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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gravity Waves at the Cosmic Microwave Background

The observation of gravitational waves in the early universe, a place called the cosmic microwave background, seems to have been an error. This represented the first direct evidence for gravitational waves in the B-mode polarization of the quantum fluctuations of the CMB. The oval view of the whole sky represents the plane of the Milky Way, which is our galaxy and spans across the center. The microwave fluctuations represent +/- 0.03% of the 2.7 degree Kelvin temperature in the very early universe right after hydrogen was born.

They have selected a region of the sky and looked at the polarization of these microwave fluctuations very carefully (see Carroll's blog or paper). These B-mode polarization waves shown below represent just 100 ppb of the 2.7 K CMB temperature, and can only be due to gravity waves and not to charge waves. The really amazing thing about this gravity wave polarization is not so much that it exists, it is that a gravity wave was this strong in the first place.

Gravity force is 1 part in 1e39th power of charge force in our neck of the woods, which is really, really small and makes gravity waves very, very difficult to observe in our galaxy or even in our nearby galaxies. However, the gravity wave in the CMB is just 0.2 or 1 part in five of the charge wave E-mode polarization that is due largely to charge force. So now science gets to explain why gravity force was only a factor of five different from charge force in the early universe, but hugely different now gravity force is only one part of ten to the 39th power that of charge force...this is very cool... they want to take their gravity waves back.
Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble
Premature hype over gravitational waves highlights gaping holes in models for the origins and evolution of the Universe, argues Paul Steinhardt.

03 June 2014
Oh dear, easy come, easy go...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Neural Sound of Music

One of the characteristics of human hearing is that we sense and enjoy music with the seven notes of the octave because this particular 7-mer tonality is pleasing for humans. However, Science does not yet understand the neural network that is the basis for the 7-mer tonality. The basilar regions associated with sensation of sound from 200 to 20,000 Hz are shown in the figure along with how they map into the topology of the cochlea. The frequency diagrams show where along a hypothetical uncoiled basilar membrane we sense sound frequencies. There are frequencies below 200 Hz that are very important for enjoying music but not for understanding language and there seems to be a compression of these longer wavelengths beyond 200 Hz into the tip of the basilar.

Bilateral neural packets are the basic mechanism of sensation and of thought. Bilateral neural packets essentially form from sensory input and those mimes then persist in what we call thought, which is a neural packet for a given moment of thought. Each organ of sensation like the ear will have unique mimes with similar characteristics to other organs and the human ear will sense sound in ways that are similar to how the eye processes light.

Although there are many components within the human ear, the basic neural organ of hearing is the cochlea. The cochlea has a spiral shape (see Figure) and with both impulse and response fluid canals with the very well known frequency response shown in the figure. Tiny hairs along the length of the basilar membrane, which is the wall between to the spiral cochlea impulse and response canals, are the neurons that sense sound by the inner ear fluid deflection of a tiny hair. The neural patterns in the EEG that come from basilar excitation are many and varied, but the hearing neural network is still not well understood. In fact, science does not seem to have a very clear understanding of the underlying neural impulse patterns for even simple organisms.

The 7 notes of the octave are very suggestive, though, of a binary or bilateral difference sampling between groups of selected neurons and the top three rows of Pascal's triangle of the binomial theory describe how this binary sampling adds up to 7. This implies that the same kind of bilateralism that we recognize as the left-right symmetry is a part of hearing. Indeed, bilateralism is very common in all higher organisms and indeed also in the binary frequency analysis of sound and other spectral data with the Cooley-Tukey fast Fourier transform (FT) algorithm. The basic FT algorithm processes spectral data by sampling a time series with powers of two averaging and bilateralism is therefore an efficient way to sample and compress time series data into frequency amplitudes for representation in thought packets.

Therefore it seems very reasonable that along the basilar membrane, neurons from 20 mm to the end would be progressively paired into 7-mer's with the midpoint defined by middle C at 262 Hz, which peaks at 27 mm from the stapes. These progressive bilateral neural pairings would then form difference modes that would complement the sum and total modes and enhance sensation of the frequencies lower than ~1000 Hz as shown. These 7-order difference pairings would then effectively provide for our pleasure hearing the tones and chords of music.

It is no coincidence that there is likewise a 7-mer compression of retinal information from the eye just like there is apparently a 7-mer compression in the ear. This means that both our auditory and visual sensations end up using the same neural bandwidth at 7x the EEG delta wave, which is the EEG alpha wave at 11 Hz.

The sensation of sound results in a awaron packet of bilateral neurons. There are approximately 30,000 neurons in the auditory fiber, 90% or 27,000 innervate sensation while the balance of 3,000 neurons provide for feedback and gain control by stiffening gain hairs in the membrane. Each cochlear hair cell synaptically couples to about 10 other neurons, which then provides 270,000 neural nodes per frame or heartbeat, or 430,000 nodes/s. With a Hopfield reduction factor of 0.14 and a frame of 0.6 s, this is an overall effectively sampling rate of 7.9 kB/s or 4.7 kB/frame.

The Nyquist cutoff for human hearing is twice the 20,000 Hz upper range and would correspond to a neural network of 290,000 nodes/s with a Hopfield reduction of 0.14, which suggests that we use about 67% of the neural bandwidth for pure frequency response. Therefore, we use the balance of 33% neural bandwidth combination for tonality and phase, attributes that are especially critical for music.

In addition to sensations of tones or frequencies, which are the vowels of speech, there are also the sensations of sound starting and stopping, which are the consonants of speech. Starting and stopping of sound involve very high frequencies that are clipping sounds and starts and stops are quite a bit simpler to compress than tonal sounds. As the figure shows, a possible three difference modes sum to three for the top of the Pascal triangle, which would be a so-called theta EEG mode at 4.8 Hz, shown in the actual EEG spectrum below. Start and stop encoding is likely due to bilateral coupling of just 3 difference modes for hairs from 0 to 20 mm from the stapes.

This compression would be consistent with the total 10 interconnections associated with each auditory neuron, 7 for tone and 3 for stop and start or phase. All of these sensations, though, would be subject to the overall phase of the delta mode at 1.6 Hz. While start and stop data is important for sensation of all sounds, start and stop or phase encoding is especially important for the low frequencies of music since phase sets the tempo of music.

Although this hypothesis or conjecture for the auditory neural network is not yet validated, it does appear to be consistent with the much of the data that is available. The prevalence of cochlear implants now provides a basis for testing this hypothesis. While encoding frequencies above about 1000 Hz (soprano C6 is 1047 Hz) is pretty straightforward with implants by this hypothesis, frequencies below 1000 Hz would need a special folding algorithm around middle C at 262 Hz or wherever a person's tonal connections midpoint would happen to be.

It is possible that people with what is called perfect pitch have a natural tonal midpoint that is very close to that of standard middle C at 262 Hz. Most people without perfect pitch, though, need to shift their hearing reference tone just like we do with color vision by feedback to the gain hair neurons. Since cochlear implants do not respond to neural feedback, this tonal shift must be performed electronically by the device and would need to be tuned for each person.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Aware Matter as Consciousness

Thus far... it has not been clear how any biological neural network actually organizes its information much less how the human brain organizes its information. Even though science knows quite a bit about the biochemistry of neurons, axons, and synapses, science has thus far not been able to interpret the neural coding of even simple biological neural networks. Even though our computer science knows how to build and program neural networks, thus far science has not been able to mimic even simple biological networks.

What we need is a paradigm for understanding our biological neural networks and one clue is with the bilateral symmetry of life. By considering neuron pairs as entities instead of single neurons, this simple conjecture leads to a new state of matter: aware matter. Aware matter is a quantifiable and measurable aggregate packet of balateral neuron quanta, aware matter. Aware matter provides the basic heuristics for a self-aware bilateral cognitive network with the fundamental phase and timing of the heartbeat, which is the delta mode of the EEG spectrum of our brain's electrical signals.

There are many that have proposed consciousness, which means free choice, as a new state of matter. However, there have been very few examples of exactly what that would mean (see Tegmark, Tononi, Hopfield), and aware matter is just such a construct from the bilateral symmetry of life. A packet of aware matter is in a real sense, self aware and for the human brain, holds a very large amount of information. In fact, a single aware matter packet could in principle hold all of the information of a lifetime. While an internet packet may hold 1-2 kb of data, an aware matter packet can address as many as 5e75 byte states of information in a one terabyte neural network.

In the brain, there is perhaps about 1 terabyte of static neural capacity given 6e10 neurons, 1000 synapses per neuron, and a 0.14 Hopfield information reduction factor. This is the upper limit for the information content of a single aware matter packet, a moment of thought, and that maximal packet would involve the whole brain. Most neural packets carry much less information and a single retinal packet, for example, might carry only as much as 16 mb, and typically far less information.

Unlike linear computers that store and retrieve data packets composed of bytes, aware matter packets carry information as superimposed coherent bilateral aware matter states at 64 independent frequencies or colors. This is like the information content of a modulated 64 color laser with 16 levels of intensities for each color, but with a fundamental color mode of just 1.6 Hz.

The neural EEG of aware matter...can hold a large amount of information with its coherent aware matter zoo, but  the neural capacity of the brain, ~1 tb, limits the total thought during a day. This would be about 92,000 eleven mb images per day, for example, as our most intensive information need, roughly one image per delta cycle during 16 hours. This would be the information capacity of the brain before a sleep cycle to dephase the aware matter packet for the next day's experience. One of the two basic functions of sleep are now clear; dephasing aware matter packets back to raw aware matter by disengaging all mimes of sensation and action.

Although aware matter packets can hold a great deal of information, the action of thought limits any information transfer to about 10 Hz, i.e., human response time that is how long it takes us to think. As moments of thought stack up while we are awake, each thought would be coded with 4 modes for a total of 16^4 = 65,000 moments per day, which seems about right. At 10 Hz, it would take about 2 hours of deep sleep to compress and write the typical 65,000 aware matter packets into a permanent memory of the day. Memory is a second very important function for sleep.

The fundamental action of aware matter is the bilateral bond between two neurons to form an aware matter particle, which is the quantum of free choice. In the figure, aware matter comprises two complementary synaptic impulses from a coupled pair of neurons and a frequency of that impulse for neural action. Exactly which synapse pair fires can vary for different mimes. Aware matter not only has an electrical signal, aware matter also has a quantifiable mass as well as a magnetism as a spin and a lot of other very interesting quantum properties.

For example, aware matter can either excite or inhibit other aware matter and form aware matter accretions or packets. Attractors tend to acrete and repellers tend to separate, but both attractors and repellers are the basic building blocks of neural networks that store static information as both excitations and inhibitions. Essentially aware matter is a adaptive dynamic cognitive neural network that stores information not only as the amplitude of aware matter modes, but also as the phase or timing among those modes.

This figure shows a dimer of neurons interacting as a impulse/response pair. The fundamental mode of aware matter is this dimer at 1.6 Hz, the delta or heartbeat mode of EEG brain spectrum. Aware matter packets can couple with other aware matter packets and form clusters that have very distinctive EEG spectra.

Aware matter is a quantum fluid that shows many of the characteristics of other quantum fluids like those of light in a laser cavity, but light photons do not bond to each other. In the presence of a gain medium, very novel quantum fluids have been observed that do effectively bind light photons. Such devices show the promise of quantum computers for solving some very complex problems.

Aware matter seems to be a very similar quantum fluid and form real, measurable particles that exist as fermions instead of the bosons that are light's photons and so aware matter bonds into packets. When aware matter adapts to the mimes of either or both sensation and realization, we call that a thought or experience or sensation. Aware matter packets can continue to accrete into larger and more complex packets that we associate with experience.

An aware matter packet is in a sense self aware since aware matter adapts to the modes of whatever neural template it is in physical contact with, which includes itself. Our brains can evidently write the accumulated aware matter packets of the day into static matter states that we call memory. These are all characteristics of adaptive cognitive networks, but aware matter is actually a substance made up of the pure quantum matter that is literally the matter equivalent energy of a synapse.

Aware Matter Spectra as EEG Waves

Each aware matter packet is a superposition of aware matter modes and its collective electrical activity is an EEG spectrum. Aware matter packets will have certain properties that all scale from its fundamental frequency, 1.6 Hz, which is called the delta or heartbeat EEG wave. Each state of aware matter will be some multiple of this fundamental mode as dimers, trimers, tetramers, etc., of aware matter and a single aware matter packet could involve the entire brain.

It turns out that one particular mode, the alpha EEG mode at 11 Hz, is particularly prominent in the EEG. Evidently this mode is associated with a 7-mer aware matter of the eye. In the figure, the foveal cone is the most sensitive part of the retina and its basic symmetry is the 7-mer and 7 x 1.6 = 11 Hz.

The spot where our most precise imaging occurs is at the foveal cones of the retina, which is a tightly packed topology that is very common in nature and called hexagonal close-packed. Essentially six cones form a hexagon around each cone in a highly ordered aware matter 7-mer as part of vision. Thus, we expect to see a very strong mode in the aware matter spectrum at 7 x 1.6 = 11 Hz, and there is a strong peak in the EEG at 11 Hz called the alpha, α, wave, as well as at its overtone at 22 Hz, the beta wave.

Correspondingly, there are 7 million cones in a retina, but only 1 million neurons to carry that information to the aware matter packet, a 7:1 information reduction. Each retinal image represents about 16 mb of Hopfield information, but the packet only stores features that resonate with mimes.

Once an image forms on our retina, the features of the image resonate with mimes and form aware matter packets that may involve the whole brain, but resonate particularly with local mimes within the brain. Unlike the rastering of linear computing, where time delay is simply a consequence of the read/write cycles of packets of electrons stored in silicon, an aware matter packet of matter carries both amplitude and coherent phase as part of its state.

Resonant states of aware matter are like resonant modes in a laser cavity, but photons do not bond to each other and so there is no corresponding aware matter packets in a laser cavity. Unlike the internet that transmits packets of information independent of the medium, packets of aware matter adapt and transform as they resonate and interact with other aware matter packets and templates. The structures of the brain affect the nature of the aware matter packet resonance and aware matter packets can either attract or repel each other. If the attraction is strong enough, aware matter will bond into a complex resonance that we call experience.

Awareness is a key feature of free choice and it is interesting that people report that deep meditation can seem like pure awareness, which is actually what makes free choice possible. Aware matter is a dynamic state of neural matter that carries a large amount of information, including information about itself. Therefore,aware matter is in some sense, self aware.

Aware Matter Packets and Internet Packets

The packets of internet protocol also have a two way error correcting protocol and ways for routers to direct packets, but packet information does not change in the process. In fact, much effort goes into avoiding any changes or errors in the packet information.

Like the internet packets, aware matter packets are inherently two way but aware matter uses coherent resonances to manage errors and therefore to have things make sense. The resonances of an aware matter packet evolve and grow into a thought as the packet attracts or repels other aware matter packets according to the topology and structure of its connections. A strong aware matter resonance is a heavy piece of aware matter and is the feeling that we have when something really makes sense.

It is now clear that you simply cannot read an aware matter packet like a computer reads an internet packet. Aware matter information resides both in the mimes of the medium as well as in the substance of aware matter. Knowing both the resonances of aware matter along with the mimes that are the qualia of memory and instinct, should allow transmission of thought.

In order to interpret the EEG resonances as thought, we need the phase, which is likely to be the delta or heartbeat mode of the EEG. This will provide a complete EEG spectrum, from which we should be able to probe and derive the mimes that are a person’s own qualia. Many mimes reflect the actually topology of the network, which of course is always evolving and learning.  Measuring the aware matter spectrum of a thought, and decoding it with the qualia mimes should permit direct, albeit crude, communication by thought. There are emotions and physiological responses that only indirectly impact aware matter. Although EEG provides aware matter amplitudes, in order to deconvolve into spectra, we also need the phase information or timing for all those modes as well.

The EEG amplitudes appear somewhat chaotic because of a lack of phase information that is presumably the heartbeat. Also, an aware matter packet carries not only the information of a sensation, it also carries the information of the entire experience. For example, the simple attractor/repeller modes in the aware matter amplitudes above hold a lot of information as constructive and destructive waves. In other words, the absence of a mode is just as meaningful as the presence of a mode once you have phase. This is related to the source or inverse problem in neural science, which is one of location of the signal.

It is usually assumed that the neural information for locomotion, for example, can simply be read and a motion actuated from the pattern in the signal. This method has not yet proven to be successful and it is clear that without the phase information, at least one-half of the information is simply missing and the other half is corrupted by folding into the power spectrum. It is better to think of the locomotion as a packet of aware matter that complements the aware matter packet of the brain.

It has long been clear that neural templates or mimes are very important in learning and comprehension, but the exact nature of human or any biological cognitive network  neural templates has not yet been clear. An aware matter spectrum represents the resonance for a thought and an aware matter mime complements or resonates with that thought. The receptor has a template that is the complement of that aware matter packet and a receptor device must likewise recognize that template.

The problem is that it is really not possible to learn a template from simply measuring the power spectrum of the neural EEG signal. You also have to also know the heartbeat as well as the mime shapes in order to really make sense out of aware matter since the phase or even the absence of a mode can also carry template information.

Aware matter has as many as 64 modes from the oligomers of aware matter neural dimer, assuming 102.4 Hz as an upper bounds (a power of two just because) and 1.6 Hz as the fundamental mode (102.4 Hz / 1.6 Hz). There are some 6e10 neurons in the human brain and assuming that each neuron connects to 1,000 other neurons, and the Hopfield static memory is about 1 tb. The average neuron content is 64 for each aware matter mode corresponding to a gamma EEG mode around 51 Hz, the mode templates represent an addressable information content of ~(1000/64)^64 / 8 = ~3x1075 bytes of information. In case you don't know, that's a lot. It is like having a 64 bit computer with a base 16 (1024/64) instead of base 2 memory.

The information in a single packet of aware matter is a dynamic quantum cognitive substance that is limited by a Hopfield neural capacity of about 1 tb. That appears to be able to hold a whole lifetime of information in the phase and intensity of its modes, but this seems to be the limit for a day's worth of experience or about 16 hours. As aware matter mimics its sensory patterns and resonates with its mimes, aware matter is in some sense self aware as well.

The templates or mimes come from learning or they may be innate whereas the stimulation comes from a sensation or from the realization of a memory. Aware matter naturally mimics the modes of mimes that it contacts and once a mode forms, it will resonate with other mimes that complement its mode structure. Once an aware matter packet accretes into an experience, the brain imprints that packet at the delta rate, and so each moment is limited to about 11 mb per delta cycle, and that totals about 1 tb per day, or 92,000 moments in the day for delta wave = 1.6 Hz. But four bit encoding would mean that at most, we capture more like 65,000 moments in a day.

Aware Matter as Sleep

There are certain characteristics of sleep that appear during both REM and deep sleep called sleep spindles and K complexes. While these EEG pulses are always associated with normal sleep, their exact role is still not well understood. Here are  examples of the frequency versus time chirp of two slightly different sleep spindles observed in two different parts of the brain. see sleep spindles

The spectral chirp of the spindle shows the basic mode of free choice, alpha, as well as an overtone of alpha + 1.5 delta. The K complex is a delta dimer pulse bound by the energy of 0.5 delta and so the delta dimer resonates at 1.5 delta. see K complex spectra

The overlay of the spindle and K complex spectra illustrate their close association since the K complex and spindle chirps have the delta dimer time duration. Essentially, a spindle pulse is a composite of a pulse of pure alpha bound with a delta dimer.

A delta dimer bound alpha aware matter packet forms the basic structure of thought. How delta-dimer alpha packets bind into larger aware matter packets is what makes up thought and those packets are saved during sleep as long term memories.

Aware Matter as a Quantum Fluid

Finally, the quantum wave equation for aware matter is particularly simple and so the wavefunction is simple as well. The EEG spectrum will be sinc functions (sin x / x), which is the Fourier transform of the aware matter wavefunction.
ma = aware matter particle mass, ~3.2e-30 kg (matter equivalent energy of two synaptic impulses)
Ea = 2.9e-13 J or 1.8 MeV
Ña = aware matter action constant, ma / 2π / f
n = order of mode for aware matter object, 1 to 64
t = time, s
fa = aware matter object frequency, Hz
ya = aware matter wavefunction
ya with dot = time derivative of ya

This simplicity comes from the fact that aware matter binding energy is equivalent to its resonance energy and when that happens for a quantum matter, the quantum wave functions, ya, are mathematically very simple superpositions of electrical impulse frequencies. Therefore the proportionality is related to the mode frequency as shown and there is a reaction time, ta, which should be around 0.1 s and is the linewidth of the mode. Thus, we do not expect the EEG modes to be transform limited but rather will have the linewidth of human reaction time.

There are many obvious ways to test the aware matter hypothesis and indeed, there may be information out there that shows that aware matter could not exist. However, it is really fun to imagine how such a simple quantum fluid as aware matter could becomes not only a part of our lives, but a part of every neural life. Aware matter would be the unifying force behind all sentient life if it exists.

Sterile Neutrinos...Cousins or Siblings or Self?

There is a class of hypothetical neutrinos called sterile neutrinos that appear to be similar to aware matter. If there turns out to be sterile neutrinos, that would mean that free choice is aware matter from the neutrino flux over our lifetime and the aware matter that was us returns to the neutrino flux when our life ends. 

Just like we borrow the matter of our bodies from mother earth and return it to mother earth when we are done, we likewise borrow the aware matter of our minds from the neutrino flux of father time and likewise return it to father time when we are done as well. Aware matter may be the paradigm that will finally allow us to unlock the secret of free choice.