Is this proof the brain is NOT the seat of consciousness?

The brain is only real in 3-dimensions. We can all agree about that.

But now scientists are trying to claim our knowing and awareness exists in 11 dimensions. Isn’t that just another way of saying that mind and Being is non-material and NOT brain-based?

The so-called Blue Brain Project claims to have discovered a multi-dimensional universe in brain networks. This is being billed as “ground-breaking work that is beginning to reveal the brain’s deepest architectural secrets.”

The research, published 12th June 2017 in Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, claims (they say “shows”) that these structures arise when a group of neurons forms a clique: each neuron connects to every other neuron in the group in a very specific way that generates a precise geometric object. The more neurons there are in a clique, the higher the dimension of the geometric object.

“We found a world that we had never imagined,” says neuroscientist Henry Markram, director of Blue Brain Project and professor at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, “there are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.”

Markram suggests this may explain why it has been so hard to understand the brain. “The mathematics usually applied to study networks cannot detect the high-dimensional structures and spaces that we now see clearly.”

If a 3 or 4 dimensional world stretches our imagination, worlds with 5, 6 or more dimensions are too complex for most of us to comprehend. This is where algebraic topology comes in: a branch of mathematics that can describe systems with any number of dimensions. The mathematicians who brought algebraic topology to the study of brain networks in the Blue Brain Project were Kathryn Hess from EPFL and Ran Levi from Aberdeen University.

“Algebraic topology is like a telescope and microscope at the same time. It can zoom into networks to find hidden structures – the trees in the forest – and see the empty spaces – the clearings – all at the same time,” explains Hess.

In 2015, Blue Brain published the first digital copy of a piece of the neocortex – the most evolved part of the brain and the seat of our sensations, actions, and consciousness. In this latest research, using algebraic topology, multiple tests were performed on the virtual brain tissue to show that the multi-dimensional brain structures discovered could never be produced by chance.

Experiments were then performed on real brain tissue in the Blue Brain’s wet lab in Lausanne confirming that the earlier discoveries in the virtual tissue are biologically relevant and also suggesting that the brain constantly rewires during development to build a network with as many high-dimensional structures as possible.

It all sounds very plausible, except for one thing: why does the brain suddenly erect 11-dimensional structures? In response to what?

Neuroscience has long struggled to find where the brain stores its memories (because it doesn’t). “They may be ‘hiding’ in high-dimensional cavities,” Henry Markram speculates. So, in non-material dimensions then, Markram!

Note that extra mathematical dimensions are pure abstractions; they do not actually exist, except to make formulas balance up when the formula is otherwise WRONG!


Blue Light Enhances Brain Performance

A single 30 min. exposure to blue-wavelength light can increase subsequent activation in brain regions critical for successful working memory performance and improve response times, a new study suggests.

Previous studies have shown that exposure to blue light, which is similar to the type of light you get on a bright sunny day, leads to increases in alertness and better performance on reaction time tasks, while being exposed.

“Our study adds to this literature by showing that exposure to 30 minutes of blue light in comparison to 30 minutes of amber light led to subsequently better performance on a cognitive task 40 minutes after the blue-light exposure period had ended,” Dr Alkozei, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona in Tucson, told MedScape News.

The findings were presented at SLEEP 2016: the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Continue reading

Is Your Brain Really Necessary?

You can also read an extended 2-part article, from which I spoke to make this video.
Go here for part 1:

Who Needs A Brain? – 2

The Flight Of Consciousness

Part 1 of this long article lies here

There is a curious scientific principle I refer to often: it can’t be true, therefore it isn’t. For most scientific intellects, they seem to think of it as some kind of magical axiom that can be trotted out to cover anything which disturbs their worldview (Zeitgeist) or challenges the status quo.

Of course they said it about heavier-than-air-flight, out-of-body experiences, telepathy, quantum biology and thousands of other applications in life where—in their view—the effect could not happen and therefore it didn’t. No need to look at the evidence: there couldn’t be any!

Well, it’s a handy, if lazy, way of looking at truths. The trouble is, these thinkers are never disturbed by concrete evidence of something contrary to their worldview; you cannot shift these people with mere facts! They have fixed prejudices which will never change. As someone wittily said (Thomas Kuhn, I think), the only way anything moves forward is when the old guard dies off and new people come onto the scene who are not prejudging the more advanced view.

So it is with the idea that consciousness does not need a physical matrix, such as a brain or even a computer. It just is! Viewpoint is a matter of choice and a person can accept their viewpoint as peeping out at the world from behind a pair of eyes in their skull. Or the person can say “I am not in my body; I don’t need my body to perceive”. When such a person is good at it, they can “see” just as well as with eyes.

So out-of-body experiences and remote viewing are not just possible but would be expected. Near-death-experiences (NDEs) have something of the same characteristics, where the person is consciously aware but clearly not working from the brain or the normal sensorium of sight, touch, smell, etc. Continue reading

Who Needs A Brain? – 1

Is your brain really necessary?

This is the title of a famous paper published in the journal Science by Roger Lewin, concerning the research of the late Dr. John Lorber, professor of neurology at the university of Sheffield, UK.

[Roger Lewin (December 12, 1980). “Is Your Brain Really Necessary?” SCIENCE 210 (4475): 1232–1234. doi:10.1126/science.7434023. PMID 7434023]

When Sheffield’s campus doctor was treating one of the mathematics students for a minor ailment, he noticed that the student’s head was a little larger than normal. The doctor referred the student to professor Lorber for further examination.

The student in question was academically bright, had a reported IQ of 126 and was expected to graduate. When he was examined by CAT-scan, however, Lorber discovered that he had virtually no brain at all. The student had less than 1 millimetre of cerebral tissue lining the skull, a condition called hydrocephalus, in which the cerebrospinal fluid pressurizes and destroys the brain.

Despite no brain, this Sheffield student had lived a perfectly normal life and went on to gain an honors degree in mathematics. His case is by no means as rare as you might think. Continue reading

Using Your Brain Hard Boosts Its Physical Size and Function

There is no doubt whatsoever in today’s science results that we can BUILD our brains. That’s why children grow up: we make them learn, expand and use their brains.

24 college students or recent graduates studying for law exams (pretty tough) were monitored with brain images, similar to MRI scans, to measure changes in brain volume and function. The study leader was Allyson Mackey, a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute.

When used, brains grow. Pathways are strengthened. When used hard, they grow even more.

And IQ can be increased. This applies in adults, as well as developing children.

The old idea you are smart or not smart is fast becoming medieval, with burgeoning evidence to the contrary.

But there is a paradox here…

People with little or no brains, can still think and function normally. For example hydrocephalus cases, with as little as 10% residual brain tissue or even less, still think as usual; you couldn’t tell the difference. So far as I know, no-one has tried the brain plasticity enhancement technique with hydrocephalics… That would be interesting!

The study was published recently in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, August 22nd, 2012, and UC Berkeley issued a news release.

Also posted at Food For The Mind and Fire For The Soul