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Are Our Spaces Made of Words?

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Abstract:

It is argued that both neuroscience and physics point towards a similar re-assessment of our concepts of space, time and 'reality', which, by removing some apparent paradoxes, may lead to a view which can provide a natural place for consciousness and language within biophysics. There are reasons to believe that relationships between entities in experiential space and time and in modern physicists' space and time are quite different, neither corresponding to our geometric schooling. The elements of the universe may be better described not as 'particles' but as dynamic processes giving rise, where they interface with each other, to the transfer, and at least in some cases experience, of 'pure'or 'active'information, the mental and physical just reflecting different standpoints. Although this analy-sis draws on general features of quantum dynamics, it is argued that purely quantum level events (and their 'interpretations') are unlikely to be relevant to the understanding of consciousness. The processes that might be able to give rise, within brain cells, to an experience like ours are briefly reviewed. It is suggested that the elementary signals that are integrated to generate a spatial experience may have features more in common with words than pixels. It is further suggested that the laws of integration of words in language may provide useful clues to the way biophysical integration of signals in neurons relates to integration of elements in experiential space.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: jo.edwards@ucl.ac.uk

Publication date: January 1, 2008

imp/jcs/2008/00000015/00000001/art00004
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