Core-and-Matrix-Thalamic-Nuclei-Final1.pdf - NeuroQuantology | June 2012 | Volume 10 |Issue2|Page Travis F Core and matrix thalamic nuclei and

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NeuroQuantology | June 2012 | Volume 10 |Issue2|Page  Travis, F., Core and matrix thalamic nuclei and wakefulness Article + Core and Matrix Thalamic Nuclei: Parallel Circuits Involved in Content of Experience and General Wakefulness Frederick Travis ABSTRACT During development, the brain creates multilevel feedback loops critical for the generation and maintenance of consciousness. The thalamus has a central role in these circuits. Thalamic core nuclei are part of sensory circuits that give rise to contents of experience; diffuse thalamic matrix nuclei are part of arousal circuits that modulate levels of wakefulness. While core and matrix circuits could be considered part of a single brain system underlying conscious experience, they can also be seen as discrete, parallel circuits responsible for content and consciousness, respectively. Reverberations in thalamocortical core circuits, driven by tasks and conditions, encode content. Reverberations in matrix circuits, driven by circadian rhythms and the “value” of experience, encode fluctuations in arousal levels. This paper considers contributions of quantum events at cellular levels to activation in thalamic matrix circuits. Considering both quantum and classical brain processing gives insight into the relation of brain functioning and consciousness. Key Words: Quantum effects; thalamic loops; consciousness; matrix cells NeuroQuantology 2012 ; 2:  -  Introduction 1 We live in a 3-dimensional world measured in inches and seconds. Objects follow predictable laws. If you drop a pen , it will land on the floor. If you pour water into a glass , it will fill the glass and stay in the glass. In contrast, the atoms of our brain live in a world that is 10 million times smaller than ordinary experience, and objects in that world follow different rules. Electrons are not particles; rather, they are both a particle and a wave, depending on how they are measured. Or it may be more accurate to say that they are neither a particle nor a wave. They are the quantum superposition of both realities until we make a measurement and collapse the wave 1 Corresponding author : Frederick Travis, PhD Address: Director, Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA 52557 Phone: + 641 472 1209 Fax: 641 470 1316 * [email protected] ReceivedApril 12, 2012. RevisedApril 18, 2012. AcceptedMarch 20, 2012. e ISSN 1303-5150 function to a wave or particle (Eisberg and Resnick, 1985). The brain can be understood as a classical structure that encodes the world in action potentials within neural circuits comprising millions of neurons. The brain can also be understood in terms of quantum events a t t h e n e u r o n a l l e v e l , i.e., quantum superposition, quantum uncertainty, and quantum tunneling. These quantum events co- exist with classical brain processes. By looking at both together—superposition of both quantum and classical events —we may gain insight into the relation of brain functioning and consciousness.
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