wire your head

Damien Broderick (damien@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au)
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 12:31:47 +1000

I just read a bizarre experimental report, `Collapse of a Quantum Field May
Affect Brain Function', Nunn, Clarke and Blott (in a new book edited by
TUCSON DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES, MIT Press, 1996). A couple of years back
these bozos decided that if Penrose was right, a QT-controlled brainstate
should be `collapsed' when it reaches the suitable one graviton mass. So if
you couple up an `observing' EEG machine to the relevant part of the brain,
the ensemble will be heavier quicker (as it were), so the response should be
better or faster. It wasn't faster, but error rates on the experimental
task were indeed lower. I have no idea what this implies. Always wear an
EEG helmet in exams? :)

Here's a quote:

`Forty two subject altogether were tested [following a pilot] and all
results were used. During control experiments there were no significant
differences in performance dependent on EEG recording condition. In
standard experiments, subjects had fewer target misses when the EEG was
being taken from the left duing the word test (P=0.05; the recording was
from the region of the motor cortex); during the pattern test, there were
more hits on non-targets (P=0.01) during left-sided recordings, that is,
error frequency was reversed when doing the "mirror image" test.' (p. 333)

`When applied to all findings from all subjects, this method showed a
probability of 0.01 that the "signifiant" results were there by chance'. (ibid.)

Damien Broderick