• Enrique
    763
    A comprehensive proof that free will exists in the brain, derived from subatomic physics and cellular anatomy:

    First, a primer on neuron anatomy and function. The main structures of a neuron are the axon, dendrites and soma. The soma is a cell body housing the nucleus and additional organelles, which looks like a typical cell. At least several dendrites plus their branches sprout from the soma, long and thin protrusions that are also microscopic. The axon projects from the opposite side of the soma and is responsible for longer distance transmission of an electrical signal. Each neuron has only one axon. It is larger in diameter than dendrites but also relatively narrow and can range from microscopic to meters in length. The axon is insulated by a layer of fat called the myelin sheath to increase conductance speed, the source of white matter's color as opposed to the grey matter of dendrites, soma and the interior of axons. Production and positioning of myelin is regulated by glia, either Schwann cells or oligodendrocytes, located around the axons. The synaptic cleft is on the far side of the axon from the soma, where axon and dendrites make connections for transmitting a signal between neurons. Most Na ions are located outside the cell, K ions inside the cell, and Ca ions at the synaptic cleft, maintaining concentration gradients for selective diffusion when ion channels open. Cl channels are located at the junction between dendrites and soma to block signal transmission while the neuron is at rest. Ions are transported perpendicularly through channels in the neuron's outer membrane as a chain reaction that proceeds from dendrites, through the soma, and ultimately to the axons which integrate more distant regions of the body and brain to form a nervous system. The brain makes roughly a hundred trillion connections between eighty billion neurons.

    Neuron firing begins with communication transmitted from an axon to dendrites at the synaptic cleft. Na, K and Ca ions as well as a host of more complex molecules such as neurotransmitters are secreted by the axon, flowing around and through the synaptic cleft to stimulate dendrites at the proper moment. This process is called a synapse, and it triggers downstream ion channels to open in sequence, temporarily depolarizing the cell in a voltage change that travels like a blip along the length of a dendrite. This is called an EPSP (excitatory postsynaptic potential). An IPSP (inhibitory postsynaptic potential) from Cl influx through its channels at the base of dendrites can block signal transmission, but if cumulative EPSPs from dendrites are strong enough to overcome Cl blockage and traverse the soma, a signal reaches the axon hillock at the junction of axon and soma. With enough signal strength, ion channels around the axon hillock start letting ions flow through the outer membrane, instigating a longer chain reaction called an action potential. This voltage signal travels along the axon's length to the axon terminal where a synapse is again prompted at the synaptic cleft.

    In an axon, numerous Na channels are clustered at the nodes of Ranvier, relatively small interruptions in the myelin sheath that are evenly spaced along the axon's length. Na channels are ''voltage-gated'' for sensitivity to the neuron's electrical signal, which triggers them to open and let Na flow in. Each node of Ranvier is flanked by paranodes, where the myelin sheath attaches to the cell membrane. The paranodes are flanked by juxtaparanodes, where voltage-gated K channels allow K to rush out of the axon when open. The majority of an axon is internodal space, with K leakage channels that let this ion back into the cell. Because a neuron is more porous to K than Na, sodium-potassium pumps are located throughout the cell membrane, helping to restore ion concentrations of the resting potential by a constant ferrying of two K ions into the cell accompanied by three Na ions out of the cell. Dendrites propagate EPSPs by a similar mechanism, with Na channel nodes and strategically located K channels throughout. After depolarization occurs and the electrical blip travels past a given region, the neuron quickly begins to repolarize, resetting ion concentrations to presynaptic levels. Vigor of neuron firing is determined by the frequency of depolarizations rather than voltage intensity, with more rapid rates of pulse stimulating stouter responses downstream. The adage is ''neurons that wire together fire together'', interweaving to form intricate networks and feedback loops.

    Many aspects of neuronal function have been well-understood for decades but mysteries remain, for the transport and diffusion of ions alone cannot account for some observations about signal transmission and neuron anatomy. In theory, ions encounter less axial (lengthwise) resistance in axons of larger diameter, which should result in greater degrees of freedom for diffusion and more rapid diffusion rates. Nodes of Ranvier would then be spaced farther apart to keep the signal's voltage change constant upon reaching nodes, but they are actually spaced closer together in larger diameter neurons. Computer simulations have demonstrated that widening nodes of Ranvier slightly to substantially increase the quantity of Na channels does not change the rate of signal transmission with larger amounts of diffusion. Neither can diffusion plausibly explain why voltage-gated K channels are concentrated at the juxtaparanodes. And an action potential travels meters in milliseconds, far exceeding rates of diffusion. Signal transmission in neurons is not the product of collisions between ions, but quantum coherence in solution seems to explicate it.

    Most of the solution internal to a neuron is made up of positive ions and water molecules. Water is a polar molecule, its oxygen atom being the negative pole and hydrogen atoms the positive poles, bent somewhat at the fulcrum. A solvation shell forms around each positive ion, with negative poles of water aligned on the shell's inner surface and positive poles facing outward. Thus, the solution contains a complex contour of positive and negative charge, or more precisely less and more electron waveform concentration. Nanoscale electromagnetic pressure to evenly distribute electron density within and between atoms, quantified as momentum and strength of charge, drives a dynamic equilibrium which keeps water molecules and ions in perpetual motion. Trillions upon trillions of haphazard interferences are generated, making decoherence the solution's baseline condition.

    When Na rushes into the cell at a node of Ranvier, electron density lessens in that region, drawing nearby electron energy into the vicinity. This electric current moves towards Na increase, but initialization of the current begins adjacent to the node and propagates outward into successively distant regions. Symmetry of the nodal region means that simultaneous propagation in the reverse direction wil halt signal transmission's forward trajectory so the node can more quickly reset upstream. If charge is on average constant the signal slows as it travels because of electron mass' inertia and some spreading, so I have named this mechanism the ''ebb effect''.

    Since electromagnetism essentially consists in an extremely diffuse, high velocity field containing relatively small loci of dense wavicle matter that perturb it while shifting around, the initialization of flow from greater to lesser electron density as a current of electrical coherence, drawing electron energy out of increasingly distant regions of solution, includes a companion EM field fluctuation that acts remotely and with effective instantaneity. (As a side note, the nuclear field is similarly instantaneous, for the nucleus possesses at least 99.9 percent of an atom's mass while binding atomic orbitals that have a hundred thousand times the volume into a synchronous unit.) Ion channels are apparently adapted for sensitivity to this EM field perturbation that accompanies the lengthwise voltage effect, a phenomenon observed by in vitro experiments with neural networks. Because the EM field's domain as linked with electron density at a specific region extends to multiple cells, perturbations via coherence currents which alter electron density overlap and form a sort of synchronous grid, integrating the neurons of neural networks via a mechanism of ''phase-locking'' between ion channels and the EM field. Quantum spins of atoms in neuronal solution are not aligned as in an iron bar magnet for instance, and this creates interference canceling magnetic effects even at the cellular scale, making the field exclusively electric at very basic levels of emergence, though internal currents of the ebb effect may be momentarily synchronous enough that a spike in nanoscale magnetism is the trigger for ion channels, propagating at the speed of light. Macroscopic waves of the electric field as induced by phase-locking within tightly coupled feedback loops are what EEG (electroencephalogram) measures, and can range in length from millimeters to more than a dozen centimeters.

    The greater a discrepancy between ion concentrations in abutting regions, the stronger the electrical coherence current will be drawn towards more positive concentration, causing initializations to accelerate in the opposite direction and traverse longer distances. Thus, when voltage-gated Na channels at a node of Ranvier open, the electrical signal along with a companion EM field fluctuation accelerate enough to propel through internodal space. When the electrical signal reaches a juxtaparanode, EM field fluctuation perturbs voltage-gated K channels to open and let the ion rush out of an axon. This rapidly increases the discrepancy in electron density between a node of Ranvier and the juxtaparanode, accelerating an electrical signal with enough force to traverse internodal space and reach the next nodal region. The next node has usually not been completely repolarized, so once the signal attains this node's sphere of influence, acceleration is resumed and EM field perturbation reopens voltage-gated sodium channels, a chain reaction that continues down the length of the axon. This mechanism of electrical signal transmission via currents of quantum coherence and the ebb effect, initiated and boosted by voltage-gated ion channels in the neuron's outer membrane, blows through rate barriers of lengthwise diffusion in millisecond communication between neurons.

    Microscopic platinum sensors have been inserted into individual neurons, revealing a crystalline structure extending lengthwise just below the axon's membrane, wrapped around a core support framework of microtubules. This crystalline structure probably restricts diffusion into the center of an axon so the ebb effect is not diminished by dilution and ion concentrations remain at efficient levels. Larger diameter axons have more volume surrounding this structure, perhaps necessitating that nodes be closer together so as to compensate for more dilution.

    Similar structure in dendrites indicates that they transmit an electrical signal from synapse to soma by the same mechanism. Cl channels block these EPSPs by increasing electron density at the junction between dendrites and soma, which causes the ebb effect to propagate upstream within dendrites as an IPSP, in the same direction as current flow. If EPSPs are strong and coordinated enough to push through counteractive current and reach the soma, this buildup of electron density accelerates rapidly afterwards across the soma's relatively vast expanse due to the biggest charge gradient in a neuron between the base of dendrites and the largest quantity of voltage-gated Na channels at the axon hillock.

    The ebb effect has not been verified by experiment, but in theory it would be observable within any solution containing ion concentrations disequilibrated enough to produce charge differentials that cause electric currents to flow. A combination of quantum coherence, the ebb effect, phase-locking and neural networking could be sufficient to model the brain's electrical properties from the intracellular to organwide scale. Macroscopic, ultrasynchronous oscillations within the brain's electric field would correlate with consciousness because magnetic properties of atoms are hypersensitive to this supervenient field, just as electricity from a wall socket drives magnets to run many appliances. If diverse neurons and neural networks engage in a range of breadth and saturation in phase-locked synchrony depending on the chemistry of their ion channels, membranes and circuitry, this might explain the spectrum of low to high arousal, from unconscious to subconscious to maximally attentive states as CEMI (conscious electromagnetic information) theory suggests. EEG readings during thoughts, behaviors and decision-making classified as intentional by both researchers and subjects tend to show that large swaths of the electric field segregate from the global pattern in more serial processing, an unmistakeable sign of functional autonomy. Volitional will is most probably, at the very least, neural structure phase-locked to the brain's electric field in feedback loops, powered by quantum coherence.
  • Angelo Cannata
    195
    You assumed the concept of something, that is free will, for which we have absolutely no evidence, and then you tried to find it in structures and functions of the brain.
    This way, if we instruct a computer so that it is able to say “I am a person”, it won’t be difficult to find reasons for the computer being a person in its structures and functions.
    It becomes easy even to find the structures and functions that can explain the existence of Santa Claus: quantum physics, with all their magics, have become now the magic hat that makes possible to find the physical reason for the existence of whatever we like to believe or to dream of. It is so sweetly romantic: we exist! Thank you, quantum physics!
  • Tom Storm
    4.3k
    It becomes easy even to find the structures and functions that can explain the existence of Santa Claus: quantum physics, with all their magics, have become now the magic hat that makes possible to find the physical reason for the existence of whatever we like to believe or to dream of. It is so sweetly romantic: we exist! Thank you, quantum physics!Angelo Cannata

    Nice, and very funny.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    I recall one poster had a thread on how neuroscientific experiments prove that when it comes to physical activity e.g. moving a hand or kicking a ball, the neural activity to carry out such actions occur (milli)seconds before the physical action registers in consciousness. This, as per the scientists who conducted this experiment, negates free will.

    That's why I've been making it a point to, whenever I can, tell people "slow down will ya?!"

    That out of the way, I believe there's a perfectly good reason why it is the way it is: spinal reflexes are designed for emergencies/crises.
  • Enrique
    763


    Exactly, Libet was encroaching on our existential territory. This shows that the intuition of volition can be valid from a neuroscientific perspective. Human behavior doesn't seem to be determined entirely by unconscious processes. Our wills do apparently have real agency.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    Exactly, Libet was encroaching on our existential territory. This shows that the intuition of volition can be valid from a neuroscientific perspective. Human behavior doesn't seem to be determined entirely by unconscious processes. Our wills do apparently have real agency.Enrique

    Perhaps...best course of action is epoché (withold judgment). That said, we could use probability to arrive at a reasonable conclusion in re the existence/nonexistence of free will; an ad interim, provisional diagnosis if you catch my drift.
  • Rocco Rosano
    24
    RE: A Materialist Proof of Free Will Based on Fundamental Physics of the Brain
    SUBTOPIC: Neuroscientific Perspective Existence/Nonexistence of Free Will
    ⁜→ et al,

    There are many different ways to approach the question of Free Will and its existence/nonexistence. It is in the family (one of many members) of "intangibles" and it is NOT a dependent theory attached to some item having a physical existence. It is on the order of concepts like (but not limited to) honesty, integrity, moral values, etc... You cannot bring home a bag of "free will" any more than you can bring home a bag of honesty, integrity, moral values, etc... And, unlike many concepts, "free will" can be detected by devices using Conscious Electromagnetic Instrumentation (CEMFI), as well as, Unconscious Electromagnetic Impressions (UCEMFI). Absent any biased outside influence, "free will" is the questionable outcome of a UCEMFI. (The various CEMI Theories.)

    Most Respectfully,
    R
  • Enrique
    763


    I didn't find CEMFI with an online search. Maybe include additional detail? Effective methods exist for correlating EEG, ECoG etc. patterns with cognitive state in subjects lucid enough to report experiences. Sizable oscillation and flow patterns segregated from the total EM field which correspond to metrics of volitional experience indicate functional autonomy, as I stated. The uncertainty is how, in the context of basic matter such as electrons, atoms, intracellular electrical currents, etc., and that is what I explained. This does not prove that causes trancending the individual brain don't constrain free will, the most nonparanormal example simply being a legal regulation, but I have shown at least how conscious decision-making is independent of the unconscious, and I did this monistically with physics, in entirely objective terms. Certainty regarding some features of the model could be increased with further experiments, but free will looks verifiable in terms of deterministic electromagnetism. The brain and environment can be made of completely deterministic matter and free will is still not an illusion.
  • Rocco Rosano
    24


    Enrique,

    In report and investigative records/discussions, there is a technique called Short Titling where you spell the words or phrases once and then in parentheses the acronym you will use elsewhere.

    Unconscious Electromagnetic Impressions (UCEMFI). EMF is a pretty much standard in science and technology. It stands for either electromagnetic field or force.

    The mind (brain activity) does not terminate in an "unconscious" state. And you already mentioned some standard mechanical support and diagnostic equipment. But in the arena of Metaphysics, there are research methodologies. Most CEMFI ([url=http://Conscious Electromagnetic Information (Cemi) Field Theory]Conscious Electromagnetic Information (Cemi) Field Theory[/url]) there are similar to the non-invasive technologies. There are also additional lines of inquiry and research for the "Unconscious State." When a person is awake but disoriented or responding in unexpected ways, EMF technologies might be brought into play. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and Positron Emission Tomography (PET). The internet is not a sole source outlet for technical information. I, quite frequently use Software Defined Radio (SDR) receivers and spread-spectrum detection with waterfall display. But all these devices or the accompanying multidisciplined research applications have little acronyms associated with them.

    I hope this is of some interest to you.

    Regards,
    R
  • Joshs
    3.5k
    It becomes easy even to find the structures and functions that can explain the existence of Santa Claus: quantum physics, with all their magics, have become now the magic hat that makes possible to find the physical reason for the existence of whatever we like to believe or to dream of. It is so sweetly romantic: we exist! Thank you, quantum physics!Angelo Cannata

    There are two ways to argue for free will. One is to defend classical metaphysical dualism and claim that the mind is not subject to the determinism of the natural world. The other is to demonstrate that empirical nature ( quantum physics, evolutionary biology) is itself non-deterministic. Writers from Putnam to Dennett embrace this non-dualistic approach to human freedom. Sounds reasonable , don’t you think?
  • Enrique
    763


    From the perspective of the willing subject the total material system is nondeterministic because the subject is a substantive cause. From the perspective of the total material system causality is entirely deterministic. So basically in my account the concept of determinism is for humans typically relative and has limited import. This of course hinges on the nature of the subject, but I think science objectively proves the conscious, willing agent not so illusory that it is incapable of influencing its own fate as a self with deliberative reasoning, ''reflection''. This ability is not universal, indestructible and incorruptible, however, and that is an ethical dilemma.
  • Joshs
    3.5k


    The popular formulation of determinism as an approach to ethics de-emphasises personal responsibility.

    “…what we do and the way we are is ultimately the result of factors beyond our control, whether that be determinism, chance, or luck, and because of this agents are never morally responsible in the sense needed to justify certain kinds of desert-based judgments, attitudes, or treatments—such as resentment, indignation, moral
    anger, backward-looking blame, and retributive punishment.”( Dirk Pereboom).
  • Enrique
    763


    An inconsistent position because taken to its logical conclusion no purpose exists for willing anything, total apathy. It is also fallacious because reasoning is a substantive cause, proven by the nature of civic action, organizational structure and mechanisms of progress. I think those questionable moral approaches mentioned are to be conditionally resisted to the extent that they are damaging to oneself or somebody else, for pragmatic reasons.
  • Joshs
    3.5k
    ↪Joshs

    An inconsistent position because taken to its logical conclusion no purpose exists for willing anything, total apathy. It is also fallacious because reasoning is a substantive cause, proven by the nature of civic action, organizational structure and mechanisms of progress. I think those questionable moral approaches mentioned are to be conditionally resisted to the extent that they are damaging to oneself or somebody else, for pragmatic reasons.
    Enrique

    Do you believe that good and evil are the products
    of freely choosing autonomous individuals through causal reasoning, or that wrong-doing is fundamentally shaped by social influences and causes, upbringing and biology?
  • Enrique
    763


    Both, and assessing relative weight of all those factors is not a simple matter.
  • Joshs
    3.5k
    Both, and assessing relative weight of all those factors is not a simple matter.Enrique

    Sounds like your ethical model is similar to that of Peter Strawson.

    https://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/P._F._Strawson_Freedom_&_Resentment.pdf
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