Consciousness: Matter or EMF?

Personally, being a panpsychist who believes that consciousness in general is based on electromagnetic fields and their electrical and magnetic parts, I think the author fails to attribute consciousness to just a few fields: “ EMF0-TOCs generally resort to the same kind of primary defense against rampant panpsychism as neural-ToCs by insisting that some additional criterion, such as complexity, integration, anatomical location, informational processing architecture or access to working memory, is needed for consciousness. Since thoughts are informationally-rich, the complexity criterion is indeed sound: what could a single bit encoded by a single particle of matter, or EM field sine wave, possibly think? The substrate of consciousness must, at a minimum, possess sufficient complexity to encode a thought.”. He is wrong, in my opinion, because before arriving at an articulated thought there is a kind of impulse, something vital, which exists in plants and also at the unicellular level (since within a cell there are also different structures that generate complex electromagnetic fields), therefore, consciousness does not only exist in brains, those of us who meditate are clear about it, it also exists in tissues, plants, and perhaps in areas that are not purely biological, although natural… but well, there I leave the reflection.

" Conventional theories of consciousness (ToCs) that assume that the substrate of consciousness is the brain's neuronal matter fail to account for fundamental features of consciousness, such as the binding problem. Field ToC's propose that the substrate of consciousness is the brain's best accounted by some kind of field in the brain. Electromagnetic (EM) ToCs propose that the conscious field is the brain's well-known EM field. EM-ToCs were first proposed only around 20 years ago primarily to account for the experimental discovery that synchronous neuronal firing was the strongest neural correlate of consciousness (NCC). Although EM-ToCs are gaining increasing support, they remain controversial and are often ignored by neurobiologists and philosophers and passed over in most published reviews of consciousness. In this review I examine EM-ToCs against established criteria for distinguishing between ToCs and demonstrate that they outperform all conventional ToCs and provide novel insights into the nature of consciousness as well as a feasible route toward building artificial consciousnesses." {Credits 1}

" In his 1994 book “The Astonishing Hypothesis” the Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the double-helical structure of DNA, Crick (1994) argued that science was capable of tackling the problem of consciousness and proposed starting with an initial focus on identifying neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs). This programme was enthusiastically adopted by a new generation of neurobiologists who searched for NCCs amongst anatomical sites, patterns of neural firing or architecture of neural processing using EEG as well as more advanced techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) together with intracellular and extracellular recordings. One of the most surprising results to emerge from these studies was that attention and awareness tended to be associated, not with neural firing per se or the anatomical site of neural firing, but with the synchronicity of firing of multiple neurons (Gray et al., 1989; Crick and Koch, 1992; Crick, 1994). For example, work conducted by Wolf Singer and colleagues demonstrated that neurones processing visual information fired asynchronously when an animal does not attend to the stimulus, but fired synchronously when the animal attends to, and is presumed to be conscious of, the stimulus (Kreiter and Singer, 1996). Numerous subsequent studies, recently summarized (McFadden, 2020), have confirmed and extended these findings so that, even today, synchronous neural firing and the EM fields that it generates remains the best NCCs. The questions is, why?" {Credits 1}

" The combination of destructive and constructive interference thereby provides a synchronicity filter that ensures that the brain's EM field is dominated by information encoded in synchronously-firing neurons. So, whereas the matter of the brain encodes both conscious and non-conscious neuronal information, its EM field will be dominated by the much smaller stream of information encoded by synchronously-firing neurons—precisely those neurons that were identified as prime NCCs. It is a small step from this realization to the proposal that the seat of consciousness is not the matter of the brain but the equally physical yet immaterial, brain EM field generated by synchronous neuronal firing." {Credits 1}

" There are sound theoretical grounds (McFadden J., 2002) and abundant experimental evidence that neural firing rates are indeed influenced by the brain's endogenous EM field [summarized in my recent paper (McFadden, 2020)]. In the cemi field theory, that influence is proposed to be experienced as what we call our “free will,” the output of our conscious mind (McFadden, 2021c). So, in EMF1-ToCs, neurons act as both transmitters and receivers of EM field-based conscious thoughts forming the strange loop proposed by philosopher Hofstadter (1979, 2007) to be central to consciousness." {Credits 1}

" No neural-ToC provides an adequate account of how information encoded in discrete matter is integrated in the conscious mind. Classically-encoded information is only physically integrated in the energy fields generated by matter (McFadden, 2020). For example, the gravitational field that keeps our feet on the ground represents an integration of the mass of our body and that of the entire planet, despite the fact that nearly all the atoms and molecules of matter that form that field is located thousands of miles from the soles of our feet. EM-ToCs pointed out, more than 20 years ago (McFadden J., 2002; McFadden J. J., 2002), and without recourse to special states of matter, hypothetical structures or complicated mathematical functions, that the brain's EM field automatically integrates neural information into a singular non-material physical field thereby effortlessly solving the binding problem." {Credits 1}

{Credits 1} 🎪 McFadden J (2023) Consciousness: Matter or EMF? Front. Hum. Neurosci. 16:1024934. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.1024934. © 2023 McFadden. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Last modified on 28-Jan-23

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