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Evidence for Quantum Brain Fluctuations
Sent from:
sarfatti@netcom.com
(Jack Sarfatti)
 
Subj: EPR Correlations #1 Date: 94-06-11 04:46:53 EDT From: DougieG
http://w2.eff.org/Net_culture/Consciousness/the_quantum_brain.article
 
http://physicsessays.org/doi/abs/10.4006/1.3029159
by J. Grinberg‐Zylberbaum1, M. Delaflor1, L. Attie1, A. Goswami2
 

Here's an interesting bit of scientific research:
Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Correlations in the Brain-Mind: the Transferred Potential
{Taken from "Science Within Consciousness: Developing a Science Based on the Primacy of Consciousness," by Amit Goswami, PhD. An Institute of Noetic Sciences Research Report. Copyright 1994 by Amit Goswami. Posted with permission, see published report for full bibliographic references and [4] for EEG recordings of evoked and transferred potentials}
 
In 1935, three physicists, Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen criticized quantum mechanics claiming that if it were a complete model of reality, then nonlocal interactions between objects had to exist. [1] Since that was deemed inconsistent with the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics had to be either wrong or at least incomplete. This critique is known as the Einstein-Podolosky-Rosen (EPR) paradox.
 
Bell [2] prepared the theoretical groundwork for experimental tests of EPR nonlocality and Aspect et al. [3] experimentally verified that a nonlocal correlation between objects indeed occurs once these objects have interacted.
 
There is now evidence that EPR correlation occurs between human brains. For the rest of this section, we will follow the development given in [4].
 
The crucial step was to develop a methodology, a protocol, capable of correlating a pair of human subjects (brains). In their first attempt, Grinberg-Zylberbaum et al (1978) recorded the EEG activity of a senior psychotherapist and his patients during therapeutic sessions. Video and sound recordings were also made. A group of experts analyzed the sound and video recordings and quantified the degree of communication through the sessions using a communications scale from a value of 0 (no communication) to 10 (highest intensity of empathic communication). Another group of technicians, without knowledge of this group, analyzed the EEG recordings and calculated both individual interhemispheric correlation and the degree of intersubject (between therapist and patient) EEG correlations. A direct correlation was found between the degree of communications and the coherence of the EEG of the therapist- patient pairs. Also the changes of interhemispheric correlation in each individual brain were found to correspond to the degree of communication.
 
However, EEG recordings are difficult to make when subjects communicate verbally because of movement. It is well-known that meditation produces increases in interhemispheric correlations in a subject's EEG recordings (Orme-Johnson et al, 1982; Grinberg-Zylberbaum, 1988). In their subsequent experiment, Grinberg- Zylberbaum and Ramos (1987) tried subjects meditating together and looked for both interhemispheric and intersubject correlations of the EEG recordings. In this experiment subjects also pushed a button signalling the moment at which they felt "direct communication." The researchers found that both the individual patterns of interhemispheric correlations and the overall averages of the interhemispheric correlations of the two brains become very similar during shared meditation with direct communication established. Using control experiments, they checked that the similarity of the EEG patterns is not due to fatigue or habituation but really reflected a specific pattern of correlation for each pair. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that this direct communication could be maintained, as shown by the similarity of their EEG traces, even when the subjects were separated.
 
The possibility of the existence of a nonlocal transference of specific stimuli, such as those that generate evoked potentials (electrophysiological brain responses produced by a sensory stimulus), was first studied by Grinberg-Zylberbaum et al (1978). They observed that an evoked potential in a stimulated subject is "transferred" to another subject once they have interacted to achieve a level of "direct communication." This study was conducted in two Faraday chambers separated by a distance of approximately three meters. Later the experiment was repeated, replicating the former experiment at a larger distance (14.5 meters). In both experiments, the following protocol, suggested by the earlier experiments cited above, was used:
 
    Two subjects meditated side by side inside one of the Faraday chambers for twenty minutes with the objective of reaching direct communication.
    A mild signal was then given to the subjects at which time one of them went to the second Faraday cage and took a reclining position with eyes closed while they both continued to maintain direct communication. The subject that stayed behind was now stimulated (generally by 100 light flashes given at random intervals), but the other subject was not stimulated, nor did he have knowledge that a stimulus was being received by the first subject.
    EEG recordings were made from the brains of both subjects synchronized with the stimulus given to one of them. The recordings were averaged over the hundred samples and compared using on-line computers. Low frequency filters were used to eliminate low frequency EEG correspondence such as alpha waves.
 
At both distances, when the stimulated subject showed distinct evoked potentials, the non-stimulated subject showed "transferred potentials" similar to those evoked in the stimulated subject. Control subjects showed no such transferred potentials.
 
The results indicate that after an interaction between two human beings, in which both feel each other's presence even at a distance, and when one of them is stimulated in such a way that his/her brain responds clearly (with a distinct evoked potential), in roughly 1 in 4 cases the brain of the non-stimulated subject also reacts and shows a transferred potential of a similar shape. Control experiments show that the transferred potentials do not occur when interaction between the subjects does not take place, or when the interaction isn't deemed successful (in establishing direct communication) by the subjects themselves, or when the evoked potential is unclear.
 
These findings indicate that the human brain is capable of establishing relationships with other brains (when it interacts with them appropriately) and sustaining such correlations even at a distance. The above results cannot be explained as due to sensory communication or electromagnetic signals between subjects (since the subjects were separated during the experiment and located in two semi-silent, electromagnetically isolated chambers distant more than 14 meters from one another in one case) or as due to low frequency EEG correspondence. This point is further borne out by the fact that no distance attenuation of the transference effect was found when the measurements at the two vastly different distances (3 m and 14.5 m) between the subjects are compared. As is well-known, local signals are always attenuated and the absence of attenuation is a sure signature of nonlocality of the observed correlation between brains.
 
I am convinced that the transferred potential can be interpreted as the effect of quantum nonlocal interaction effect between correlated brains. When one subject is stimulated and observes a light flash, consciousness simultaneously collapses the wave function of the correlated partner in identical states as indicated by the similarity of the distinct evoked potential in the stimulated subject to the transferred potential in his or her non-stimulated partner.
 
It is also extremely significant that the occurrence of a transferred potential is always associated with the participants' feeling that their interaction has been successfully completed. This indicates that consciousness is involved in the process of correlation. In this respect the transferred potential phenomenon is different from an EPR correlation in which the correlation is established by material local interactions. The EPR correlation is terminated once the wave functions are collapsed. But in the transferred potential experiment the correlation is maintained over many collapses (since the EEG potential readings are averages over many measurements). Thus the idealist interpretation that a nonlocal consciousness collapses the quantum wave function upon measurement also finds validation.
 
It is interesting also that a transferred potential occurs only in about one in four cases, and usually it is not possible to predict the success of any one particular experiment. This essential acausality, of course, causes controversy adding fuel to the skeptic, but it is in complete accord with the quantum theory where a certain acausality is an essential ingredient of the process.
 
I would like to discuss the question of message transfer between correlated brains. For correlated objects of conventional quantum mechanics such as photons, a theorem proven by Eberhard effectively rules out any transfer of messages. However, correlated brains, in the present theory, are correlated through consciousness. For such correlation, there is no reason why Eberhard's theorem should apply, and therefore, message transfer may be possible.
 
Finally, what of all the debunking of the paranormal that realists [5] are so sure they have carried out (an entire journal "The Skeptical Inquirer is devoted to such debunking)? Without question, many of the realist criticisms make valid points; for example, is ESP scientific when it is not strictly reproducible? The point realists miss is that every new science has its own epistemology, and idealist science is no exception. If biologists had to use only the laboratory methodology of pialism is the only reality.
 
If biologists had to use only the laboratory methodology of physics, there would be no science of biology today. The experimental methodology of idealist science will involve weak objectivity (observer invariance - results should be the same irrespective of who the observer is) rather than strong objectivity (complete independence of results from observers). Furthermore, the mind-set and emotional states of both the observer and the observed would have to be taken into account. And acausality and synchronicity will always be important factors. Also importantly, the experimenters have to be prepared to be transformed as a result of their participation in the experiments. Further details are laid out in the twentieth anniversary (autumn, 1993) issue of "Noetic Sciences Review."
Notes:
 
    Einstein, A., Podolsky, B., Rosen, N., (1935) "Can Quantum Mechanical Description of Reality be Considered Complete?" *Physical Review*, vol. 47, pp. 777- 780.
    Bell, J.S., (1965) "On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox," *Physics,* vol 1, pp. 195-200.
    Aspect, A., Dalibard, J., and Roger, G. (1982), "Experimental Test of Bell Inequalities Using Time-Varying Analyzers." *Physical Review Letters,*, vol. 49. pp. 1804-06.
    Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J., Delaflor, M., Attie, L., and Goswami, A. (1993) "The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox in the Brain: the Transferred Potential." *Physics Essays,* to be published.
    Refers to the ontolological assumption that materialism is the only reality.
 
Sent from: sarfatti@netcom.com (Jack Sarfatti)
 
Gotswami's description of EPR, as you have stated it is not historically correct. The presence of "non-local" interactions was assumed without comment as a tool in the argument to be presented. The application of conservation of a distributed many body property (eg, total momenetum or total spin angular momentum is zero) was taken for granted as an obvious application of quantum theory. It was used as tool in the argument: (1) If a property of an object can be determined to complete certainty without interacting with it, then that object has "an element of reality" corresponding to that property. (2) In separate measurements on similar/identical "EPR-states", it is possible to determine with certainty the properties associated with incompatible measurements, thus each property has an element of reality. (3) Since quantum theory cannot predict simultaneously the elements of reality (as described above), it is incomplete.
 
It is really interesting that Einstein apparently felt comfortable enougb with the non-local mechanism of measurement of one particle out of a distributed singlet state that he used it as a tool in the argument above without making a big deal of it.
 
It is very common to find aspects of current issues related to our discomfort with non-locality attributed to the original EPR paper -- which is incorrect.
 
(I hope I have not misquoted the above too badly; I have not looked at that paper for many years. But, I had contemplated that work deeply in years past.)
 
Also note that Bell's theorem was not written to test non-locality. It was written to debunk attempted hidden-variable theories. It showed that the assumption of factorization of a joint probability distribution (eg, for a singlet state) -- which is equivalent to the assumption of statistical independence of the two components of the state (the essence of hidden variable theories: each particle carries its dynamical determinants with it) -- leads to predictions incompatible with quantum theory. This was to debunk a fad of alternatives to quantum theory proposed for no other reason than the intellectual/psychological discomfort of quantum non-locality.
 
My own perspective is that there is a lot of baggage tagging along in most discussions of EPR and non-locality because we have not yet learned how to embrace non-locality intuitively -- we frame it in terms of pre-conceptions of local objects. [That is why my own writing on this (when I get it done) will have "Individuality vs Wholeness" somewhere in the title.]
 
The interpersonal phase synchronization between subjects, and correlated evoked potential work you described is interesting. Charles Tart did some less vigorous studies of "psychically induced" GSR responses long ago.
 
Are the EEG correlations you cite phase sychronization (correlations of the raw or filtered time series)? or are they correlations of envelope, such as theta, alpha, or beta amplitudes?
 
Jean Millay & I looked at interhemispheric and interpersonal phase synchro- nization in the alpha band around 1980. We found a p<=.001 correlation between team average ESP scores and team average interpersonal phase sync. Correlation was around .74, if I remember correctly.) (IONS has a report on this. Also, it is summarized in a chapter in "Silver Threads, ...", a book published by the PRG.) But, I do not see anything that points to quantum non-local phenomena. It is a fun toy to play with; but I doubt that all the non-locality we may find in this reality will be attributable to that mechanism. For one thing, it requires the presence of a rather tight conservation property across the components in order for one to extract information. That does not seem like a very robust mechanism to me.
 
Perhaps the EPR-type quantum non-locality is just one manifestation of a much deeper non-locality inherent in this reality.
 
Ciao. CyanAura.
 
P.S. some additional comments:
 
Psi performance between individuals relates to feelings of rapport sometimes, and sometimes not. It depends very much on the people involved. I would hesitate very strongly in generalizing on that issue.
 
Your dismissal of the constraint of Eberhards theorem brings up an issue similar to the invoking of consciousness to end Von Neumann's infinite regress. In both cases, consciousness is invoked because of the tacit assumption that it exists in some sense outside the constraints (or regress) of physical law. With a little reflection, it becomes apparent that the intended purpose is not served. The EPR mechanism is determined by our currently best approximation to physical law. You are using the assumption that the consciousness mechanism you wish to model lies outside physical law in order to justify applying a physical model to it.
 
There are both deep philosphical issues and plain common sense issues regarding what constitutes good scientific empiricism. Most of the popular criticisms of research in psi phenomena fall into the latter category. (Though there are some good criticisms -- about 1.5 articles per issue of PSICOPS on average when I peeked into it a few years ago.) One common example can be paraphrased: "If psi were real, one would be able to control it just like the machines we control in physical experiments". Nothing to be done there; it is just a prejudice. The prejudice will fall away when we start dealing with "secondary issues" (not trying to prove reality) with robust phenomena. (For example, when Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne describe operator signatures, and specific departures from Gaussian distributions in PK phenomena, or one tries to explain how EEG phase synchronization could be related to ESP performance in terms of attentional processes, there is much less polarization inducded.)
 
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