Neural Correlate of Consciousness in a Single Electron: Radical Answer to “Quantum Theories of Consciousness”
Victor Yu. Argonov
In recent years, so-called “quantum theories of consciousness” become popular. Most of them suggest that human phenomenal consciousness (and “self”) may be associated with macroscopic collective quantum phenomenon such as Bose-Einstein condensate. Macroscopic quantum system behaves, in some sense, like a single huge super-particle, and this seem to solve the problem of the unity of consciousness. These ideas are, however, not in a good agreement with contemporary physics. The ability of “quantum theories of consciousness” to explain correctly the unity of consciousness also seems questionable to some authors. In this paper we suggest a radical alternative: we argue that human consciousness may be a property of single electron in the brain. We suppose that each electron in the universe has at least primitive consciousness. Each electron subjectively “observes” its quantum dynamics (energy, momentum, “shape” of wave function) in the form of sensations and other mental phenomena. However, some electrons in neural cells have complex “human” consciousnesses due to complex quantum dynamics in complex organic environment. We discuss neurophysiological and physical aspects of this hypothesis and show that: (1) single chemically active electron has enough informational capacity to “contain” the richness of human subjective experience; (2) quantum states of some electrons might be directly influenced by human sensory data and have direct influence upon human behavior in real brain; (3) main physical and philosophical drawbacks of “conventional” “quantum theories of consciousness” may be solved by our hypothesis without much changes in their conceptual basis. We do not suggest any “new physics”, and our neuroscientific assumptions are similar to those used by other proponents of “quantum consciousness”. However, our hypothesis suggests radical changes in our view on human and physical reality.