red electric field lines          The Conscious Medium

To bottom of page

    The medium almost certainly is not the message.  Cognition and consciousness both need a medium, or media, that can support diverse types of information and to allow interactions of this information in a large variety of ways.  We may expect that consciousness will not be found to be a state or substance in the usual physics sense, yet we do need to consider the sort of medium or "state" that can support the processes of conscious "flux".

    There are two apparently contradictory aspects to consciousness.  The first of these is that information within consciousness is highly constrained and apparently localized in its conscious interactions (with the exception of select information brought in by neurons).  The second is that consciousness is apparently also highly fluid and easy to shift, combine, and to disappear into the unconscious.  We experience the "stream of consciousness" in many situations.  The medium or media of consciousness must accommodate both of these conscious experiences.

    This is where electric consciousness fits like no other model of consciousness.  Since the most powerful actors within the electric fields are going to be the action-potentials (nerve spikes), and these are themselves quite localized, with attendent electric fields which drop off sharply from their source, the primary interactions within the electric fields are going to be information/energy spikes which are pinned to the action-potentials and which interact discretely only across  relatively short distances.

    Here is where many turn incredulous, however.  Because they believe that consciousness is a global unity and interacting without any impediment across the entirety of consciousness, they also suppose that short-range interactions are insufficient for consciousness.  Almost certainly, however, only short range interactions, along with select communications across the brain, can keep information from interacting indiscriminately with unrelated information.  And short-range interactions are enough to "stitch together" an entire global consciousness if this were to exist, or more likely, to "stitch together" various conscious islands which communicate with each other through unconscious means (myelinated axons, for instance).

    Of all known physical phenomena, only electrical fields appear to interact discretely enough at close range to preserve contextuality of conscious processes, to be sufficiently fluid and interactive in 3D to tie conscious areas together, and to be able to shift, change, and integrate data almost instantly as perceptions are altered and thoughts change. 

Consciousness does flow swiftly and appropriately as nerve spikes disrupt the potentials of the electric fields, while consciousness remains always bound tightly to the underlying information states found in the nerves.  Evidently we experience consciousness in much the same manner as one would expect the electric fields of the brain to interact according to shifting energy/information states.

To top of page