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Stoyan Kurtev

Wave-like patterns in behavioural data: evidence for quantum processes in the brain?

Numerosity estimation as a task for studying the behaviour of the mental state is analogous to probing properties of a particle state by measuring position and velocity using particle detectors. In that analogy, the difference between the guess and the actual number of objects (e.g., dots) corresponds to the position variable and the response time corresponds to the velocity/energy variable of the mental state. The findings from 3 behavioural psychology experiments indicate that when people estimate the number of dots on a screen, the response times vary more when they make more effort than when the task is easier, and also that the variability of the response times depends on the amount of effort. More specifically, the variability exhibits an oscillatory pattern along the effort dimension. The first finding is analogous to the enlarged momentum variability of a squeezed state in terms of position. The second finding is analogous to the wave patterns of probability density of position and energy/momentum arising from the Schrödinger equation. The findings lend support to the idea of an analogy between the behaviour of mental states and the behaviour of particle states, and indirectly also to the hypothesis that the physical substrate of the conscious mental state is ensembles of quantum entangled particles. A speculative explanation is offered as to how this may be realised in the brain.

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