Monthly Archives: March 2014

Brains seem quantum — why is that so controversial? Good enough for plants, but not brains?


According to Lisa Zyga in “In quantum theory of cognition, memories are created by the act of remembering”

“There are two lines of thought when it comes to using quantum theory to describe cognitive processes,” James M. Yearsley, a researcher in the Department of Psychology at City University London, told “The first is that some decision-making processes appear quantum because there are physical processes in the brain (at the level of neurons, etc.) that are quantum. This is very controversial and is a position held by only a minority. The second line of thought is that basic physical processes in the brain at the level of neurons are classical, and the (apparent) non-classical features of some human decision-making arises because of the complex way in which thoughts and feelings are related to basic brain processes. This is by far the more common viewpoint, and is the one we personally subscribe to.”

Why wouldn’t we have evolved to use physical processes in the brain that are quantum? Plants exploit quantum effects for photosynthesis, the fuel source for brains, so why wouldn’t billions of years of evolution be equally effective in optimizing neural function?