Thursday, July 16, 2015

What music can teach about consciousness?

Recently I have been reading the book of Oliver Sacks titled "Musicophilia" dealing with various aspects of music experience. Humans as a species indeed have a very special relation to music. But is it really genuine characteristic of human consciousness? One can even ask whether consciousness emerges only in higher species or whether it could be in some form a characteric of any living or even inanimate system? I am not the only quantum consciousness theorists forced to consider panpsychism in some form. In this framework one can ask whether music like aspects of conscious experience could be universal and only especially highly developed in humans?

I restrict the consideration to those stories of Musicophilia, which I find of special interest from the point of view of TGD inspired theory of consciousness. The outcome is a more precise formulation for the general TGD inspired vision about brain based on basic ideas of quantum TGD.

Zero Energy Ontology (ZEO) implies a new view about the relation between geometric and experienced time and allowing to generalize quantum measurement theory to a theory of consciousness.

Strong form of holography implies the analog of AdS/CFT duality between 2-D representation of physics based on string world sheets and partonic 2-surfaces and 4-D space-time representations. This duality is not tautology and this inspires the idea that these two representations correspond to two modes for consciousness motivating "Left brain talks, right brain sings" metaphor.

  1. Language and music could relate to two dual representations of conscious information - local and holistic, cognitive and sensory. Discretization of function/its Fourier transform as a collection of its values at discrete set values of time/frequencies would correspond local/holistic approximations of function. In principle any conscious entity - self- could utilize these two representational modes at appropriate quantum criticality.

  2. The holistic "musical consciousness" is assignable to right brain hemisphere and according to the stories of Sacks seems to characterized by episodal sensory memories. TGD based view about memories relies on ZEO: the memories would be mental images with sensory input from geometric past, genuine sensory experiences of time reversed sub-selves! This picture simplifies considerably and one can see all memories - sensory, cognitive, or emotional - as analogs of phantom pain, which would be also a sensory memory and even more a genuine sensory experience. It is even possible that our biological bodies are used by two selves: right brain hemisphere sleeps when we are awake and vice versa. Even the experiences of epileptics about having double consciousness could be understood.

  3. A more concrete realization of "Left brain talks, right brain sings" metaphor relies on the assumption that "magneto-anatomy" is universal. Only the "magneto-physiology"> characterized by the values of heff characterizing quantum criticality and defining a kind of intelligence quotient dictating the span of long term memory and planned action varies.

    heff would differ for the magnetic bodies of various brain areas, and the spectrum of heff for right and left brain would differ and characterize their specializations. For instance, the value of heff would be large (small) for the cognitive areas of left (right) brain and small (large) for some higher sensory areas of right (left) brain. Magnetic bodies form a fractal hierarchy and one can characterize even individual cells and neurons by the value of heff associated with them. The spectrum for heff allows also to distinguish between members of the same species since it defines the skill profile. This obviously goes far beyond the genetic determinism.

See the chapter What music can teach about consciousness? of "TGD and EEG" or the article What music can teach about consciousness?


For a summary of earlier postings see Links to the latest progress in TGD.


PonderSeekDiscover said...

This is really interesting Matti. Long ago I read about an experiment conducted by DARPA to see if plants could sense the presence of other biological organisms; they wanted to see if they could use plants as advance sentries around remote military establishments. 20 + years later I met an electrical engineer in Dallas, Texas, who had actually built all of the Faraday cages for the experiment as an undergrad. He told me that plants could in fact sense other organisms and that yuccas were the best at it. He also told me that it appeared as though plants experienced empathy for the other plants. The head researcher withheld water from all of the plants until their bio-rhythms demonstrated they were under stress; he then watered some of the plants but not others. The curious thing was that the bio-rhythms of the watered plants continued to demonstrate stress and did not return to normal until after all of the plants had received sufficient water. I've tried to find that research paper but haven't had any luck thus far. I return to the project periodically . . .

With regards,
Wes Hansen said...

Very interesting findings. Seems that we have a lot to learn from plants about empathy and compasion. Cognition is fantastic tool for survival but replaces living beings with symbols representing them. This tends to isolate us from other levels in the hierarchy of consciousness. said...

The above comment gives me an excuse to write about my own feelings during last weeks while following in detail the negotiations with Greek about their debts. To put it briefly: I have been feeling deep co-shame for the behaviour of finnish negotiators. They could learn a lot from plants about empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence.

Greece is at the verge of breakdown - there is a gigantic unemployment and health care is breaking down. The reason is that EU has been punishing Greeks for five years. Media has been telling us on daily basis how lazy and inhonest greeks are and how they deserve their fate. The decision makers have been humiliating Greek negotiators and Finland has been especially eager.

There was even a special session in which the idea was to give up polite manners and openly insult the participants from Greece. Journalists in Finland have been proudly informing how our minister of finance Alexander Stubb was raging to the Greek negotiators and humiliating them. Cannot feel but deep co-shame, both for Finland and Stubb.

I believe that rather view ordinary people in Finland are as inhumane as the representatives our extreme rightist government, which is making also the life of the poorest people in Finland very difficult.