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There are unanswered questions about human achievement and thought.

Take for example the dream state that creates books, music, new geographies, not from memory but, as it seems at the time, somewhere else. However you view human’s abilities, and especially if you consider the fundamental physical limitation of the brain there seems no simple explanation for the ‘geniuses’. Consider the achievements of people like Einstein, Newton, Ramanujan and the other great mathematicians, Beethoven et al, the great writers, autistic people and other gifted people with extraordinary mental abilities. Their repeatable achievements seem quite impossible to the rest of us. Yet we know that these people have similar physical brains, so perhaps there is a quantum effect providing these astonishing feats? Historically a few individuals have enhanced our overall abilities in ways that are difficult to underestimate. Moving from sailing ships and horse and carts to satellite communications and ballistic rockets in just a handful of generations could we have achieved this without these few geniuses?

We think we know that quantum effects are indeed real. The standard classroom double slit experiment, where a single photon travels to two destinations simultaneously, (provided you are not looking), gives a simple yet fundamental understanding that one photon can be in two places at once. Quantum computers have already demonstrated that this ability – for small ‘things’ like photons and electrons – that they can indeed be in many states at once. Schrödinger’s cat is both alive and dead until we open the box, in fact quantum theory tells us his cat is in all states between alive and dead simultaneously.

Perhaps the brain is using this ‘quantum technology’ to create all possible states within the brains basic building blocks of thought, (neurons, or bits of neurons). Nature has found many ways around physical difficulties. It is not inconceivable that is has harnessed quantum mechanics to enhance the brains potential. For humans, the only animal to continually improve their environment by through technical change, perhaps this quantum effect was particularly useful to further this cause and would therefore be naturally selected in some individuals. It would make a lot of sense to have a few ‘amazing’ thinkers within a society, as these few individuals, like Einstein have made prodigious leaps in creating the basis for new technologies.

Does this mean that we may all have such latent talent or abilities? Lets takes dreaming as a thought experiment. Perhaps when we dream, the brain enters this quantum world. Consider some neurons being in a quantum state. These would be a reservoir of ‘all possible ideas’. Another part of the brain holds/maps the equivalent of real world experiences. In ‘rem’ sleep perhaps the brain co-ordinates the quantum brain and the existing brain ‘real experience map’ to create fundamentally new experiences.

Consider how this might be achieved, (total conjecture as we have no idea of what the brain does anyway). Slow rem sleep waves in the brain allow the quantum effect to be utilised. Part of the brain is used as a ‘recorder’ with the quantum brain throwing up many alternative states, the ‘best’ ones that have some semblance to experienced reality are kept (by selection against the existing map), what we feel/see/smell/hear is then put down as a recoding and immediately played back to our sensory brain creating the ‘dream’. Now, as ‘lucid dreamers’ know, the amazing ability of the brain to create completely new environments and situations, (in HD Technicolor), is breathtaking.

Dreams often leave us with a sense of being somewhere else, another dimension, and sometimes they are totally unexplainable, even to ourselves, the dreamer, once we wake, (although made perfect sense when we were asleep). These ‘effects’ would make complete sense if we were using part of the brain in a quantum state. The ‘other dimension’ outcome would really be a view from another dimension, as quantum mechanics tells us that this is possible, (at least within string theory).

Does this fit also to what we are learning about creative thinking, music and meditation? If we promote the brains ability to drop into this quantum world by slowing the brains wave patterns, (alpha or beta for meditation), the creative ideas or feeling of the ‘out of body’ experience are inherent within this quantum world. Perhaps our brains are tapping the different dimensions of quantum reality and liaising with our conscious mind. Is this where we get our most insightful thoughts – perhaps they exist all along in the quantum world and we are summoning them up when they match our problem?

If there is some potential truth in these musings, then we should be able to form experiments to test. The first may be just a simple ‘look and see’ into the thought process when a person is dreaming – this should stop the quantum effect and thus change the ability to continue the dream. Perhaps we can highlight areas of the brain that may be being used quantumly. If the brain does work in this quantum fashion – well then we have a built-in quantum processor – no need for CERN et al, we can do it in our heads. We just need to figure out how to harness it. Perhaps we can conquer the universe after all? And how many other species have done it already?

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The Quantum Brain


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