DOI: 10.14704/nq.2015.13.3.866

On Some Explanations and Analysis of the Basic Foundations of Quantum Cognition: Comments on a paper by Pothos, Busemeyer and Trueblood

Elio Conte


The aim of such paper is to explain in detail the foundations of quantum cognition and to evidence the manner in which our pioneering experiments on quantum interference in humans should be correctly interpreted in the framework of a correct quantum mechanical elaboration. Often, studies on quantum cognition are elaborated from some authors evidencing that presently we have empirical evidence that the application of quantum rules gives better results respect to classical ones. Consequently, such studies are delineated as empirical tentative. It is not true. Quantum cognition is a scientific realization structured about robust quantum foundations and this is the reason because it gives such important results. Consequently, we discuss the evidence to correctly explain the foundations of this emerging discipline. In order to reach this objective we analyze the fundamental role of the abstract entity that is called quantum mechanical wave function. Soon after we describe the manner in which quantum operators must be entered in cognition studies by using the projectors that represent logic statements and thus relate directly our cognitive functions. We also discuss in detail the logical origins of quantum mechanics outlining that it does not represent a physical theory looking at the matter at microscopic level but a God Giano two faces looking simultaneously to material and to mental reality. We also discuss results establishing the nature of our consciousness and the unquestionable result that it obeys to the basic rules of quantum mechanics. We also give a further and pressing indication: in quantum cognition studies the quantum wave function must be intended as reconstructed experimentally a posteriori in our cognitive studies and cannot be confused with the standard examining elaboration that is used in usual textbooks of quantum mechanics. Also the question of the order effect is analyzed in detail using the important notion of reaction time of psychology. In substance, we give a total reformulation of the current quantum cognition studies evidencing that previous elaborations finalized to present the current status of this discipline as empirical tentative to characterize a quantum cognitive modelling result to be only approximate, incorrect and confusing prospects that damage the information about the robust structure of quantum cognition and therefore need to be rejected.


quantum cognition; quantum mechanics; cognition; quantum cognitive models

Full Text:

Full Text PDF


Conte E. Exploration of biological function by quantum mechanics using biquaternions. In: Le Concept d'organisation en Cybernétique. Namur, 22-27 Agosto 1983, p. 16-23, Namur: Association Internationale de Cybernètique, 1983.

Conte E, Todarello O, Federici A, Vitiello F, Lopane M, Khrennikov AY. A preliminary evidence of quantum like behaviour in measurements of mental states. In: Quantum Theory: reconsideration of foundations - 2. Vaxjo, Sweden, p. 679-702, VAXJO: Vaxjo University Press, 2004.

Conte E, Pierri G, Mendolicchio L, Khrennikov AY, Zbilut JP. On some detailed examples of quantum like structures containing quantum potential states in the sphere of biological dynamics. In: Cornell University Library (physics) arXiv:physics/0608236, 2006.

Conte E, Khrennikov AY, Zbilut JP. The transition from ontic potentiality to actualization of states in quantum mechanical approach to reality: The Proof of a Mathematical Theorem to Support It. In: Cornell University Library (quant-phys) arXiv:quant-ph/0607196, 2006.

Conte E, Todarello O, Federici A, Vitiello F, Lopane M, Khrennikov AY, Zbilut JP. Some remarks on an experiment suggesting quantum-like behavior of cognitive entities and formulation of an abstract quantum mechanical formalism to describe cognitive entity and its dynamics. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 2007; 31: 1076-88. doi: 10.1016/j.chaos.2005.09.061.

Conte E, Khrennikov A, Todarello O, Federici A, Zbilut JP. A Preliminary Experimental Verification on the Possibility of Bell Inequality Violation in Mental States. NeuroQuantology 2008b; 6: 214-21.

Conte E. Testing Quantum Consciousness. NeuroQuantology 2008c; 6: 126-39.

Conte E, Khrennikov AY, Todarello O, Federici A, Mendolicchio L, Zbilut JP. Mental States Follow Quantum Mechanics During Perception and Cognition of Ambiguous Figures. Open Systems & Information Dynamics 2009; 16: 1-17.

Conte E. A Brief Note on Time Evolution of Quantum Wave Function and of Quantum Probabilities during Perception and Cognition of Human Subjects. NeuroQuantology 2009; 7: 435-48.

Conte E, Khrennikov A, Todarello O, Federici A, Zbilut JP. On the Existence of Quantum Wave Function and Quantum Interference Effects in Mental States: An Experimental Confirmation during Perception and Cognition in Humans. NeuroQuantology 2009; 7: 204-12.

Conte E, Todarello O, Laterza V, Khrennikov Ay, Mendolicchio L, Federici A. A Preliminary Experimental Verification of Violation of Bell inequality in a Quantum Model of Jung Theory of Personality Formulated with Clifford Algebra. Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 2010; 1: 831-49.

Conte E. On the Possibility That We Think in a Quantum Probabilistic Manner. NeuroQuantology 2010; 8: 3-47.

Conte E. On the Logical Origins of Quantum Mechanics Demonstrated By Using Clifford Algebra. NeuroQuantology 2011; 9: 231-42.

Conte E, Altamura M, De Salvia M, Federici A, Bellomo A, Zbilut JP. On a New Form of Chaos Based on Deterministic Chaos plus Added Quantum Mechanical Components: The Perspectives of Application in Cognitive Processes in Psychology. Chaos and Complexity Letters 2011; 5: 27-59.

Conte E. On the Logical Origins of Quantum Mechanics Demonstrated By Using Clifford Algebra: A Proof that Quantum Interference Arises in a Clifford Algebraic Formulation of Quantum Mechanics. Electronic Journal of Theoretical Physics 2011b; 8: 109-26.

Conte E, Khrennikov AY, Todarello O, De Robertis R, Federici A, Zbilut JP. On the Possibility That We Think in a Quantum Mechanical Manner: An Experimental Verification of Existing Quantum Interference Effects In Cognitive Anomaly of Conjunction Fallacy. Chaos and Complexity Letters 2011c; 4: 123-36.

Conte E. An Investigation on the Basic Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics by Using the Clifford Algebra. Adv Studies Theor Phys 2011b; 5(11): 485–544.

Conte E, Santacroce N, Laterza V, Conte S, Federici A, Todarello O. The Brain Knows More than It Admits: a Quantum Model and its Experimental Confirmation Electronic Journal of Theoretical Physics 2012; 9 (27): 72-110.

Conte E. A Clifford algebraic analysis gives mathematical explanation of quantization of quantum theory and delineates a model of quantum reality in which information, primitive cognition entities and a principle of existence are intrinsically represented ab initio. World Journal of Neuroscience 2013; 3(3): 157-70.

Conte E. Can Current Quantum Cognition Studies Give Indication on the Manner in Which Human Cognition Arose ab Initio? Psychology 2014; 5(8): 798-800.

Conte E. Answer to Giancarlo Ghirardi: Quantum Superpositions and Definite Perceptions: Envisaging New Feasible Experimental Tests. A Novel Proposal for Quantum Mechanics, Perception and Cognitive Science? International Journal of Theoretical Physics 2014b; 54:672-679.

Conte E. Additional Comments Added to Our Recent Answer to G. Ghirardi. Journal of Modern Physics 2015; 6 (1): 12-15.

Conte E. What Path Monitor: A Brief Note on Quantum Cognition and Quantum Interference, the Role of the Knowledge Factor. Psychology 2015b; 6(3):291-96.

Conte E, Lucas RF. First Time Demonstration of the Quantum Interference Effect during Integration of Cognition and Emotion in Children. World Journal of Neuroscience 2015c; 5(2): 91-98.

Conte E. A Brief Comment on Some Recent Evaluations by Basieva and Khrennikov, Wang et al., Boyer-Kassem et al., on Order Effects in Quantum Cognition. NeuroQuantology 2015; 13(2): 250-252 DOI: 10.14704/nq.2015.13.2.821

Cooney JB, Troyer R. A dynamic model of reaction time in a short-term memory task. J Exp Child Psychol 1994; 58(2):200-26.

Jansen FK. Quantum Mechanics is not Physical Reality but Mental Potentiality Because of the Law of Non-Contradiction, NeuroQuantology 2015; 13(1): 1-10.

Orlov Y. Peculiarities of Quantum Mechanics: Origins and Meaning. Arxiv quant-ph/9607017, 1996.

Mender D. The implicit possibility of dualism in quantum probabilistic cognitive modelling. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2013; 36(3):298-299.

Pothos EM, Busemeyerı JR. Can quantum probability provide a new direction for cognitive modeling? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 2013; 36: 255–327. doi:10.1017/S0140525X12001525

Trueblood JS and Busemeyer JR. A quantum probability model of causal reasoning, Frontiers in Psychology 2012; 3: 1-13.

Woo C.H. Consciousness and quantum interference – An experimental approach, Foundations of Physics 1981; 11(11-12): 933-944.

Supporting Agencies

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

| NeuroScience + QuantumPhysics> NeuroQuantology :: Copyright 2001-2018