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The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom…
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The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man (edició 2001)

de Jeffrey Satinover (Autor)

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1183180,051 (4.09)3
An enthralling look at the convergence of brain science, biological computation and quantum physics, and what it implies about our minds, our selves, our future, even God Do we really have free will or do we just imagine we do? Do we create our own destinies, or are we merely machines? Will the machines we are now making themselves have free will? These are the fundamental questions of The Quantum Brain. To answer them, psychiatrist, researcher, and critically acclaimed author Jeffrey Satinover first explores the latest discoveries in neuroscience, modern physics, and radically new kinds of computing, then shows how, together, they suggest the brain embodies and amplifies the mysterious laws of quantum physics. By its doing so, Satinover argues we are elevated above the mere learning machines modern science assumes us to be. Satinover also makes two provocative predictions: We will soon construct artificial devices as free and aware as we are; as well as begin a startling re-evaluation of just who and what we are, of our place in the universe, and perhaps even of God.… (més)
Membre:UWLPhilosophy
Títol:The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man
Autors:Jeffrey Satinover (Autor)
Informació:Wiley (2001), Edition: 1, 288 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:Shelf 10

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The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man de Jeffrey Satinover

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This is a dazzling and thorough review of how quantum effects could plausibly be behind human intelligence and consciousness. Despite being a mere 242 pages ( not including the index and references) the text is very dense, and this book does justice to a wide range of science, from computer science topics such as Hopfield nets, logical functions, and parallel processing, biology such as protein folding, microtubule anatomy, and neurons, to quantum mechanics, chaos science, and strange attractors. Though he is never overly heavy on maths or technical things, I never felt as if I was being cheated, (some popular science books try to pull the wool over the readers eyes), with some more in depth bits being included in an appendix where necessary. I think it helps that I am familiar with all the fields covered, chaos, quantum mechanics, and the biology, but someone not read in the fields could still get a lot out of this book, it would just take a lot longer to get through, as it is absolutely packed with information, that might require a bit of thought to understand, but it has plenty of illustrations too, which will help.
The goal of this book is to find a niche in the physiology of the brain where quantum mechanics can fit in and play a role in creating intelligence. While he dismisses Penrose and the ideas in his two books, he manages to invoke microtubules anyway, and quantum effects in them specifically, a lot more convincingly than their previous proponent did. He maybe gets carried away a bit in places, calling proteins "quantum computers", which they are certainly not, but that is not the case that is put forward here, so it is alright, and that particular description is just the author's enthusiasm getting the better of him. His aim here isn't to prove that proteins on their own compute anything in the brain though, but that they are the fundamental element, in the same way in which a segment of wire which makes up a transistor is, that several lengths of microtubules may perform a similar function as a transistor. These in turn build up a small scale adaptive neural net, below the level of the nueron, and that this, along with the feedback that occurs between neurons, makes up a multi tiered adaptive system of computation, (he also showed that computer systems wired "randomly", in a similar way, can "learn"). He doesn't invoke large scale coherence as Penrose does, which makes it all the more compelling, as decoherance on such scales surely occurs, but instead quantum effects provide the variation in initial conditions needed to create the sort of chaos in which patterns ( eg. Poincare recurrences) can emerge on higher scales, which is not possible to the same degree, by scales of magnitude, in purely mechanical, non chaotic, Newtonian systems. I may not have explained this point convincingly, and I hope I have not spoiled the book by giving away too much of its content, but this is the best book I have read on the topic, and the best popular science book, (if it counts for that, having only 53 copies on here, a shame), that I have read in ages, and it is convincing. For those left with a dry mouth after reading Penrose's books, thirsty for a proper quantum explanation of intelligence, this is what you need. For those not having read those books, you probably shouldn't, unless you have particular fondess for in-depth physics, (them being around twice as long, and ten times harder), read this instead, it would be interesting from the sheer variety of topics covered, were it not interesting from the profound implications of the whole anyway. ( )
2 vota P_S_Patrick | Nov 21, 2008 |
An intensely stimulating read, ranging over a huge vista of subject areas. The subtext doesn't quite fit the contents though and makes it sound more 'new-agey' than it really is. Its really a (to me) convincing explanation of why we need quantum mechanics to understand the brain, but it argues this from some fundamental principles. Its a bit like Penrose (ENM), doesn't try to be as rigorous though, relying more on thought experiment than mathematics. ( )
  abraxalito | Oct 4, 2008 |
Artificial neural nets, natural neural nets, quantum weirdness, quantum computers, microtubules in neurons, role of electron and proton tunneling in proteins, scale-raising of biological and neural nondeterminism via iterative chaos. Doesn't seem to be all crazy.
  fpagan | Jan 6, 2007 |
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An enthralling look at the convergence of brain science, biological computation and quantum physics, and what it implies about our minds, our selves, our future, even God Do we really have free will or do we just imagine we do? Do we create our own destinies, or are we merely machines? Will the machines we are now making themselves have free will? These are the fundamental questions of The Quantum Brain. To answer them, psychiatrist, researcher, and critically acclaimed author Jeffrey Satinover first explores the latest discoveries in neuroscience, modern physics, and radically new kinds of computing, then shows how, together, they suggest the brain embodies and amplifies the mysterious laws of quantum physics. By its doing so, Satinover argues we are elevated above the mere learning machines modern science assumes us to be. Satinover also makes two provocative predictions: We will soon construct artificial devices as free and aware as we are; as well as begin a startling re-evaluation of just who and what we are, of our place in the universe, and perhaps even of God.

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