Consciousness: new thermodynamically inspired theory tries to explain what it is

What does consciousness depend on and how does it originate? This is one of the most fascinating questions but also one of the most inexplicable of all science also because studying conscience itself often poses problems related to the sector from which to start in order to lay the foundations for a study. New research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, tries to answer this question referring to what can be considered a new theory inspired by thermodynamics.

If in the past it has been hypothesized that consciousness can derive from a highly coordinated activity between neurons, the researchers behind this study believe instead that the key to awareness is an energy flow and reflux: when neurons connect to each other for processing the information, the patterns of these activities tune in like ocean waves.

According to the authors of the study, this would be a process intrinsically related to that of thermodynamic principles.

The latter would be at the base of the same neural connections and therefore of consciousness. Furthermore, interruptions of this process of energy flow and reflux would lead to the interruption of communication between neural networks and would give rise to the most common neurological disorders we know, such as epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia.

This is a study that, as reported in the article on Medium presenting the study (see the link below), combines classical physics (essentially the laws of thermodynamics) with everything we know about neural activity today: it follows a general framework in which changes in free energy help to temporarily synchronize activity in neural networks.

The study was produced by researcher Jose L. Perez Velazquez affiliated with the Ronin Institute of Montclair who worked together with colleagues Diego M. Mateos and Ramon Guevara Erra.

Medium article:

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