Electromagnetic-field theories of qualia: can they improve upon standard neuroscience?

Frontiers in Psychology 14 (2023)
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How do brains create all our different colors, pains, and other conscious qualities? These various qualia are the most essential aspects of consciousness. Yet standard neuroscience (primarily based on synaptic information processing) has not found the synaptic-firing codes, sometimes described as the “spike code,” to account for how these qualia arise and how they unite to form complex perceptions, emotions, et cetera. Nor is it clear how to get from these abstract codes to the qualia we experience. But electromagnetic field (versus synaptic) approaches to how qualia arise have been offered in recent years by Pockett, McFadden, Jones, Bond, Ward and Guevera, Keppler and Shani, Hunt and Schooler, et cetera. These EM-field approaches show promise in offering more viable accounts of qualia. Yet, until now, they have not been evaluated together. We review various EM field theories of qualia, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and contrast these theories with standard neuroscience approaches.

Author's Profile

Mostyn W. Jones
University of Manchester (PhD)


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