Advertisement

A Physically Grounded Theory of Mind-Body Interaction

  • Kathryn Blackmond LaskeyEmail author
Short Communication

Abstract

The classical materialist worldview of mainstream cognitive science leads to a conception of our minds as passive spectators watching our bodies execute their built-in programs. Yet this view seems to conflict with our experience of free will. Henry Stapp has long argued that quantum theory provides the basis for a theory of conscious agents possessing free will. This paper presents an account of how quantum theory may be employed by the brain to effect conscious volitional behavior. A path to empirically evaluating the theory is discussed.

Keywords

Consciousness Free will Quantum theory Agency 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank the MattersOfMind discussion group for helping me to refine the ideas presented in this paper. I am especially grateful to Henry Stapp for years of patient explanations and invigorating discussions without which this paper would not have been possible.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares she has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Altenmüller, T. P., & Schenzle, A. (1993). Dynamics by measurement: Aharonov’s inverse quantum Zeno effect. Physical Review A: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 48(1), 70–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumeister, R. F., & Brewer, L. E. (2012). Believing versus disbelieving in free will: correlates and consequences. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6(10), 736–745.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2012.00458.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cataldi, M., Perez-Reyes, E., & Tsien, R. W. (2002). Differences in apparent pore sizes of low and high voltage-activated Ca2+ channels. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(48), 45969–45976.  https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M203922200.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cave, S. (2016). There’s no such thing as free will. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/theres-no-such-thing-as-free-will/480750/. Accessed 22 Aug 2018.
  5. Dehaene, S. (2014). Consciousness and the brain: deciphering how the brain codes our thoughts. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  6. Fröhlich, F., & McCormick, D. A. (2010). Endogenous electric fields may guide neocortical network activity. Neuron, 67(1), 129–143.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06.005.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. James, W. (1961). Psychology, the briefer course. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  8. Laskey, K. B. (2018). Acting in the world: a physical model of free choice. Journal of Cognitive Science, 19(2), 125–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McFadden, J. (2013). The CEMI field theory closing the loop. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(1–2), 1–2.Google Scholar
  10. Misra, B., & Sudarshan, E. C. G. (1977). The Zeno’s paradox in quantum theory. Journal of Mathematical Physics, 18, 756–763.  https://doi.org/10.1063/1.523304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Patil, Y. S., Chakram, S., & Vengalattore, M. (2015). Measurement-induced localization of an ultracold lattice gas. Physical Review Letters, 115(14), 140402.  https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.140402.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Pockett, S. (2000). The nature of consciousness: a hypothesis. San Jose: iUniverse.Google Scholar
  13. Russell, S., & Norvig, P. (2009). Artificial intelligence: a modern approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  14. Schwartz, J. M., Stapp, H. P., & Beauregard, M. (2005). Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a new model with respect to mind/brain interaction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 360(1458), 1309–1327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Stapp, H. P. (2017). Quantum theory and free will: how mental intentions translate into bodily actions (1st ed.). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. von Neumann, J. (1955). Mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Original work published 1932).Google Scholar
  17. Walter, H. (2001). Neurophilosophy of free will: from libertarian illusions to a concept of natural autonomy. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Neuroscientia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Systems Engineering and Operations Research DepartmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

Personalised recommendations