The conjecture has been that these patterns correspond to standing waves so that the brain would be analogous to a resonance chamber in which waves propagate and are reflected to form standing wave patterns. Standing wave character implies that the patterns are oscillating. The recent studies made by using fast functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), published in Nature Communications, show that this is the case.
What has been demonstrated by researchers at the Champalimaud Foundation and the University of Minho, in Portugal, are analogues of standing waves associated with brain activity (see this). These findings leave a lot of interpretational freedom since the effects are seen in neural activity. The proposal is that standing waves are caused by reflections of say electromagnetic, acoustic waves, or chemical waves inside the brain.
The crucial question is how a coherence of these waves in the brain scale is possible. In the biology-as-nothing-but-chemistry approach, coherence in the scale of organisms looks mysterious. Could electromagnetic fields help? The standard view is that EEG is a side effect created by the brain and one encounters the problem of how biochemistry with a coherence length of order of molecular scale can induce coherence in the brain scale. The coherence of nerve pulses patterns remains a similar mystery.
The description of the resonance patterns brings to mind the TGD view of the brain and body.
- In TGD (see this), Maxwellian and also other gauge fields are geometrized as induced gauge fields and are not primary fields.
- The new view of space-time as a 4-dimensional surface in certain 8-D spacetime (H=M4× CP2) implies that the electric and magnetic fields of a system correspond to what I call magnetic and electric bodies (MB and EB). Radiation fields correspond to massless extremals or topological light rays (see this and this). All these are well-defined geometric structures, 4-dimensional surfaces in H. These bodies are in some respects very much like the ordinary biological body (BB). They have various kinds of motor actions for instance. For instance, the variation of the flux tube thickness induces a variation of the cyclotron frequency associated with it. The scale of MB can be much larger than that of BB and this makes possible macroscopic or even astroscopic quantum coherence at them.
- Magnetic body (MB) has an onion-like hierarchical structure with flux tubes within flux tubes within...., which carry dark matter, which in TGD corresponds to phases of ordinary with effective Planck constant heff= nh0. When its value is large, there is quantum coherence in long scales typically proportional to heff. heff also measures algebraic complexity of the space-time surface and serves as a kind of IQ.
- MB at a given level of hierarchy serves as a boss controlling the lower levels down to the level of ordinary biomatter, the biological body. One can say that the roles of fields and chemistry have changed.
MB receives sensory data from the brain coded to the modulation Josephson frequency assignable to neuronal and also ordinary cell membranes. Josephson radiation induces a sequence of cyclotron resonances at MB, and this in turn a sequence of pulses as a response as the excited states return back to the original state.
This feedback signal induces a sequence of pulses of cyclotron radiation controlling the biological body. This feedback from MB might induce sequences of nerve pulses from sensory receptors to the brain to the higher levels of MB producing in turn feedback inducing motor responses.
- The quantum coherence of MB induces ordinary coherence at the level of BB. The coherently oscillating regions of the brain consisting of functionally similar neurons would communicate to and be controlled by the regions of MB and would be fixed as the article tells. Brain would be a collection of oscillating regions driven by parts of MB characterized by cyclotron frequencies of the flux tubes. EEG resonances would correspond to the cyclotron frequencies and the variation of flux tube thickness as one particular motor action of MB could modulate the cyclotron frequencies.
- Pathological situations would emerge when sensory communications to some parts of MB or the control from some parts of MB fail. Some flux tubes might not have a correct thickness (magnetic field) and could get out of resonance and sensory input and control would fail. MB might even lack some body parts.
- With an inspiration coming from the work of Michael Levin's group (see this, this and this), TGD leads to the proposal that the waves of membrane potentials play a key role also in ordinary biology.
- Also the findings of Prakash et al (see this, this this), related to the "brainy" behavior of simple multicellulars inspired in the TGD framework to the proposal that there exist analogues of nerve pulse patterns in mV range propagating along the gap junction connected complexes of also ordinary cells (see this).
- Also the findings of Andrew Adamatsky (see this) about electric communications of sponges support the existence of waves with amplitudes in meV range (see this).
- Effective standing waves are however possible in the sense that test particle interacts with a superposition of waves associated with different space-time sheets which are extremely near to each other with distance which is smaller than the particle size (CP2 scale of about 10-31 meters) of the same amplitude propagating to opposite direction creating a standing wave and effectively experiences standing wave. Only effects superpose. Only the superposition of effects is observed but this led to Maxwell electrodynamics, which assumes that the superposition of effects corresponds to a superposition of fields.
- Superposition of induced fields is not possible in TGD except for the field patterns associated with the massless extremals (see this and this) having 4-D wave vectors with the same direction and therefore propagating without dispersion and being precisely targeted. The effective standing waves require at least 2 space-time sheets.
- Standing waves would represent coherence in the scale of the brain. TGD predicts that biological coherence quite generally is induced by dark matter as heff>h phases at the magnetic body (MB) of the system. Could the changes of brain activity be a localized coherent outcome of quantum control by the MB on selected brain regions characterized by EEG resonance frequency between MB and brain. Functionally similar neurons would feed "sensory" input to a given region of MB at a characteristic resonance frequency and receive feedback at the same frequency.