against classical consciousness. That doesn’t exactly mean it’s an argument for quantum consciousness.
In fact, according to an article by Salon’s Troy Farah, the researchers themselves were driven to question whether quantum mechanics itself was an incomplete picture of the universe. Is there anything else?
The human body may be an inauspicious place to look for answers to the greatest unsolved mysteries in both quantum physics and classical physics, but this research manages to link our inability to understand consciousness through classical means and our inability to fully reconcile gravity with quantum. mechanics.
This could lead to further new applications for MRI machines, a better understanding of how the brain regulates the body, and perhaps even a rudimentary understanding of the root truth of how consciousness arises.
As an aside, it goes without saying that this could have incredible implications for the emerging field of artificial intelligence, especially as it relates to the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI), something that would be considered human-level intelligence.
It is possible that such an agent could exist and operate without any form of actual consciousness or sentience, but a significant number of leading AI researchers and developers believe that artificial consciousness to appear from machine learning through what we can only describe as brute force classical computing.
If consciousness is actually a feature of brain-body quantum entanglement, then those AI experts could wait until the end of time for a ghost to emerge from their algorithms. In addition, we may be excluded from machine consciousness until we perfect bio-organic robotics.
Of course, this is all wild speculation based on the experimental discovery of what might be non-classical brain activity. But the fact is, we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to both consciousness and quantum mechanics.