Scientists believe that our brains can use quantum computation after taking a concept developed to prove the existence of quantum gravity and adapting it to explore the human brain and its ways of working. This discovery may shed light on consciousness, whose workings remain difficult to understand and explain scientifically. Quantum brain processes could also explain why humans can still outperform supercomputers when it comes to unexpected circumstances, decision making, or learning something new.
After adapting an idea developed to demonstrate the existence of quantum gravity to explore the human brain and its workings, researchers from Trinity College Dublin I think human brains can use quantum arithmetic.
The brain functions measured in the experiment were also associated with short-term memory performance and conscious awareness. This suggests that quantum processes are also part of the brain’s perceptual and conscious functions.
“If entanglement is the only possible explanation here, it means that brain processes must interact with nuclear spins, leading to entanglement between nuclear spins. As a result, we can conclude that these brain functions must be quantum..”- Dr. Christian Kerskens
If the team’s findings can be demonstrated, which would likely require advanced multidisciplinary approaches, it would improve our general understanding of how the brain works. Ideas can reveal how the brain is preserved or even healed. It may also help reveal innovative technologies and build more advanced quantum computers.
Dr. Christian Kerskens is the co-author of the research article published on October 7 in Physics Communication Journal. He is also a principal physicist at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), said:
“We adapted an idea, developed for experiments to prove the existence of quantum gravity, that takes known quantum systems, which interact with an unknown system. If known systems are entangled, then the unknown must also be a quantum system. It overcomes difficulties in finding measuring devices For something we don’t know about.
“For our experiments, we used proton coils from ‘brain water’ as a known system. ‘brain water’ naturally accumulates as fluid in our brains and the proton spin can be measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Next, using a specific MRI design to look for Intertwined coils, we found MRI signals that resemble heartbeat-evoked potentials, a form of EEG. EEG machines measure electrical currents in the brain, which some people may learn from personal experience or simply from watching hospital dramas on TV.”
Electrical potentials such as the potential evoked by a heartbeat cannot usually be detected using MRI and the scientists thought they could only observe them because the rotation of the nuclear proton in the brain was entangled.
Dr. Kerskens added:
“If entanglement is the only possible explanation here, it means that brain processes must interact with nuclear spins, leading to entanglement between nuclear spins. As a result, we can conclude that these brain functions must be quantum.”
“Since these brain functions have also been linked to short-term memory performance and conscious awareness, it is possible that these quantum processes are an important part of cognitive and conscious brain functions.
Quantum brain processes could explain why we can still outperform supercomputers when it comes to unexpected circumstances, decision making, or learning something new. Our experiments, conducted only 50 meters from the auditorium, where Schrödinger presented his famous ideas about life, may shed light on the mysteries of biology, and on consciousness that is difficult to understand scientifically.”
Reference: “Experimental Indicators of Non-Classical Brain Function” by Christian Matthias Kerskens and David Lopez Perez, 7 Oct 2022, Available here. Physics Communication Journal.
DOI: 10.1088 / 2399-6528 / ac94be
This research was supported by Science Foundation Ireland and TCIN.