Symmetry 13 (5):773 (2021)

Danko D. Georgiev
Institute For Advanced Study, Varna
Identifying the physiological processes in the central nervous system that underlie our conscious experiences has been at the forefront of cognitive neuroscience. While the principles of classical physics were long found to be unaccommodating for a causally effective consciousness, the inherent indeterminism of quantum physics, together with its characteristic dichotomy between quantum states and quantum observables, provides a fertile ground for the physical modeling of consciousness. Here, we utilize the Schrödinger equation, together with the Planck-Einstein relation between energy and frequency, in order to determine the appropriate quantum dynamical timescale of conscious processes. Furthermore, with the help of a simple two-qubit toy model we illustrate the importance of non-zero interaction Hamiltonian for the generation of quantum entanglement and manifestation of observable correlations between different measurement outcomes. Employing a quantitative measure of entanglement based on Schmidt decomposition, we show that quantum evolution governed only by internal Hamiltonians for the individual quantum subsystems preserves quantum coherence of separable initial quantum states, but eliminates the possibility of any interaction and quantum entanglement. The presence of non-zero interaction Hamiltonian, however, allows for decoherence of the individual quantum subsystems along with their mutual interaction and quantum entanglement. The presented results show that quantum coherence of individual subsystems cannot be used for cognitive binding because it is a physical mechanism that leads to separability and non-interaction. In contrast, quantum interactions with their associated decoherence of individual subsystems are instrumental for dynamical changes in the quantum entanglement of the composite quantum state vector and manifested correlations of different observable outcomes. Thus, fast decoherence timescales could assist cognitive binding through quantum entanglement across extensive neural networks in the brain cortex.
Keywords brain cortex  conscious experience  quantum coherence  quantum entanglement  quantum interaction
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