Furthermore, according to researchers Paolo Di Sia and Narayan Kumar Bhadra (2020), progress in bridging the gap between nanoscience and consciousness comes in the area of nano-neuroscience (neural phenomena at nanoscale), and is leading to big and important breakthroughs in science and medicine to aid in consciousness studies.
We may consider that the human brain and its mental aspects are associated with the classical brain physiology, but are also part of a quantum physical universe; it can be conceived as an interfacing organ for the consciousness that also receives information. The brain, or some parts of it, can be conceived as an interference hologram of incoming data and already existing data, which are equivalent to the subject’s memory.
Understanding the biological basis for sustained quantum coherent superposition and entanglement not only will help to solve the enigmatic features of consciousness, but also will enable future quantum information technologies and with that the clarification of the evolutionary mechanisms of life.
Consciousness is an extremely difficult concept. Consciousness as we know it, has its basis in the exchange of information via chemical and electrical signals. A widespread theorem in neuroscience states that consciousness arises from biological information processing. In its purest form, it can subsequently be defined as ‘notion or awareness of the environment.’ Under this definition, consciousness must have developed together with the very first life. Notion and awareness of the environment are essential to survival.
The earliest self-reproducing systems some 3.7 billion years ago must have had a notion and awareness of their surroundings, because they had to be able to distinguish food sources, energy and construction, from toxic substances and destruction. Today’s single-celled organisms also move towards food sources and turn away from poisonous substances and even show individual and collective ‘behaviour’. The information transfer required for this interaction takes place chemically. The most primitive forms of consciousness must therefore have involved the transfer of chemical signals. And when single-celled organisms began to organise themselves into colonies, they also exchanged information via chemical signals.
As life forms evolved from unicellular to multicellular complex organisms, this chemical signal transfer remained indispensable as a means of communication between all distinct units or cells, as well as a means of interaction with the environment.
At some point in the course of evolution, nature had to develop another way to register, forward, store and exchange information in order to organise the increasingly complex life forms and allow them to interact with the environment. The method of signal transfer familiar to us, electrical signal transfer, involves electrons, but their unpredictable behaviour made them impractical and unusable in complex life forms. Life developed a signal transfer – or information management – system involving action potentials and ion channels ‒ a flow of positively charged sodium and potassium ions and a Na-K-ATPase pump. This apparently allowed information to be exchanged more efficiently and, especially, more reliably in the warmth and humidity of biochemical systems ‒ the signals carrying the information could be efficiently channelled. It can be called biochemically encrypted signal or information transfer.
Latest insights reveal the existence of a ‘bioelectrical code.’ Information could be transferred and saved by means of ions and ion channels, enabling cells not only to communicate but also to store the information for dynamic control of growth and form. The intricate electrical circuits in the brain may have evolved from this much simpler and slower primary signal transfer between cells in an organism, and likewise, the nerve cells with the unique characteristic that they do_not_divide.
With the development of these specialised structures, the nerves, having the sole function of signal transfer and information management, life entered a new phase of evolution. Not only could information be registered, forwarded, stored and exchanged, but with the appearance of the first knots of nerve cells, information could also be processed. This made possible the appearance of the senses ‒ biochemical measuring instruments that could detect the environment with high precision and send on the information via nerve pathways for processing.
The more complex these knots became, the more information from the environment they could process and the better and more efficient they became at it. The first primitive brain structures developed. This marked the start of an evolution towards complex brain structures that could also interpret the incoming information, where interpretation signifies ‘to give meaning to.’ Sensory information that could be interpreted made it possible to interact actively with the environment. It was no longer necessary to merely experience the environment passively ‒ active interaction made it possible to influence and to adapt it as well.
__Di Sia, P., Kumar Bhadra, N. (2020). Origin of living matter by a new model of consciousness. ‘World Scientific News’. Retrieved from http://www.worldscientificnews.com/…/WSN-143-2020-67-78…
__Verheyen, P. (2021). From Information and Quantum Physics to Consciousness and Reality.