Home > Conscious > Chapter 9 > 9.3. Predictions and Experimental Tests

 

As discussed in Section 9.1, a conscious mental state will "light up" and directly appear to the subject when the mental system reduces to an eigenfunction. This easy solution to the hard problem predicts that the wavefunction of a mental system in the awake state should be dominated by a single eigenfunction, whereas the wavefunction in the unconscious state is distributed over a few eigenfunctions.

Our current technology cannot detect the GR waves due to their extremely weak interaction with matter. However, the GR waves within a mental system is directly related to brain activities. Electroencephalography (EEG), which measures the scalp electric potentials, has been able to reveal brain activities. The mental information could be obtained from EEG data. Recently, spherical harmonics have been found to be the eigenfunctions of the EEG system (Sivakumar et al., 2016). This is quite reasonable because the brain is approximately a sphere. The atomic orbitals can also be represented by spherical harmonics. Interestingly, for gravitational geons, theoretical studies also favor a spherical geometry.

During light sleep, when consciousness is mostly lost, experiments (Sivakumar et al., 2016) have demonstrated that the EEG system is distributed over several eigenfunctions Ym(θ, φ), akin to a Boltzmann distribution (Figure 9-2). In another study, presumably on awake subjects, the high resolution EEG exhibits a peak near ℓ = 4 – 6 (Nunez and Srinivasan, 2014). These results generally agree with prediction. Future investigations along this line should be able to reveal greater insights into the mystery of consciousness.

Images

Figure 9-2. The probability distribution of spherical harmonics Ym, obtained from the analysis of EEG data during light sleep. The variance of a principal component is interpreted as a probability. For instance, the top row shows that the probability for the EEG system to be in the eigenfunction Y10 is 25%. [Source: Sivakumar et al., 2016]