Friday, May 07, 2021

A chordate able to regenerate copies of it when dissected into 3 parts

The popular article Polycarpa mytiligera can regrow all of its organs if dissected into three pieces tells about  an extraordinary biological discovery.

The creature known as  Polycarpa mytiligera  is a marine animal commonly found in   Gulf of Eilat that is capable of regenerating its organs. The surprising discovery was that  the animal can regenerate all of its organs even when dissected into three fragments.

Such a high regenerative capacity has not been detected earlier  in a chordate animal that reproduces only by sexual reproduction. In the experiment, the researchers dissected specimens in a method that left part of the body without a nerve center, heart, and part of the digestive system. Not only did each part of the creature survive the dissection on its own, all of the organs regenerated in each of the three sections.

This is highly interesting challenge for TGD.  The information about the  full animal body  was needed for a full generation. How it was preserved in dissection? Was genetic information, as it is understood in standard biology, really enough to achieve  this? 

  1.  In TGD inspired quantum biology magnetic body (MB) carrying dark matter as h_eff/h_0=n phases is the  key notion. h_eff is an effective Planck constant defining the scale of quantum coherence. n is dimension of extension of rationals defined by a polynomial defining space-time region,  and serves  as a measure for algebraic complexity and serves as a kind of IQ. MB with high IQ defined by n serves as  the master of the biological body (BB)  controlling it and receiving information from it. The layers of MB also define  abstracted representations of BB. 
  2. If BB suffers damage, the information about BB is not lost at MB and  MB, which carries abstracted representations about BB and able to control BB, could  restore BB partially. Healing of wounds would be the basic example.  A more dramatic example about healing was discovered by Peoch:  the neurons of the  salamander brain can be shuffled like cards in a package but the animal recovers. 

    Indeed, since nothing happens to the MB of salamander or Polycarpa Mytilera,  recovery is in principle possible. The  new finding gives additional support for MB as a carrier of the biological information.

One can also make questions about  the recovery process itself. Could recovery be seen as a self-organization process of some kind? 
  1. In the TGD framework, quantum measurement theory relies on zero energy ontology (ZEO)  and solves  its  basic problem. The basic prediction is that in the TGD counterparts of ordinary state function reductions ("big" SFRs or BSFRs) time reversal takes place.  In small SFRs (SSFRs) identifiable as analogs of "weak" measurements, the arrow of time is preserved. ZEO  makes it also  possible to understand why the Universe looks classical in all scales although BSFRs occur in all scales at the dark onion-like layers of MB controlling the lower layers with ordinary biomatter at the bottom of the hierarchy.
  2.  Time reversed dissipation after BSFR looks like self-organization from the perspective of the outsider with a standard arrow of time, called it briefly O,  and would bea  basic self-organization process in living systems. In dissipation gradients disappear but in time-reversed dissipation they appear from the perspective of O.  
  3. This  makes possible also self-organized quantum criticality (SOQC), which is impossible in standard thermodynamics because criticality by definition means instability. The change of the arrow of time changes the situation from the perspective of  O  since the  time reversed  system tends to approach the criticality. Homeostasis would rely  SOQC  rather than on extremely complex  deterministic control programs as in the computerism based picture. Change the arrow of time for a subsystem and let it happen. Very Buddhist approach to healing! 
  4. The change of the arrow of time would be also central in the healing processes and also regeneration.
      For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

      Articles and other material related to TGD.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

AI research may have hit a dead end

I found a link to a very interesting article titled "Artificial intelligence research may have hit a dead end" followed by the comment "Misfired" neurons might be a brain feature, not a bug — and that's something AI research can't take into account" (see this).

Also Philip K. Dick's 1968 sci-fi novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is mentioned.  Would an intelligent robot  (if it were still a robot) dream?

AI models the brain as a deterministic computer. Computer does not dream:  it does just what  is needed to solve a highly specialized problem (just what a top  specialist does in his job;  computer is the  idol of every professional highflier). 

Computerism assumes  physicalism denying such things as genuine free will but this is not seen as a problem.  Also the mainstream  neuroscientist believes in physicalism. Some computational imperialists   even claim that physics reduces to computerism.

1. Is 95 per cent of brain activity mere noise?

What might be called neuroscience of fluctuations has however  led to a strange conclusion: 95 per cent of brain's activity and therefore metabolic energy seems to be used  to  generate fluctuations,  which in standard neuroscience represents noise.   Neuroscientists have routinely averaged out this "noise" and concentrated on the study of  what can be regarded as  motor actions and sensory input. These contributions seem to represent only ripples in a vast sea of activity.

[Amusingly, junk DNA corresponds to 95 per cent of DNA in the case of humans, as the article observes.]

By the way,  EEG is  still often regarded  as a mere noise. This  represents a similar puzzle: why the brain would use a lot of metabolic energy to send information to outer space: coding of information about contents of consciousness and brain state indeed requires a lot of metabolic energy.   To sum up, the brain seems to be diametrically opposite to a computer in the sense that spontaneous fluctuations are poison for a computer but food for the brain.

What article suggests  is that this 95 per cent could correspond to "dreaming"  that is  imagination. Ability to imagine  would give rise to intelligence rather than the property of being a dead automaton. Dreams would be freely associating cognitive fluctuations - whatever that might mean physically. Interestingly, it is mentioned that newborns dream twice as much as adults: they must learn. One can learn by imaging, not merely by doing all possible mistakes in the real world.

What can one say about these findings in the TGD framework?

2. Could fluctuations be induced by quantum fluctuations in quantum critical Universe of TGD?

Consider first the TGD interpretation of quantum fluctuations.

  1.  TGD Universe is  quantal  in all scales. Zero energy ontology (ZEO) allows to overcome the basic objection that the universe looks classical in long scales: ZEO view about quantum jumps forces the Universe to look classical for  the outsider. The experiments of Minev et al indeed demonstrated this concretely.
  2. TGD Universe is also quantum critical in all scales. Quantum criticality means that the system is maximally complex  and sensitive  for perturbations. Complexity means that the system is ideal for representing the  external world via sensory inputs. By criticality implying maximal sensitivity it is also an ideal sensory receptor  and motor instrument.
  3. The basic characteristic of criticality are long range fluctuations. They are not random noise but highly correlated.  Could the fluctuation in  the brain correspond to quantum fluctuations. 
 Long range quantum fluctuations are not possible for the ordinary value of  Planck constant.  
  1. Number theoretical view about TGD, generalizing ordinary physics of sensory experience to the physics of both sensory experience and cognition, leads to the prediction that there is infinite hierarchy of phases of ordinary matter  identifiable as dark matter and labelled by the values of effective Planck constant heff= nh0, n is dimension for an extension of rationals defined by a polynomial determining space-time region.
  2. The value of n serves as a measure for complexity and therefore defines a kind of IQ. The longer the scale of quantum fluctuations, the higher the value of n, and the larger the heff, and the longer the scale of quantum coherence. Fluctuations would make  the brain intelligent. Their  absence would make the brain a complete idiot - an ideal computer.
  3. The higher the value of heff, the larger the energy of  the particle when other parameters are kept as constant. This means that intelligence requires metabolic energy feed to increase heff and keep its values the same, since heff tends to be spontaneously reduced.
One can however argue that since the brain consists of ordinary matter,  brain fluctuations cannot be quantal. 
  1. In TGD they would be induced by quantum fluctuations at the level of  the magnetic body (MB) having a hierarchical onion-like structure. The dark matter would be ordinary particles with heff=nh0 at MB and since heff/h0 serves as a measure of IQ it would be higher for dark matter than for ordinary biomatter. MB containing dark matter would be the "boss" controlling the biological body (BB).  
  2. The quantum coherence of MB would force ordinary coherence of ordinary biomatter as a forced coherence. Ordinary matter would be like soldiers  obeying the  orders and in this manner behaving apparently like a larger coherent unit.
MB would receive sensory input from BB and control it by using EEG realizes as dark photons. This would explain EEG and its probably existing scaled  variants.

3. TGD view about sensory perception, motor actions, and dreaming and imagination

The proposal of the article was that most of the brain activity goes to "dreaming". Dreaming, hallucinations,  and imagination are poorly understood notions in neuroscience.  TGD provides a rather detailed view about these notions.

  1. What  distinguishes TGD from neuroscience is that sensory receptors are assumed to serve as carriers of sensory percepts. Zero energy ontology (ZEO)  providing a new view about time and memory makes it possible  to solve the basic objections related to  the phantom limb phenomenon: pain in  the phantom limb would be sensory memory.   
  2. The assumption that sensory percepts are artworks rather than passive records  of sensory input   requires virtual sensory input from brain to sensory organs and build-up of the final  percept by  pattern recognition -  an iterative procedure involving very many forth-and back signals. Nerve pulse transmission is quite too slow a process to allow this and signals propagating with maximal signal velocity are suggestive.
  3.  Nerve pulses and neurotransmitters  would not represent real communication but give rise to  temporary intra-brain communication lines along which communications as dark photon signals would take place with maximal signal velocity using dark photons  (characterized by heff/h0=n) transforming to biophotons in an  energy conserving manner. 

    Neurotransmitters and also other  information molecules (hormones, messengers) attached to receptors would serve as bridges fusing  permanent but disjoint communication lines along axons to a connected temporary communication line for dark photons to propagate.  Nerve pulses would also generate generalized Josephson radiation allowing communications   between biological body (BB) and magnetic body (MB) using EEG.  Meridian system could be a permanently connected system of communication lines.

    This picture leads to a concrete  proposal about the roles of  DMT and pineal gland  concerning imagination and dreams and hallucinations. 

Returning to the original topic,  the natural question is following: How large fraction  of the 95 percent of brain activity goes to  feedback not present in the brain of the standard neuroscience? This would include  the construction of the feedback to sensory organs as  virtual sensory inputs to build standardized mental images. Dreams are a special case of this. There  is  also the virtual sensory input which does not reach sensory organs and gives rise to imagination, in particular internal speech.

 Similar picture applies to virtual  motor input and the construction of motor output as "standardized motor patterns" - this notion makes sense only in ZEO.  Note that the feedback loop could extend from brain to MB. 

There is also an interesting finding related to motor activities. In the experiments made for rats it is found that the spontaneous brain activity increases dramatically as the rat moves. This brings in mind a lecturer who moves forth and back  as he talks. This rhythmic motion could give rise to a brain/body rhythm  coupling the lecturer to a layer of MB with large heff. Its   quantum coherence of MB would induce ordinary coherence of BB in body scale and with large heff and raise the "IQ" of the lecture.  Thinking requires motion!

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD. 

The notion of holography in TGD framework

Thanks to Bob Tang for the link to Sabine Hossenfelder's article about holography. I will not comment about the content of the link but about TGD view of holography.

What "Universe as a hologram" does really mean must be first defined. In pop physics this notion has remained very loose. In the following I summarize the TGD based view about what holography means in the geometric sense.

In TGD 3-D surfaces are basic objects and replace 3-space. Holography is not a new principle but reduces to general coordinate invariance.

1. "Ordinary" holography

General coordinate invariance in 4-D sense requires that they correspond to single 4-D surface-space-time - at which general coordinate transformations act. Space-time surface is like Bohr orbit, preferred extremal for the action defining the space-time surface.

This is nothing but holography in standard sense and leads to zero energy ontology (ZEO) meaning that quantum states are superpositions of 3-surfaces or equivalently, of 4-D surfaces.

[The alternative to ZEO would be path integral approach, which is mathematically ill-defined and makes no sense in TGD framework due to horrible divergence difficulties.]

ZEO has profound implications for quantum theory itself and solves the measurement problem and also implies that the arrow of time changes in "big" (ordinary) state function reductions as opposed to "small" SFRs ("weak" measurements). Also the question at which length scale quantum behavior transforms to classical, becomes obsolete.

2. Strong form of holography (SH)

Besides space-time-like 3-surfaces at the boundaries of causal diamond CD serving as ends of space-time surface (initial value problem) there are light-like surfaces at which the signatures of the metric changes from Minkowskian to Euclidian (boundary value problem). Euclidian regions correspond to fundamental particles from which elementary particles are made of.

If either space-like or light-like 3-surfaces are assumed to be enough as data for holography (initial value problem is equivalent with boundary value problem), the conclusion is that their interactions as partonic 2-surfaces are enough as data. This would give rise to a strong form of holography, SH.

Intuitive arguments suggest several alternative mathematical realizations for the holography for space-time surfaces in H=M4×CP2. They should be equivalent.

  1. Space-time surfaces are extremals of both volume action (minimal surfaces) having interpretation in terms of length scale dependent cosmological constant and of Kähler action. This double extremal property reduces the conditions to purely algebraic ones with no dependence on coupling parameters. This corresponds to the universality of quantum critical dynamics. Space-time surfaces are analogs of complex sub-manifolds of complex imbedding space.
  2. Second realization is in terms of analogs of Kac-Moody and Virasoro gauge conditions for a sub-algebra of super-symplectic algebra (SSA) isomorphic with the entire SSA and acting as isometries of the "world of classical worlds" (WCW). SSA has non-negative conformal weights and generalizes Kac-Moody algebras in that there are two variables instead of single complex z coordinate: the complex coordinate z of sphere S2(to which light-one boundary reduces metrically) and light-like radial coordinate r of the light-cone boundary. Also the Kac-Moody type algebra assignable to isometries of H at light-like partonic orbits involve the counterparts of z and r. A huge generalization of symmetries of string theory is in question.

3. Number theoretic holography

M8-H duality leads to number theoretic holography, which is even more powerful than SH.

  1. In complexified M8 - complexified octonions - space-time surface would be "roots" of octonionic polynomials guaranteeing that the normal space of space-time surface is associative/quaternionic. Associativity in this sense would fix the dynamics. These surfaces would be algebraic whereas at the level of H surfaces satisfy partial differential equations reducing to algebraic equations due to the complex surface analogy.
  2. M8 would be analogous to momentum space and space-time surface in it analogous to Fermi ball. M8-H duality would generalize the q-p duality of wave mechanics having no generalization in quantum field theories and string models.
  3. M8-H duality would map the 4-surfaces in M8 to H=M4× CP2. Given region of space-time surface would be determined by the coefficients of a rational polynomial. Number theoretic holography would reduce the data to a finite number rational numbers - or n points of the space-time region (n is the degree of the polynomial). The polynomials would give rise to an evolutionary hierarchy with n as a measure for complexity and having interpretations in terms of effective Planck constant heff/h0=n.
For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

Articles and other material related to TGD.