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Minding Quanta and Cosmology

Minding Quanta and Cosmology



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Physics and Mind 
by Karl H. Pribram
.The revolution in science inaugurated by quantum phys-ics has made us aware of the role of observation in the constructionof data. Eugene Wigner remarked that in quantum physics we nolonger have observables (invariants), only observations. Tongue incheek, I asked him whether that meant that quantum physics is really psychology, expecting a gruff reply to my sassiness. Instead, Wignerbeamed understanding and replied “Yes, yes, that’s exactly correct.”David Bohm pointed out that were we to look at the cosmos withoutthe lenses of our telescopes we would see a hologram. I extend Bohmsinsight to the lens in the optics of the eye. The receptor processes of the ear and skin work in a similar fashion. Without these lenses andlenslike operations all of our perceptions would be entangled as in ahologram. Furthermore, the retina absorbs quanta of radiation sothat quantum physics uses the very perceptions that become formedby it. In turn, higher-order brain systems send signals to the sensory receptors so that what we perceive is often as much a result of earlierrather than just immediate experience. This influence from insideout becomes especially relevant to our interpretation of how we ex-perience the contents and bounds of cosmology that come to us by  way of radiation.
Big Bang theory; brain systems; central control of re-ceptors; conformal rescaling; cosmology; efficient and formal causa-tion; Fourier transformation; holography; observation; perception;quantum physics; radiation; sensory receptors; wavelets; windowedFourier transformations
Karl H. Pribram is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, where he also serves as a researcher and faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Programin Cognitive Neuroscience. His mailing address is P.O. Box 679, Warrenton, VA 20188;e-mail pribramk@georgetown.edu.[
, vol. 44, no. 2 (June 2009)]
© 2009 by the Joint Publication Board of Zygon. ISSN 0591-2385
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The revolution in science inaugurated by quantum physics made us aware,as never before, of the role of observation and measurement in the con-struction of data. A personal experience illuminates the extent of this revo-lution. Eugene Wigner remarked that in quantum physics we no longerhave observables (invariants) but only observations. Tongue in cheek, Iasked whether that meant that quantum physics is really psychology, ex-pecting a gruff reply to my sassiness. Instead, Wigner beamed a happy smile of understanding and replied
 Yes, yes, that
s exactly correct.
In asense, therefore, if one takes the reductive path in science one ends up withpsychology, not particles of matter. Another clue to this turning of reductive science on its head is thattheoretical physics is, in some nontrivial sense, a set of aesthetically beauti-ful mathematical formulations that are looking for confirmation (seeChapline 1999). At a somewhat more conservative level, Henry Stapp ([1972] 1997) haseloquently reviewed the history of how the founders of quantum physics(for example, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, John von Neumann) dealt with the then newly realized importance of the
of our observationsto an understanding of the composition of matter. Stapp has added hisown views on how these innovations in thinking affect our understandingof the mind/matter interface.Here I pursue a different take on the issue: Coming from the vantage of brain science, how can we better understand some of the puzzles that haveplagued quantum theory and observation to the point of weirdness? Fur-thermore, how important are the prejudices of our
in interpretingour cosmological views? My hope is that by pursuing the course outlinedhere, weirdness and prejudice will to a large extent become resolved.O
David Bohm (1973) pointed out that were we to look at the cosmos with-out the lenses of our telescopes, we would see a hologram. Holograms werethe mathematical invention of Dennis Gabor (1948), who developed themin order to increase the resolving power of electron microscopy. EmmetLeith (Leith and Upatnicks 1965) developed the hologram for laser lightphotography, a development that has overshadowed in popularity the math-ematical origin of the invention. Holography is based on taking a space-time image and spreading it (the transformation rule is called a spreadfunction; the Fourier transformation is the one used by Gabor) over theextent of the recording medium. Thus, the parts of the image become wholly enfolded with each other and the whole becomes totally enfoldedin each part.I have extended Bohm
s insight of the importance of lenses in creating aspace-time image to the lens in the optics of the eye (Pribram 1991): The

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Karl H. Pribram
453receptor mechanisms of the ear, the skin, and probably even the nose andtongue work in a similar fashion. Without these lenses and lenslike opera-tions all of our perceptions would be enfolded as in a hologram. In optics,a very small aperture of the pupil produces the same transformation as alens does. When the pupil is chemically dilated, as during an eye examina-tion, focus is lost and the experienced vision becomes blurred. However, if a pinhole or slit in a piece of cardboard is placed in front of the dilated eye,ordinary vision is restored. One can accomplish an approximation of thisby tightly curling one
s index finger producing a slit.In experiments during which we map the receptive fields of cells in thebrain we drift dots or slitlike lines and edges in front of a stationary eye. Inmy laboratory we used dots, single lines, double lines, and gratings andfound differences in the recorded receptive fields when more than one dotor line was used. The differences resulted from interactions produced inthe visual system of the brain when the stimulating dots or lines movedtogether against a random background (Figure 1).I propose that the difference in the observation of interference effects(an enfolded holographic record) in the two-slit experiment versus the ob-servation of an object (particle) in the single-slit experiment results fromthe difference in the measurement apparatus. This, of course, is not a new proposal; it is the essence of the argument made initially by Bohr andaccepted by quantum physicists for almost a century. What I am adding isthat the measuring apparatus, the slits, are mimicking the biology of how  we ordinarily observe the world we live in. There is no weird quantumeffect unique to that scale of observation.
The Brain’s Role in the Making of Observations.
In turn, the observa-tions made in quantum physics are relevant to how we perceive our world.The retina of the eye has been shown to absorb a single quantum of photicenergy 
that is, the retina has a resolving power such that it consists of pixels of single-quantum dimension. Yakir Ahranov has developed an ex-perimental paradigm for quantum physics that he calls weak measurement(Ahranov and Rhorlick 2005). Weak measurement does not disturb what
Fig. 1

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is being observed. Essentially, the technique consists of repeated measure-ments composed of two vectors: a
vector determined by pastevents and a
vector determined by events that occur in the futureof the time any single weak measurement is obtained. This apparently star-tling procedure is similar to the one used in nonlinear dynamics (complex-ity theory) that traces the vectors that develop what have been calledattractors over repeated observations of paths
stabilities far fromequilibrium. Point attractors and periodic attractors are two simple ex-amples of such stabilities.Research in my laboratory established functional pathways that con-nect higher-order cortical systems to the retina. Eight percent of the fibersin the optic nerve are efferent to the retina, and these fibers are able tochange retinal processing about twenty percent of the time. The control of the retina occurs within the time that retinal processing of optical inputoccurs. Thus, whenever there is a repetition of a sequence of optic inputs,a second vector
that input is operative. Just as in quantumphysics, attractors
contextual futures
determine our visual perceptions. What is true of vision also has been shown to be true for hearing, tactileand kinesthetic perceptions, and the perception of flavors.Thus the laws of physics, especially of quantum physics, have theircomplement in the laws of human perception. The laws of quantum phys-ics have been shown to be dependent on the constraints imposed by theinstruments of observation. The laws of human perception have been shownto be dependent on the constraints imposed by processes such as atten-tion, intention, and thought organized by the observer
s brain. To com-plete the hermeneutic cycle, observations in physics are made by humans whose observations are dependent on their brains.
 Meaning from Inside Out 
.Patrick Heelan (2009), in the compan-ion essay in this issue of 
, discusses at length the transition of scien-tific, philosophical, and religious thought from perceiving an
out there
to an intentional view of a meaningful reality. Heelan indicates that thistransition comes by way of the hermeneutic process that stems from indi-vidual encounters in the world we navigate. This view is considerably moresophisticated than the currently accepted way of describing the organiza-tion of brain function and of communication in terms of information pro-cessing.The popularity of information-processing language has two sources. Oneis that when speaking of information most people mean
infor-mation. The other comes from communication theory and its use in tele-phony and computer science. Claude Shannon defined information as the
reduction of uncertainty 
and sharply separated this definition from thedefinition of meaning. The usefulness of Shannon
s definition has given
an aura of respectability that has been assimilated by the unde-fined use of the term
information processing 
. Actually, the more appropriate

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Karl H. Pribram
455term would be the processing of meaning, but then we would need a scien-tifically useful, that is, testable, definition of meaning. A good beginning can be made with Charles Sanders Peirce
s definition(1974) in which he notes that what I mean by meaning is what I mean todo. Coming from one of the founders of pragmatism this is hardly surpris-ing. But in keeping with the phenomenological approach to meaning de-tailed by Heelan, I would add: What I mean by meaning is what I intendto do
and what I intend to experience.
These are good beginnings, but they do not provide us with the usefullaboratory-testable procedures that make the concept of meaning as trans-parent as Shannon
s (and Gabor
s) concept of information. In order toprovide such a transparent concept we need to take a detour to define acontext for Shannon
s definition of information and then show the short-comings of his definition for human (and primate) communication. Fi-nally, we need to describe an experimental result that provides at least onedefinition of meaning.This detour is relevant to our interpretation of quanta and cosmology.For decades, quantum physicists were divided as to the best representationof quantum phenomena. As noted in Heelan
s essay, Erwin Schr
dinger,Louis DeBroglie, and Albert Einstein opted for the wave equation whileHeisenberg, Bohr, and his Copenhagen adherents opted for a vector repre-sentation of quantum
I recently published a paper (Pribram et al.2004) in which the results of microelectrode analysis of brain processes was shown in terms of both wave functions and vectors. I recapitulated thequantum physicists
arguments: The wave representation is more
; the vector representation is more abstract andtherefore can be more easily applied over a range of experimental results. What both Heelan and I are proposing is a way of conceptualizing thebrain/mind relationship (or, better stated, the person/experience relation-ship) that is derived from, and in turn motivates, our understanding of quantum physics.
The Holographic Process.
The precision of our understanding is to-day best formulated in mathematical concepts. The root problem in com-ing to grips with the person/experience relationship, the brain/mindtransaction, is that at first blush brain is material, matter, while what weexperience is different. We can eat brains but not our experience. The cur-rent way scientists deal with experience is in terms of communication andcomputation, in terms of information processing. But any more human orexperiential approach to the issue finds information processing barren. Additionally, as noted, the manner in which scientists use information pro-cessing is itself largely unscientific.These limitations of understanding brain and mind, person and experi-ence, need not be so. Careful attention to what philosophers have had to

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offer since Ren
Descartes, what the science of radiation (heat and light)has shown, and what psychologists and communication sciences have de-veloped can provide a transparent set of concepts that go a long way to- ward
this apparently intractable problem.The formation of attractors during our experiencing of the world wenavigate (and in performing experiments) is a complex dynamic process.In order to examine aspects of this process in detail, sections (Poincar
sections), or slices, can be taken at any 
to display this complex-ity. One such momentary display is the holographic experience. It is usefulto understand at the outset that holograms are examples of the spectraldomain. Spectra consist of fluctuations (flux), oscillations, and their inter-actions, measured as interference patterns where fluctuations intersect toreinforce or cancel.Experiencing a holographic process at the macroscopic scale is just as weird as any observation made in quantum physics. My classroom demon-stration always evokes disbelief. I take an ordinary slide projector and show a slide (a pastoral scene, for example). I then take the lens of the projectoraway, and, as predicted by Bohm, all one sees is a fuzzy cone of light con-taining no discernible image. Then I take a pair of reading glasses and holdthem in front of the projector at just the right distance. Voila! Whereverand whenever the lenses focus the light, the image on the slide (the pasto-ral scene) appears. Taking two pairs of spectacles, I demonstrate four im-ages
and continue to show images anywhere there is light.In experiments performed in quantum physics, a pinhole or single slit isthe equivalent of the lens in the classroom experiment. At the quantumscale, replace the pastoral scene with a particle. The particle
s holographicform (its complex conjugate) becomes exposed by means of double ormultiple slits (gratings). The
particle is now spread
everywhen and everywhere.
This holographic form of holism is not to be confused with the hierar-chical form in which the whole is greater than and different from the part.Hierarchical relations are found everywhere in biology and in the behav-ioral sciences. The holographic form of holism has come into science fairly recently. The spectral aspects of quantum physics and the procedures usedin functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and in digital camerasare examples. However, in optics, interference effects have been studiedsince Christian Huygens, though their importance to our understandingof brain and cosmos had to await the insights of the twentieth century.
The Fourier Relationship.
s invention of the hologram restedon the Fourier transformation that relates space and time reciprocally tothe spectral domain. I have claimed that this relationship is essential tounderstanding some aspects of brain function such as processing sensory input and memory. Specifically, the mathematical formulation states that

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Karl H. Pribram
457any space-time pattern can be transformed into the spectral domain char-acterized by a set of waveforms that encode amplitude, frequency, andphase. Inverting the transform realizes the original space-time configura-tion. The transform domain is spectral, not just frequency, because Fourierused a trick that encodes both the cosine and sine of a waveform allowingthe interference between the 90-degree phase separation of the waveformsto be encoded discretely as a coefficient.The advantage gained by transforming into the spectral domain is thata great variety of transformed patterns can be readily convolved with eachother (multiplied) so that by performing the inverse transform all the space-time patterns become correlated. This advantage is utilized in quantumholography, which I have called Holonomy. Quantum holography, origi-nated by Gabor, is based on a windowed Fourier transformation (discussedin the next section). George Chapline in an article titled
Entangled states,holography, and quantum surfaces
argues that the simplest way to encode
may be as multi-qubit entangled states
(2002, 809). Image pro-cessing as in tomography such as PET scans and fMRI as well as in digitalphotography are prime examples of the utility of such encoding.The Fourier transform accomplishes the spread of space-time observablesby taking the space-time image and converting it into a complex conjugatebased on the interference among waveforms. The peak of each waveform ismoved 90 degrees upon itself and thus treated as having both a cosine anda sine component. Fourier arrived at this analytic trick by treating a wavenot as extended over space and time but as a circular recurrence much as we do when we place the extent of daily time onto an analogue clock face.Once treated as a circle, any point on that circle can be determined by triangulating its sine and cosine value. Essentially this is equivalent to de-termining a value for the amplitude of any point on the waveform.The Fourier transform (and other such orthogonal functions) make itpossible to reformulate any pattern observed in space and time into sets of  wave forms that differ in frequency, amplitude, and phase relations amongthem. The utility of the Fourier transform has been noted by Richard Feyn-man, who declared that Fourier
s theorem is probably the most far reach-ing principle of mathematical physics (Feynman, Leighton, and Sands1963). The diagram on the following page (Figure 2) portrays this prin-ciple and some of the theoretical/philosophical insights it affords.The diagram has two axes, a top-down and a left-right. The top-downaxis distinguishes change from inertia. Change is defined in terms of en-ergy and entropy. Energy is measured as the amount of work necessary tochange a structured system, and entropy is a measure of how efficiently thatchange is brought about. Shannon (Shannon and Weaver 1949, 117), LeonBrillouin (1962), and Donald MacKay (1969) all discussed the relation be-tween measures of efficiency (that is, entropy and negentropy) and mea-sures of information. However, these authors came to somewhat different

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conclusions: Shannon equated the amount of information with the amountof entropy, Mackay and Brillouin with the amount of negentropy. A conciliation of these views can be achieved by relating the mathemati-cal
of measures of entropy to the mathematical
of potential in-formation. The reasoning is similar to that which motivated Shannon. Hecalled the structure, that is, the medium, within which information pro-cessing occurs
. It is this structure that allows for information tobe defined as producing a reduction of uncertainty. Thus the amount of uncertainty is equivalent to the amount of potential that the informationcan reduce. (For elaboration see Pribram 1991, 39
43.)Having defined
as an
active change in form, a change withinstructure 
, we can think of the bottom half of the Fourier relationship asfollows:
is defined as the
unchanging velocity of an unperturbed  form
. The Fourier transformation of momentum is expressed in the un-changing, inertial spatial (and temporal) location of its form, that is, in theform of matter. Matter can thus be thought of, literally, as an
 We now turn to the left-right axis of the Fourier diagram that distin-guishes between measurements made in the spectral domain and thosemade in space-time. Spectra consist of fluctuations (flux), oscillations, andtheir interactions, measured as interference patterns where fluctuations in-tersect to reinforce or cancel. Holograms are examples of the spectral do-main.
bridge the left-to-right axis of the Fourier transformation. When transformed into space-time, the spectral patterns become profilesof illuminated objects (for instance particles).The Fourier relation provides a precise understanding of an epistemol-ogy of the mind/brain, the person/experience relationship. This is not the whole story, however.
Fig. 2
.The wave/particle dichotomy is orthogonal to the above distinction.

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Karl H. Pribram
The Gabor Function.
 When I discussed with Gabor the idea thatthe brain process in (visual) perception used the Fourier transformation,his response was
 Almost but not quite.
Over the next decade experimentsperformed in many laboratories including mine showed that the receptivedendritic fields of cells in the visual cortex encoded what we now call
win-dowed Fourier transformations 
. The Fourier process itself extends to infin-ity. Brain receptive fields are limited in extent, both spatially and in theirprocessing time. It turns out that Norbert Wiener and Gabor had dis-cussed the windowed Fourier process during the 1940s. Gabor had beeninterested in the efficiency with which telephone messages could be sentacross the Atlantic cable, what might be the maximum compressibility that could be achieved. Using the mathematics of quantum physics (a Hil-bert space), Gabor came up with a unit he called
a quantum of information
.This unit varied with the frequency voiced in the communication. Gabornoted that he had specified the limit beyond which the communicationbecame
much as Heisenberg had shown in quantum physics. Also, Gabor related his minimum to Shannon
s measure of information asthe reduction in uncertainty (Figure 3).During the exciting period of the 1970s we had, therefore, established aconvergence of precise mathematical descriptions of receptive fields in thecortex of the brain with the units of communication and with the discov-eries in quantum physics. Although the Fourier diagram made possible aprecise way of dealing with the relationship of thought (mind) and matter,the convergence of measures of information as they were found to apply tocommunication, brain organization, and quantum physics indicated thatontologically the fundamental composition of mind and matter is unitary.
 Meaning Revisited.
In the late 1950s I designed an experiment us-ing monkeys to test Shannon
s information-measurement theory. I plannedto see which part of the brain is involved in our ability to choose among
Fig. 3
.Logons, Gabor Elementary Functions: Quanta of Information.

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the number of alternatives specified by the amount of 
presented to the monkey in each choice. My plan was to set upa board that had twelve holes, each large enough to hold a peanut. I wentto the dime store and picked up twelve junk objects just large enough tocover the holes. I wanted to test the monkeys
ability to find a peanuthidden under one of the objects, given a display of two, three, four, ormore objects from which to choose. The idea was simple: The more ob- jects (alternatives, uncertainty), the more trials (or the longer) it wouldtake the monkey to find the peanut.No one had tried to work with monkeys using a large number of simul-taneously displayed choices. In preliminary tests I found that untrainedmonkeys simply refused to work with large displays, given so much uncer-tainty, such a paltry chance of finding a peanut. I had to train the monkeysby starting with a choice between two objects and working up to twelve.Two years of testing twelve monkeys, four hours each day, in what came tobe called the multiple-choice experiment, provided some unexpected re-sults: When there were fewer than four cues to choose from, the monkeysbehaved differently than they did when there were more than four cues.The cutoff point at four indicates that animals (and humans) can almostimmediately tell whether there are one, two, or three alternatives to beconsidered. This ability is called
. With more than four alterna-tives, a search becomes necessary.Rather than searching randomly 
as would have been ideal for my ex-periment if I had been able to vary the order in which I presented differentnumbers of objects
the monkeys learned the sequence I used to place thepeanut. Thus, for them, the choice among twelve cues was no longer quan-titatively twelve times as difficult as the choice between two. For the mon-keys the problem had become something very different from the one thatI had set out to test.This experiment was intended to examine the effects of restricted re-movals of different areas of the brain cortex on their information-process-ing ability. I used four monkeys for each area removed and found thatremoval of one specific brain area, the inferior temporal cortex, and noothers, changed the way the monkeys searched for the peanut. I was puzzledby the result: The control monkeys took progressively more search trials asthe experiment proceeded
but not in the way information-measurementtheory had predicted. Even more puzzling, the monkeys with removals of the inferior temporal cortex actually did better than the unoperated andoperated control monkeys during the early parts of the experiment, a re-sult opposite to any that I or anyone else had found before. As is my custom when I cannot understand an experimental result, Ipresented these findings (along with others that I did understand) in talksgiven on various occasions, and asked the audience whether anyone had anexplanation. On one of these occasions, at Dartmouth, a young professor,

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Karl H. Pribram
461Bert Greene, made a suggestion that could be tested by reanalyzing thedata. Greene predicted that the animals with the brain operations differedin the way they sampled the displayed cues (that is, moved them to see whether there was a peanut in that well). His prediction was correct. Whereasnormal monkeys tended to sample cues that had been rewarded previ-ously, the monkeys with the brain operations sampled them randomly.The brain surgery had removed a memory process that the control mon-keys used in making their choices.I was able to show that mathematical sampling theory described quan-titatively what was happening. Sampling theory predicted the change inbehavior at the four-cue point in my experiment and fit the data obtainedthroughout. I had started to test information-measurement theory andended up testing mathematical sampling theory instead!From this multiple-choice experiment I learned something that otherexperimental psychologists were also learning at the time: If we are to mea-sure
in terms of the reduction of uncertainty, we must know the subject
s state of uncertainty. My monkeys responded to the alterna-tives, the available choices presented by the display, not as a straightfor- ward series from two to twelve but as an array to be sampled in whichprevious responses were remembered. As Ross Ashby, a pioneer cyberneti-tian, noted (in a personal communication), we learned that information-measurement theory was a superb instrument for framing issues but nothelpful when the subject in an experiment was working within a contextnot accessible to the experimenter.
What Is Being Sampled.
In another, somewhat simpler experiment,I taught two groups of monkeys, four in each group, to choose one of twoobjects: a tobacco tin and an ashtray. From one group of monkeys theinferior temporal cortex had been removed from both hemispheres of theirbrains; the other group of control subjects had not been operated on. Mon-keys with the cortical removals took somewhat longer to learn to makesuch a choice
for example, to choose the ashtray 
 when compared tothe number of trials it takes normal animals to learn to make that choice. After the monkeys had learned to make the choice, I changed the situa-tion in which the choice had to be made. Now, I placed either the ashtray or the tobacco tin in a central place between two wells covered with iden-tical lids. The task for the monkeys was to find the peanut. The peanut wasalways in the well on their right in the presence of an ashtray 
and in the well on their left when a tobacco tin was present. This was a difficult task for the normal group of monkeys to learn
it took them about 500 trials.The monkeys who had had the cortex of the inferior temporal lobe re-moved failed to learn to make the correct choice in several thousand trials.To assure myself that the monkeys who were failing were still able to tellthe difference between the ashtray and the tobacco tin, from time to time

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I inserted ten trials of the original task, where both ashtray and tobacco tin were present during the opportunity for choice. Invariably, all monkeysmade the choice that they had learned earlier on all ten trials. The failureon the new and difficult task was not in perceiving a difference betweenthe stimuli but in comprehending the new, more complex situation in which the choice had to be made. The lesson for me was that, in conso-nance with Heelan
s views, it is not only specific sensory stimuli but themeaning that is given to those stimuli by the relevant context that is formedby what we experience and do while navigating our world.
The Brain
s Role in the Making of Theories 
.Brain science can con-tribute even more to our understanding of quantum theory. Two observa-tions are relevant. First, the procedure of working from theory to experimentis what minding quanta and cosmology is all about. Our brain is central tothis endeavor. Rodolfo Llinas in
The I of the Vortex 
(2001) develops thetheme that the whole purpose of having a brain is to anticipate a usefulchoice on the basis of past experience
the essence of a well-developedtheory. Second, brain dynamics allows conscious experiences (musings) tobe momentarily superfluous to making choices; because of this delay theseexperiences can become aesthetically elegant. Einstein
s often-quoted re-mark that theory must first be beautiful to be true (before its full value canbe experimentally fulfilled) is a case in point.Stapp encapsulates these two observations:
...body/brain processes generate possibilities that correspond to possible experi-ences, and then [as we navigate our world] nature selects, in accordance with thebasic quantum statistical rule, one of these possible experiences, and actualizes it,and its body/brain counterpart.
this means that our experiences are not only the basic realities of the theory and the link to science
but also [that they] play a key role in specifying the
set of allowable possibilities
that... [compose] mind/brain events. (1997, 181
(Recall the correspondence between statistical, used by Stapp, and spectralrepresentations to bring his comments into register with this essay.)
The conceptualizations that have characterized quantum physics for al-most a century have struck scientists as bizarre and weird. When taken within the framework of 
minding quanta
as detailed in this essay, the weirdness can be dispelled to a large extent.First, the hologram, embodying the spectral domain at the classical scale,is just as weird as is the entanglement observed at the quantum scale. (Prob-ability amplitudes remain specific to the quantum scale but are currently under attack by Basil Hiley in an extension of Bohm
s approach to quan-tum phenomena).

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Karl H. Pribram
463Second, because quantum phenomena are expressed in terms of a Hil-bert space defined by both spectral and space-time coordinates, verbal in-terpretation often seesaws between these axes. Language has a tendency toreify, make
out of processes. This can be useful, as in disciplinessuch as biochemistry when the juice squeezed out of the pituitary glandhas effects on most of the other endocrine glands: The juice is assumed tobe composed of a multiplicity of substances
each having a spe-cific target in one of the other glands. And indeed this is what was found.But reification has drawbacks when the labels used to
do notproperly correspond to the process being labeled. My first encounter withthis issue was when we recorded a direct sensory input from the sciaticnerve to the
cortex of the brain. According to the dictum of sepa-ration of input from output as in the reflex arc of the spinal cord (knownas the Law of Bell and Magendie), the motor cortex should have no directsensory input. I contacted two of the most active and respected scientists working in the field, who replied,
 Yes, we
ve seen this strange artifact overand over.
But it wasn
t an artifact, as my students and I showed. I removedall possible indirect sensory inputs (post central cortex and cerebellar hemi-spheres) without disrupting the response evoked by the sciatic stimula-tion. The designation
had misled, and the reification of the Law of Bell and Magendie turned out to be erroneous even at the spinal reflexlevel. (The nervous system works much more like a thermostat, with acontrol wheel to change a setting, as developed in Miller, Galanter, andPribram 1960; Pribram 1971). When an enfolded system with space-time constraints, a Hilbert space,is being investigated, the temptation is overwhelming to reify the processin terms of the space and time constraints within which we ordinarily navi-gate. Take for instance the excellent book by George Greenstein and ArthurZajonc,
The Quantum Challenge 
(1997). They describe what are consid-ered to be bizarre quantum phenomena: (1) a particle can pass throughtwo slits at the same time; (2) measurements can never be perfectly accu-rate but are beset by a fundamental uncertainty; and (3) the very conceptof cause and effect must be rethought.Their first chapter tackles the two-slit issue. The authors carefully de-scribe matter waves and DeBroglie
s description of a quantum particle interms of wave forms. They note that the quantum treatment deals prima-rily with waves rather than particles. Indeed the very word
playslittle part in the discussion. The concept comes in only when psi is used asa measure to discern the probability of finding the particle at a given pointin space. As noted above, the
and statistical description are to alarge extent interchangeable. Here the
is not a thing, not an
but a statistical possibility that can occur in two spatially separated slits atthe same time. Equally important, the
in the above quotation isreally not a wave that occurs in space-time but a spectral pattern created by 

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interference among waves. (Bohm had to chastise me on several occasionsbefore I stopped thinking of waves and began to think in terms of spectrain this context.)Greenstein and Zajonc come to the conclusion that if we take quantummechanics seriously as making statements about the real world, the de-mands on our conventional thinking are enormous.
 At this point recall my claim that conventional thinking is prejudiced by lenses and the lenslikeoperations of our senses. They write that hidden behind the discrete andindependent objects of the sense world is an entangled realm in which thesimple notions of identity and locality no longer apply.Since the early 1960s most of us have experienced in our own sense world the value of a method for attaining correlations
the Fast FourierTransformation
and the value of the image-storing and -restoring pow-ers of the holographic process. Examples of the use of quantum hologra-phy in image processing, as mentioned earlier, are tomography (PET scansand fMRI) and, more recently, the operations of digital cameras. Thismathematical and engineering triumph, although available to us in the world we navigate, partakes of most of the
attributes of quantumphysics. For instance, when space-time is Fourier transformed into thespectral domain, there can be no cause and effect in the usual scientificsense. The Fourier transformation is a spread function that disperses space-time events that therefore no longer exist as such.Scientists ordinarily seek what they call efficient causation, in whicheffect follows cause. In the holographic, enfolded domain, space and timedisappear, so it is inappropriate to inquire as to
an effi-cient causal relation exists. The transformation from space-time to spec-trum (and back again to space-time) is a change in form and thus fallsunder Aristotle
s formal causation. In this respect Greenstein and Zajonc
sadmonition that
the very concept of cause and effect must be rethought
is honored. A change in form, a trans-formation, in itself suggests that some uncer-tainty may inhere when an attempt is made to measure both spectral andspace-time forms simultaneously. The world looks different when one
spupils are dilated
a sort of neutral zone between having a good pupil-lens system and having none. A good deal of uncertainty is involved whenone tries to navigate the world in this condition. Greenstein and Zajonc
ssecond bizarre phenomenon, that measurement can never be completely accurate, actually occurs in the ordinary world of communication as well,as developed by Gabor in his (1946)
quanta of information
(Figure 3). An argument often has been made that transformations such as the Fou-rier are simply conveniences to be applied as needed to describe a particu-lar phenomenon. This is not necessarily so. The transformations describereal-world measurements that cannot be arbitrarily assigned to one or an-other situation. In measuring Gabor-like (Hilbert space) processes in sen-

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Karl H. Pribram
465sory receptive fields of the primate sensory cortex, my colleagues and Ishowed that electrical stimulation of the posterior part of the brain wouldshift the receptive field toward a space-time configuration while stimula-tion of the frontal part of the brain shifted the configuration toward thespectral domain. These changes occurred in the experienced space-time world we navigate, not in an arbitrary application of mathematical whim.In short, weirdness is not restricted to the quantum scale of observation.Instantiation of the Fourier relationship in holography has demonstratedpractically identical bizarre characteristics. Bringing that weirdness intoour everyday experience makes it seem less weird. Greenstein and Zajoncsummarize the issue succinctly with their statement that hidden behindthe discrete and independent objects of the sense world is an entangledrealm. At the scale in which we navigate our world is hidden a holographicuniverse in which are embedded the objects we perceive with our sensesand actions. The enfolded realm spans all scales of inquiry from cosmicthrough brain processing to quantum fields and accounts for much of the weirdness encountered in attempted explanations of observations.C
I began this essay with Bohm
s observation that if we did not have tele-scopes and other lenslike means of observation the universe would appearto us as a hologram. Thus the laws of optics such as the Fourier relation-ship are relevant to these observations.Bohm
s insight implemented by the Fourier relation brings clarificationnot only at the quantum scale but also to cosmology. The medium thatallows us to observe the cosmos is radiation. Background radiation hasbeen given several names depending on the observed database upon whichthe name is given. Bohm called it a quantum potential; Harold Puttoff calls it zero point energy. In conversations with each of them they agreedthat the structure of this background radiation is holographic. Currently,the terms
dark energy 
dark matter 
have surfaced as having to be mea-sured and conceived in terms other than space and time. By analogy withpotential and kinetic energy, I conceive of both of these
quan-tum and cosmological constructs as referring to a potential reality that liesbehind the space-time experienced reality within which we ordinarily navi-gate.In a 2008 Smithsonian presentation Roger Penrose revealed that by us-ing his famous techniques of 
conformal rescaling
he has reformulated what occurs at the horizons of our universe, with respect to both the BigBang and its presumed ever-accelerating expansion. Instead of a big hotbang he uses the metaphor of a gentle rain falling upon a quiet lake, eachdrop making ripples that spread to intersect with other ripples made by other drops. The patterns recur at the expanding future boundary of the

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universe. These patterns are, of course, holographic. Penrose
s fertile brainhas made it possible for him to reformulate widely accepted dogma withan alternative more compatible with Buddhist and Hindu teachings than with the creationism of some Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions. Im-portant here is not whether one or another view of the cosmos is correctbut that Penrose could use an intellectual brain-formed tool, conformalrescaling, to provide a cosmology totally different from a currently main-stream scientific conception.N
 A version of this essay was delivered at the conference
Physics, Philosophy, Physiology: ThreePaths, One Spirited Product
at the University of Chicago Divinity School, 26 January 2007.I am deeply grateful to Patrick Heelan for his encouragement, interest, and critique of earlierdrafts.
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