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Mind-brain interaction and violation of physical laws

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If mind is not a part of the physical universe but is able to influence brain events, then violations of physical laws should occur at points of such mental influence. Using current knowledge of how the nervous system functions, the minimal necessary magnitude of such violations is examined. A variety of influences that could produce action potentials is considered, including the direct opening of sodium channels in membranes, the triggering of release of neurotransmitter at synapses, the opening of postsynaptic, ligand-gated channels, and the control of neuromodulation. It is shown that the magnitude of the disturbance required is significantly greater than allowed for under quantum-mechanical uncertainty. It is concluded that violations of fundamental physical laws, such as energy conservation, would occur were a non-physical mind able to influence brain and behaviour.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biology, University of Miami, PO Box 249118, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0421, USA.

Publication date: August 1, 1999


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