Quantum Information and Consciousness: A Gentle Introduction, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Quantum Information and Consciousness

A Gentle Introduction, 1st Edition

By Danko D. Georgiev

CRC Press

344 pages

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pub: 2018-01-26
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Description

"I loved the book! This book is not just interesting, it is exciting. I have probably read every significant book in the field, and this is the strongest and most convincing one yet. It is also one of the most comprehensive in its explanations. I shall most certainly recommend the book to colleagues."

–Richard G. Petty, MD

"a very good introduction to the basic theory of quantum systems…. Dr. Georgiev’s book aptly prepares the reader to confront whatever might be in store later."

–from the Foreword by Prof. James F. Glazebrook, Eastern Illinois University

This book addresses the fascinating cross-disciplinary field of quantum information theory applied to the study of brain function. It offers a self-study guide to probe the problems of consciousness, including a concise but rigorous introduction to classical and quantum information theory, theoretical neuroscience, and philosophy of the mind. It aims to address long-standing problems related to consciousness within the framework of modern theoretical physics in a comprehensible manner that elucidates the nature of the mind-body relationship. The reader also gains an overview of methods for constructing and testing quantum informational theories of consciousness.

Reviews

"I loved the book! This book is not just interesting, it is exciting. I have probably read every significant book in the field, and this is the strongest and most convincing one yet. It is also one of the most comprehensive in its explanations. I shall most certainly recommend the book to colleagues."

–Richard G. Petty, MD

"This is an excellent book, which can be used in academia and industry, and is also suitable as a required or complementary textbook for students. The author (who has both an MD and PhD) covers various aspects of molecular reengineering, information sciences, neuroscience, etc. While some aspects covered can be debated, the author shows the clear prospect for multidisciplinary studies of this kind. These topics, studies, and findings will be of interest to experts in biological and physical sciences, who are interested in quantum and semi-quantum mechanics with applications in biomedicine and biotechnologies. Highly recommended."

–Sergey E. Lyshevski, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology

"The book is an essential compilation of knowledge about the theory of quantum systems and about consciousness. It is recommended to any one interested in the field of the science of mind. It brings a fresh insight in the never ending philosophical debate of what consciousness and mind is. It manages this without hidden metaphysical indigents that are found in so many related books."

–Andreas Wichert, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Table of Contents

Foreword

Preface

About the Author

Introduction

The main problems of consciousness

The physical boundary problem

The binding problem

The causal potency problem

The free will problem

The inner privacy problem

The mind-brain relationship

The hard problem

Some background for beginners

The scientific conception of the world

Subjective and objective knowledge

Science and scientific theories

Logical consistency

Communicability

Explanatory power

Empirical corroboration Axioms of logic

Rules of inference

Axioms of natural science

The world of classical physics

Matter

Determinism

Observability

Real numbers

Functions

Derivatives

Vectors

Integrals

Sets

Classical probability theory

Particle and field fluxes

Axioms of classical mechanics

Solving Hamilton’s equations

Classical electrodynamics

Vector operators

Maxwell’s equations

Light

Special relativity

Classical information

The world of quantum physics Complex numbers

Wave functions

Vector spaces

Inner product spaces

Metric

Hilbert space

Bra-ket notation

Matrix multiplication

Operators

Orthonormal basis

Quantum wave function representations

Two-level quantum systems

Three-level quantum systems

Tensor products

Axioms of quantum mechanics

Quantum superpositions

Quantum entanglement

Density matrices

Solving the Schrödinger equation

Quantum information

A quantum information theory of consciousness

Consciousness in classical physics

Physical boundary of consciousness in classical physics

Binding of consciousness in classical physics Neural convergence

Neural assembly

Neural synchrony

Integrated information

EEG waves

Causal potency of consciousness in classical physics

Classical functionalism implies epiphenomenalism

Classical reductionism implies trivial immortality

Free will in classical physics

Debunking compatibilism

Determinism implies moral nonresponsibility

Instability and chaos cannot rescue free will

Belief in free will and human conduct

Inner privacy of consciousness in classical physics

Mind-brain relationship in classical physics

Idealism

Eliminativism

Functionalism

Reductionism

Dualism

Panpsychism

The hard problem of consciousness in classical physics

Consciousness in quantum physics Axioms of quantum information theory of consciousness

Physical boundary of consciousness in quantum physics

Binding of consciousness in quantum physics

Causal potency of consciousness in quantum physics

On the nature of quantum states

Quantum indeterminism avoids epiphenomenalism

Free will in quantum physics

Actualization of possibilities and choice making

Free will versus superdeterminism

Where does the free will come from?

Schrödinger’s cat and objective reduction

Debunking free will skepticism

Quantum existentialism

Inner privacy of consciousness in quantum physics

Observability and unobservability

Quantum purity

Quantum entropy

Quantum coherence

Communicability and incommunicability

Quantum support of classical information

Quantum versus classical computation

Mind-brain relationship in quantum physics

Quantum interactionism

Quantum panpsychism

Comparison with other quantum theories of mind

Intertwining consciousness and quantum mechanics

The hard problem of consciousness in quantum physics Towards a quantum neuroscience Protein engines of life

Neuronal ion channels and electric excitability

Dynamic timescale of individual conscious steps

Conscious perception of time and time agnosia

Reaction times and inner monologue

Quantum tunneling in synaptic communication

SNARE proteins and synaptic vesicle exocytosis

Protein α-helix structure and conformational distortions

Quantum tunneling through rectangular potential barrier

SNARE proteins and volatile anesthesia

Comparison with interactionism proposed by John Eccles

Memory storage and retrieval Research programs and conscious experiences

Verificationism and falsificationism

Theory-laden observations and shared knowledge

Bayesian inference and assessment of theories

Comparison of scientific research programs

Conscious experiences and protocol sentences

Testing the quantum information theory of consciousness

Tests for logical consistency

Tests for empirical adequacy

Tests for empirical corroboration

Tests for explanatory power

Bibliography

Glossary

Index

About the Author

Danko D. Georgiev earned his M.D. from Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria, graduating summa cum laude in 2004, and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Kanazawa University, Japan, in 2008 for his research in the area of neuronal differentiation. He has worked as an anesthesiologist at the Naval Hospital, Varna, and was also a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobiology at Kanazawa University, where he studied the molecular alterations in the cerebral cortex of subjects with schizophrenia. He held a two-year JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and was a short-term visiting scholar at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, as well as a visiting lecturer at the Biomedical Forum, Annual Program of Continuing Medical Education held at Medical University of Varna. He was then a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, where he performed cutting-edge research on the pathogenesis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Georgiev is currently a principal investigator at the Institute for Advanced Study, Varna, Bulgaria. He has published over 35 research articles, some in world-renowned journals such as the American Journal of Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Bulletin, and Journal of Neuroscience.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCI008000
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / General
SCI057000
SCIENCE / Quantum Theory
SCI089000
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Neuroscience