Sunday, September 12, 2010

An alternate, pre-neuronal scientific trial theory of consciousness

Executive Summary:  Imagine consciousness as a single internal analog language made of ordered water forged during respiration in concert with experience.

Imagine you are walking along a path and a question comes to mind: "What do you get when you build a tetrahedron out of magnets?"  You mull it over for a few moments, maybe you make some simple arrow-type sketches using a pencil and paper.  And then, depending on your predilections, educational exposure, interests and pattern recognition abilities you either go on about your regular business or
else you start asking related questions and  making  lists and noticing connections.

Assuming one takes to the analytical route, which may certainly seem like a huge waste of time to other types of people,  oddly enough though, the model or artifact begins rapidly generating  a fairly large set of intriguing  pattern recognition 'hits'. (See: ) That is, there are five ways to align four rod magnets along the radii of a tetrahedron. The thing itself has five  states which differ from one another by increments of
one-half spin of the magnets.  Two 'isomers' or states are completely repulsive at the center (n4, s4) and one state is  attractive and stable (n2s2). That is, it sticks together pretty well.  Then there are two states that are intermediate in stability -- more repulsive that attractive (n3s, s3n).   But, look a little closer. Or I should say, *feel* a little closer.   The repulsive and intermediate duals,  look and feel the same but there are real differences between each dual states. The difference is largely mental, or only emerges when one probes to "take a measurement" or completes an observation (linking to whether an particular magnet end is "north" or "south" relative to the enfolding field.

Even the terminology of this description takes a strange, naturally quantum mechanical turn where combining structure and duality yields systems of states, one-half spins, and reductive influence of observation.    Is this only due to the fact that permanent magnets only have a quantum mechanical description? 

In any event, pressing forward in a simple way,  the structural coding patterns on the five primary states of a magnetic tetrahedron, when idealized as vector arrow diagrams have the same patterns as  the five possible Debye electro-negativity vector diagrams of the so-called sp3-hybridized molecular  bonding patterns dominating organic chemistry.  That is, the five attraction-repulsion patterns of the magnetic tetrahedron model the structured duality patterns of water, ammonia and amines (proteins), and a huge fraction of organic carbon compounds as well as the silicates that make up the Earth's crust and mantle.  So, asking and answering one   question leads to one artifact having five states that mirror the five  structured duality states of  a quite literally HUGE volumetric and  numeric fraction of the space elements making up Earth, the oceans,  and all materials and  reactions involving water, plus the proteins, carbohydrates and lipids coursing through the carbon cycles.  All these riches spill forth from aligning four magnets along the radii of a tetrahedron.

We can go a bit further and consider compressing four hydrogen atoms toward a central point which then vibrate in a similar tetrahedral pattern. Out pops electromagnetic radiation which powers photosynthetic storage of energy in patterns CHO (structured carbon, hydrogen, oxygen) packets while splitting water molecules, while then there is the complimentary echo or  resonance state reaction occurring in associated  respiration reactions.

All imaged just in the one multiple-state model.

 Focusing inward, looking at the respiration reaction where organics combine with oxygen to transform in carbon dioxide, water and some energy flow,   the general consensus is that the water molecules are  tetrahedral or often tetrahedral-like having two plus and two minus vertices.  Drawing the connection back to the n2s2  magnetic tetrahedron and accepting that respiration forms water molecules within SOME enfolding structure, perhaps an enzyme or other organic channel, having previously looked at the generation of secondary structural isomers from adding or nesting  a layer of structure on the primary isomers of the magnetic tetrahedron,  it is simple to notice that  each n2s2-like water molecule that forms in a respiration reaction can do so, or first orient in one of at least six states.    Since one can form  or orient between six states, the next water molecule that forms  can select between the six possible states and so on.  Similarly, adjacent respiration sites in near and far-distant cells are forging together sequences of the six structurally  coded states.  This leads us to an awareness in the respiration reaction of a 6^n internal analog math.   That is, a sequence of n-water molecules forming at one respiration site can form in 6^n different ways. For n=6, the outcome of 6^6 is 46,656.   For n=12,   the outcome of 6^n  is around 2 billion different  patterns, all packed in just 12 water molecules. Most readers may quickly see a similarly between the more advanced  6^n multiple-state system in the  biological world compared with the familiar digital 2^n boolean math used in our (mostly silicon-based) Linux, Mac, and MS-Window guided  computer science devices.

Then comes the question of whether the  many-body related rule in physics actually applies at or near the scale range of newly forming molecules.  If it does, if "everything effects everything else",  then as we live and breathe, the vibrations from our surroundings influence the selection of which of the six states of water molecules thereby inducing or forming an internal analog math representation in what I will call the "ordered water" or  "water structural coded" layer  within our living cells.   Mind you, this is all very subtle and delicate and the likelihood  of measuring  without altering patterns seems remote.  However, all of the visualization and description, besides fitting in a very small, simple footprint,  holds together quite well.

In any event, when one opts to  consider the possibility that vibrations from surrounding influence the sequences of water molecules formed at respiration sites then repetitions of a similar signal, naturally would generate a similarly structurally coded internal representation.  And notice that this structural coding representation is occurring "on-the-fly", rather silently, prior to and, in fact, energetically up-gradient from all of the familiar but secondary neural, synaptic and dendritic activities which neuro-science practioners mmeasure, record and discuss.    So, we sort of end up with moving "inside" a neuron and acquiring an alternate internal "pre-neuronal" analog representational system.    Thus, while the neuro-scientific practitioners dig down through the debris and are mesmerized by the fire-fly-like displays amid the synaptic discharges, and therein, generally shrug their shoulders on Libet's delay, or on developing their storyline to a  deeper   level fitting with more of the facts,  shifting over to a new structural coding and underlying general principle rapidly yields a wildly coherent model of consciousness where in there is a "silent" primary level of activity that forms repeating  internal representations as a sidebar of life-supporting respiration, and this primary level of  function also supplies  energy flow  observed in in the secondary neuron-synaptic displays.  From this vantage point,  Libet's delay showing "decision-making" occurring 500 msec ahead of  brain activity or synaptic discharge, is good evidence for the "decision-making" occurring in the primary structural coding, followed by secondary functions in synaptic discharge.   No need, except erroneous understanding, to propose "reverse time-flow" or other fanciful proposals.

Similarly, consider the functionality of  "brain dead" people, some instances of hydrocephalus, or human reactions which have no associable, repeatable synaptic displays.   Clearly, the neuron-only, synaptic neural networking trial theory leaves much unexplained or mis-explained. 

Alternatively, having discerned such a heretofore undisclosed pre-neuron representational system, I suppose one could merely assign it the label, "the unconscious" and continue on with one's studies.  These issues may sort out later. 

Returning to the central theme of this post, it turns out that each person consumes about 160 kilograms of oxygen per year and taking Avogadro's number into account that  means that each of us are forming about 10^20 water molecules per second  distributed throughout our respiration sites. With a large fraction of oxygen consumption happening in our brains, a lot of water structural coding  IS going on in our  neurons.   So, we have the 10^20 water molecules per second forming within in this 6^n internal analog math all occurring concurrently with our experience .  If we entertain the new notion that this structural coding occurs then another thing that emerges is  packets of coded water molecules  are also packets of hydrogen bonding and everyone who studies a little bit of chemistry knows or discovers that hydrogen bonding plays huge and important roles throughout "chemistry and biochemistry".  So theoretically, or potentially, here we have this respiration-coupled representational system generating coded packets of hydrogen bonding within and near by to hydrogen-bonding-sensitive organic molecules.  So this gets us very close coupling between  environmental influences and reactions in the forms of influences on protein formation and on protein folding.  That is,  structurally coded water packets form due to , various instances of protein folding can result. Protein folding is another term for motility, speech and other forms of  expression so the new  primary internal analog math system is nicely  coupled, very naturally, with all of human expression.

In this way, one may also  begin to consider other connections and relationships.

Best regards

Ralph Frost    September 12, 2010

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