Wed 7 Jun 2006
Dileep George has conducted research into modeling the structure of the human neocortex and constructed artificial neocortical arrays that mimic thought processes. These arrays are arranged in a heirarcial structure, with some closely connected to sensors and others a level removed, and so forth. Each heirarchial level resolves the invariant portions of a signature of the inputs through learning. His example of the visual cortex’s ability to identify the difference between a dog and a helicopter independent of position, version or race through learning. An audio recording of Dileep’s paper is at http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail732.html
The structure and organization of the neocortex requires a number of relationships and feedbacks including statistics, probability and temporal feedback. It occurs to me that the human perception of time may be inextricably linked to this temporal feedback. If time is not a fundimental feature of the universe, but instead simply a “rate variable” clocked by our own neocortex, then the time we have used as reference for all of our present science may be merely an artifact of our mind’s perception.
In quantum mechanics particles travel in all possible paths until the path is measured, the particle decoheres and is measured to have taken one and only one of the infinite possibilities. This is illustrated by the simplified example of “Shrodingers Cat” where a box contains a Cat and a radioactive isotope that when/if it decays kills the cat. The cat is truly alive and dead at the same time until the box is opened and the condition of the cat is measured. Perhaps decoherence is due to the fact that some human neocortex has “learned” the condition of the cat, and eliminated the perception of all other possibilities, hence causing the decoherence of the event.
This might be considered an inverse way of looking at the issue of decoherence. Even so, it may be valid if all the processes (except time perception) are reversible. There appears to be a requirement for sentient observation in decoherence. The operation of the neocortex may be the source of that process.
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