DOI: 10.14704/nq.2012.10.2.544

Physical Foundations of Consciousness: Variable Width Synapses

Charles Trevor Ross, Shirley F. Redpath


The many facets of consciousness divide into two distinct categories. First: the organisational state of the neural networks at any one time, which determines whether a person is conscious – awake, or unconscious – asleep. Second; the processes, or traffic of electrical signals across these networks that accounts for the experiences of conscious awareness. This paper addresses the former; namely, how the state of the billions of neural networks and the trillions of additional axons, dendrites and synapses varies over the daily cycle - what physically changes when we go to sleep – what happens in our brain as we wake up? Synapses play a major role in the operation of the brain. We submit that the widths of synaptic clefts are not fixed, but are variable, and that this variable tension across the synapses is the neural correlate of consciousness. Various experiments are suggested to explore this hypothesis.

NeuroQuantology | June 2012 | Volume 10 | Issue 2 | Page 268-275


Consciousness; Awakening; Synapses; Variable Width; Synaptic Tension.

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