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An electromagnetic field theory of consciousness

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Astral Explorer
Astral Explorer
Posts: 364
Joined: 16 May 2002
Last Visit: 06 Dec 2010
An electromagnetic field theory of consciousness
PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2002  Reply with quote

Synchronous firing and its influence on the brain's electromagnetic field: Evidence for an electromagnetic field theory of consciousness
Johnjoe McFadden.
Journal of Consciousness Studies (2002) 9: 23-50

The human brain consists of approximately 100 billion electrically active neurones that generate an endogenous electromagnetic (em) field, whose role in neuronal computing has not been fully examined. The source, magnitude and likely influence of the brain's endogenous em field are here considered. An estimate of the strength and magnitude of the brain's em field is gained from theoretical considerations, brain scanning and microelectrode data. An estimate of the likely influence of the brain's em field is gained from theoretical principles and considerations of the experimental effects of external em fields on neurone firing both in vitro and in vivo. I point out that synchronous firing of distributed neurones phase-locks induced em field fluctuations to increase their magnitude and influence. Synchronous firing has previously been demonstrated to correlate with awareness and perception, indicating that perturbations to the brain's em field also correlate with awareness. I point out that the brain's em field represents an integrated electromagnetic field representation of distributed neuronal information and has dynamics that closely map to those expected for a correlate of consciousness. I propose that the brain's em information field is the physical substrate of conscious awareness – the cemi field - and make a number of predictions that follow from this proposal. Experimental evidence pertinent to these predictions is examined and shown to be entirely consistent with the cemi field theory. The cemi field theory provides solutions to many of the intractable problems of consciousness – such as the binding problem – and provides new insights into the role of consciousness, the meaning of free will and the nature of qualia. It thus places consciousness within a secure physical framework and provides a route towards constructing an artificial consciousness.

Last edited by Hypnodude on Tue 10 Dec, 2002; edited 1 time in total
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Dream Deity
Dream Deity
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Last Visit: 24 Jun 2003
Location: lower left usa
PostPosted: Tue 03 Dec, 2002  Reply with quote

This is the paper I have referred to in the past when I talk about the brain's "electromagnetic field", and sometimes, just "consciousness". The entire paper is available here:


I contacted McFadden via email, and asked a question that I would expect to disprove the entire theory, and he invited me only to re-read the paper. When I presented this paper to a teacher of mine, Dr. Walters (a PhD and an MD), he re-stated the idea I had asked McFadden about, without any knowledge of my contacting McFadden with the same thoughts beforehand. The problem, we both agree, is that you can not solely allow consciousness to reside in either the em field of the brain or the neurons, because for any neuronal activity there is an em field that is generated, and for any em field in the brain there is neuronal activity causing it. The two seem inseperable. In collaboration with Dr. Walters, I am outlining a flowchart of the idea of a "thought process" which includes consciousness. Without explaining all of it, one of our main feelings right now is that consciousness is best described as activity within previously created neuronal structures.

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Lucid Swimmer
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Posts: 288
Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Last Visit: 26 Dec 2016
Location: USA
An electromagnetic feld theory of consciousness
PostPosted: Mon 27 Jan, 2003  Reply with quote


Brings to mind a spider sitting within a 3D electromagnetic web.


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