It has been clear for some time that human consciousness is not relegated or confined to any one neural or brain structure. The only real question is to what extent is it distributed and what is the nature of the distribution? Theories abound as to the relationship between consciousness and various neurological structures and processes and it would be prudent to conclude that such must indeed play a role— an important one. However, the evidence of human consciousness, as we understand it, that has been displayed and recounted by numerous persons as their spirits wandered about hospital settings and other locations while their bodies lay in a coma or lifeless (who have had the opportunity to return to mortal life) seem to clearly demonstrate that consciousness is not even dependent upon the mortal brain. Nevertheless, while the spirit and body are united there is evidently a joint processing that incorporates both the physical faculties and their spirit analogs.
Furthermore, this joint processing takes place and interacts within the larger context of other fields related to the body's energy systems as well as the ubiquitous Zero Point Field (ZPF). Why is this important? Because any health and wellness consideration that involves conscious (and unconscious) performance that does not also take this distributed interactive nature into account is necessarily focusing solely on certain puzzle pieces to the exclusion of the big picture or the energetic/informational portrait that comprises the whole human subject and its complete state of health. See also RESEARCH 3.
Additional Research Topics
Granted, it may be that sometimes the particular puzzle piece addressed by a focused treatment is the sufficient solution (and this can be determined through testing). Other times, however, the larger and complete healing homeostasis is the only real and lasting solution. There is also the relationship, both physiological and energetic, between conscious and unconscious processes to identify and take into account. Too often whatever is not addressed in a holistic manner is not an actual long term solution— regardless of what it is. As mentioned and documented elsewhere on this website human thought processes and decision making also have been observed to emulate or correspond to quantum mechanical rules. A number of recent studies also support the idea that consciousness likely involves quantum processes—all the more reason from a holistic (or wholistic) standpoint to take an energetically distributed mind/body into account for genuinely effective therapeutic purposes. (1) Generational morphogenic fields can and usually are also an important factor. See Generational MIasm Process in PROCESS DESCRIPTIONS A-Z.
Additionally, it has now been scientifically established for some time that at least some memory processes are also distributed. Though certain brain structures and synaptic pathways are clearly involved in memory acquisition and subsequent long term potentiation (LTP) and memory recall, the ultimate and enduring storage of memories is distributed to a degree that is not yet clearly understood— leading to speculation by some that memory or at least aspects of it are, along with consciousness, (2) are holographic in nature. (3) We know that the hippocampus, for instance, plays a key role in memory acquisition and assignment as well as in the coordination of memory recall. (4) It is not clear, however, just how this recall or assemblage of memory elements (potentially complex) is accomplished. It is problematic to explain if the discussion is confined to purely synaptic or mechanistic processes. However other studies have demonstrated memories to be stored in very specific locations (or at least activated when electrically stimulated there). (5) Consequently it is likely that memory is both local and distributed depending upon its nature. Some memory components, for example, are evidently stored in the peripheral nervous system including what is known as "muscle memory" as well as in other non-neural cells. (6) Conscious recall of emotionally charged events involves memory components assembled from different functional systems and locations-- which theoretically allows the raw data to be disassociated from the emotional content normally linked to it. And which, it should be noted, is more challenging if components of a traumatic memory, for example, are distributed (which is, indeed, our clinical experience).
Memory - Local & Distributed:
Since studies that incorporated removal of portions of mammalian brains, including those organs involved in memory formation, have proven to leave certain memories still intact (e.g. such as for a rat navigating a maze), the concept of memory being further distributed once it has been processed seems rather obvious. (7) This is important for a variety of reasons. A distributed memory system has not only physical components and associated electrochemical activity, it also necessarily involves field forces— whether quantum or otherwise. Whenever electrical impulses move they create their own electromagnetic field. However, there is evidence that there are also field forces at work that serve to synchronize parallel or coordinated synaptic behavior in time frames incomprehensible to normal synaptic communication. (8) There is a wonderful synchronous and self-organizing capacity within the human systems that still eludes mainstream science.
Data Corruption & Complex Memory Linkages Must Be Addressed:
Consequently, in cases of such conditions as addiction and trauma, for example, the complex linkages between the memory data elements and the charged emotional components are necessarily more than that of simple local structural mechanisms. Since we are likely dealing in the human neurological system with both Newtonian (9) and quantum physics, if there is anything simple it would lie on the quantum side of the equation. In which case if a memory is contained within or resides as a hologram, then, for retrieval or analysis, theoretically any informational snippet would do. However, for extinction of negative emotional elements and their connections or detrimental linkages the entire construction must be taken into account. Recent research has focused on some simple chemical mechanisms of extinction that appear to be effective in removing a memory permanently from conscious recall. (10) However, it would be our contention that the energetic/informational signatures are still there lodged in the mind/body and potentially operative in a toxic manner relative to unconscious processes. Fortunately, the mind/body itself seems to understand the organization of these important functions and activities and has the capacity to register and identify them better than any set of experiments or lab tests. Unfortunately it is also susceptible under certain conditions (mainly stress) to data corruption. This is not to suggest that increased scientific understanding of the mechanisms and processes is not useful, it generally is. However, that there are also other means to access the relevant data and to tap into the ultimate wisdom which governs the functions of human bodies we take and apply as a given. Ideally personal health is a cooperative effort in partnership with the best human efforts, the divine, and the inherent intelligence built into every living thing.
1) Chalmers, Review of Journal of Consciousness Studies, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, Tucson, and Facing Up to the Principle of Consciousness, 1995, Journal of Consciousness Studies 2(3):200-19. Quantum Approaches to Consciousness, May 19, 2011, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/, Aerts, et. al. Quantum structures in macroscopic reality, Mar. 1993, International Journal of Theoretical Physics, V.32, (3), 489-498. D Aerts, S Aerts, Applications of quantum statistics in psychological studies of decision processes, 1994, Foundations of Science 1, 85–97, CLEA, Vrije Universiteit Brussels. See also: Shaw, Intention as a component of the alpha-rhythm response to mental activity, Nov. 1996, International Journal of Psychophysiology, V.24, I.1–2, pp.7–23.
2a) Pribram, Quantum holography: Is it relevant to brain function? 1999, Information Sciences, 115 (1–4), 97–102; Pribram, Consciousness Reassessed, 2004, Mind and Matter, V. 2, 7–35, http://www.mindmatter.de/resources/pdf/pribram.pdf; Kelly, et. al., Encoding structure in holographic reduced representations, Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(2), 79–93. Basar, et. al., SUPERBINDING IN INTEGRATIVE BRAIN FUNCTION AND MEMORY, TUBITAK Brain Dynamics Multidisciplinary Research Network, Department of Biophysics, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir; Department of Experimental Psychology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. Persinger, Lavallee, The Σn=n Concept and the Quantitative Support for the Cerebral-Holographic and Electromagnetic Configuration of Consciousness, 2012, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19, 128–253.
2b) The quantum model of brain was originally formulated by Umezawa and Ricciardi (1967) and subsequently developed by Stuart, Takahashi and Umezawa (1978/79); by Jibu and Yasue (1995) and by Jibu, Pribram and Yasue (1996). The formalism was termed the quantum field theory (QFT). The extension of the model to the dissipative/distributed dynamics has been worked out more recently by Pessa and Vitiello (1999), Alfinito and Vitiello (2000), and a general account is given in the book My Double Unveiled (Vitiello, 2001). The formulation of the quantum brain model by Umezawa and Ricciardi trace back to laboratory observations since the 1940’s indicating observed “masses of excitations... within general fields of activity, without regard to particular nerve cells” (Lashley, 1942; Pribram, 1991). In the mid 1960’s, based on experimental observations, Pribram, began to formulate his holographic hypothesis as he witnessed observations to be spatially uniform “in much the way that the information density is uniform in a hologram” (Freeman, 1990; 2000). While the activity of single neuron communication is experimentally observed in the form of discrete and stochastic pulse trains and point processes, the macroscopic activity of an assembly of neurons appears to be spatially coherent and highly structured in phase and amplitude (Freeman, 1996; 2000). Motivated by this, Umezawa and Ricciardi, using the results of condensed matter experiments and the QFT with its spontaneous breakdown of symmetry, formulated the quantum model of the brain as a many-body physics problem. This construct provides the only available theoretical tool capable of describing long range correlations observed in the brain presenting almost simultaneous responses in several regions to external stimuli. These responses cannot be explained in terms of single neuron activity (Pribram 1971; 1991). It has been demonstrated (Itzykson and Zuber, 1980; Umezawa, 1993) that collective modes, the so–called Nambu–Goldstone (NG) boson modes, are dynamically generated. "Propagating over the whole system, [they are] …the carriers of the ordering information (long range correlation): order manifests itself as a global property dynamically generated.” Pessa, Vitiello, Quantum noise, entanglement and chaos in the quantum field theory of mind/brain states, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003q.bio.....9009P (emphasis ours). For a theoretical and mathematical description of NG Bosons related to "many-body systems" see: Brauner, Moroz, Topological interactions of Nambu–Goldstone bosons in quantum many-body systems, Institute for Theoretical Physics, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Department of Theoretical Physics, Nuclear Physics Institute of the ASCR, Re'z, Czech Republic, Department of Physics, University of Washington. The brain has the observed capacity of self-organization that extends beyond Newtonian snyaptic cause and effect models.
3) Pogggio, On Holographic Models of Memory, 1973, Max-Planck-!nstitut fur biologische Kybernetik, Tubingen, Germany; Sutherland, Holographic Models of Memory, Learning and Expression, 1990, International Journal of Neural Systems, 1(3), pp. 356–267; Khan, Yun, Characteristics of Multidimensional Holographic Associative Memory in Retrieval with Dynamically Localizable Attention. May 1998, IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 9(3):389–406; Stoop, et. al., Stochastic resonance in pattern recognition by a holographic neuron model, 2003, Institut für Neuroinformatik, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETHZ, Zurich; University of Applied Technical Sciences of Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland. "Memory itself is inseparable from all other brain functions and involves distributed dynamic neural processes. A wealth of publications in neuroscience literature report that the concerted action of distributed multiple oscillatory processes (EEG oscillations) play a major role in brain functioning. The analysis of function-related brain oscillations is currently one of the most important areas of neuroscience research." E Basar, Introduction to Memory and Brain Dynamics: Oscillations Integrating Attention, Perception, Learning, and Memory, 2004 CRC Press (Google eBook).
4) O'Reilly, Rudy, Conjunctive Representations in Learning and Memory: Principles of Cortical and Hippocampal Function, 2001, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Psychological Review, 108, 311-345; McClelland, et. al., Why There Are Complimentary Learning Systems in the Hippocampus and NeoCortex: Insights From the Successes and Failures of Connectionist Models of Learning and Memory, 1995, Psychological review, V.102, 3, 419-453.
5) Hamani, et. al., Memory enhancement induced by hypothalamic/fornix deep brain stimulation, Annals of Neurology, V. 63,1, pp. 119–123, Selimbeyoglu, Parvizi, Electrical stimulation of the human brain: perceptual and behavioral phenomena reported in the old and new literature, May 2010, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, V.4, A46.
6) Shanks, John, Characteristics of Dissociable Human Learning Systems, 1994, Behavioural and Brain Sciences 17 (3): 367–447; Liu, Jorgensen, Muscle memory, Feb. 2011, Journal of Physiology, 589(Pt 4): 775–776. Xu, et. al., Rapid formation and selective stabilisation of synapses for enduring motor memories, 2009, Nature. 915-20; Hanna, Somatics: Reawakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health, 1987, Da Capo Press. KIrkpatrick, What is Epigenetics?: Epigenetic Modifications Help Unlock the Molecular Mystery of Memory, News & Reviews, Dec. 22, 2015, http://www.whatisepigenetics.com/epigenetic-modifications-help-unlock-the-molecular-mystery-of-memory/.
7) Mastin, The Human Memory, http://www.human-memory.net/intro_what.html; Dickerson, Eichenbaum, The Episodic Memory System: Neurocircuitry and Disorders, 2010, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychology, Center for Memory and Brain, Boston University, Boston, Neuropsychopharmacology REVIEWS 35, 86–104. Recent research has expanded by a factor of ten the theoretical ability of the neurological system to hold information in the synapses alone. Coupled with other types of cellular and holographic memory this capacity is not too far this side of infinite. And since so little of the total is accessible at any one time by the conscious mind the importance of developing keen intuitive instincts (for lack of a better term) can be apparent.
8) Quantum effects and electromagnetic force fields that accompany, arise from and intersect neuronal activity are the best prospects to account for the observed rapid synchrony and self organization characteristics that defy traditional physiological explanations and their otherwise constrained time frames. See SCIENCE 1, footnotes #'s 1, 2, 6, 7, SCIENCE 2, RESEARCH 1 col. 1 & RESEARCH 2 col. 2 (quantum effects), Also see RESEARCH 3 & 4 and the Thalamic Reticular Activation System (RAS) notes.
9) Newtonian physics does not truly exist in contradiction to quantum physics, rather it is a subset or special case within the overall realm of quantum mechanics. Also, evidence of energetic entanglement involving objects in the so-called Newtonian macro-world is losing its novelty. See, for example, Vedra, Quantifying entanglement in macroscopic systems, Jun. 2008, Nature 453, 1004-1007; Lvovsky, et. al., 2013, Observation of micro–macro entanglement of light, Nature Physics 9, 541–544; Aspelmeyer, Eisert, Quantum mechanics: Entangled families, Sep. 2008, Nature 455, 180-181, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna; Department of Physics, University of Potsdam and Imperial College, London. See also RESEARCH 1.
10) The work of Karim Nader has uncovered the fact that memory storage as well as the transition from long to short term memory requires protein synthesis. This is an important mechanism for the specific memory to be reconsolidated as a long term memory. By blocking this mechanism apparent amnesia of the memory event is achieved. See Dr. Karim Nader and his research group: at the cutting-edge of memory consolidation research, http://www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/spotlight/nader. We would postulate, however, that even a true amnesiac still has energetic/informational mind/body baggage.
Distributed or Holographic Memory and Consciousness:
NO PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED FROM THE SAME LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS THAT CREATED IT. — Albert Einstein