Your Brain Is Not a Computer. It Is a Transducer



Let’s begin with my 95-year-old mother. Her reminiscence is unreliable, however she’s nonetheless lucid, churns out sarcasm like a professional, and performs a lightning-fast sport of double solitaire. Immediately I lastly stop after she gained seven video games in a row, and, sure, I used to be making an attempt my finest.

She additionally hears music repeatedly, and it’s not the type of music that drives us nuts after we can’t get a tune out of our head. She primarily hears authentic music, and she is going to generally attempt to hum or sing what she’s listening to. She says it’s coming from “the neighbors downstairs,” and it doesn’t hassle her, she says, as a result of a few of it isn’t unhealthy and since it helps her go to sleep. The truth that different folks can’t hear it doesn’t hassle her both. She merely smiles slyly and says, “Perhaps you need to get your listening to checked.”

Am I involved? Properly, only a bit — not in regards to the music however about its supply. As I advised my mother the opposite day, I might be extra comfy if the thoughtless neighbors lived upstairs. She laughed and mentioned, “I see what you’re getting at, however don’t fear.  I’m not going to hell.”  Very decided, my mother. Was she planning to barter the problem with a hand of double solitaire?

The place is all this authentic music coming from? My mom has by no means composed music, and she or he insists she can be incapable of doing so “irrespective of how a lot you paid me.”  That’s mom-speak for case closed.

In case you haven’t observed, we’re surrounded by mysteries like this. Some, for my part, are extremely suspect, comparable to demonic possession and communication with spirits. Others are undeniably actual: desires, daydreams, hallucinations, the déjà vu expertise, and so forth.  My workers not too long ago got here up with an inventory of 58 such phenomena. You don’t must look far to seek out them.

Are we doomed to stay at nighttime about these mysteries, or is there a solution to peel again the veil?  What if spirits, desires, and my mother’s music may all be accounted for by a comparatively easy concept about how the mind works — an concept that may even be testable?

The concept, which is kind of easy on its face, is that the mind is a bidirectional transducer.

Transduction Is All Round Us

A couple of inches to the left of the laptop computer laptop on which I’m now typing stands an imposing Sennheiser microphone that I take advantage of primarily when somebody is interviewing me for a radio or TV present. A thick black cable protrudes from the again of the microphone and snakes its solution to a boxy analogue-to-digital converter, which hyperlinks to my laptop through a shiny pink USB cable.

My laptop hyperlinks wirelessly to a router within the subsequent room, and the router connects to AT&T, my web service supplier, via a phone cable that runs from the router to a wall socket. That cable results in dozens of different transition factors via which crude representations of my voice cross earlier than some semblance of it’s lastly heard by a talk-show host in, say, London.

If I’m talking to a number of a BBC radio program, representations of his or her voice are additionally touring within the different path from his or her microphone via dozens of transition factors till they lastly activate a tiny speaker in my ear bud, via which I hear a semblance of his or her voice. If we’re additionally utilizing video to speak, cameras are sending pictures to screens, once more via many transition factors, and once more in each instructions.

Representations of those pictures and sounds is likely to be passing not solely via a number of transition factors but additionally via 1000’s of miles of copper or fiber optic cables, or are maybe being transmitted to satellites lots of of miles above the earth after which re-transmitted to receivers on the bottom. Way back, pathways like this might accommodate just one dialog at a time, with communications working in just one path at a time, however now such pathways are bidirectional and are sometimes shared concurrently by 1000’s of various conversations.

Remarkably, when the whole lot is working easily, my dialog with the London host is as seamless as it might be if we have been in the identical room. Although I’m 5,500 miles away in San Diego, I can’t detect any time gaps between my ramblings and the host’s reply. These gaps exist, however they’re so brief that neither I nor the host can understand them.

What’s occurring right here? Is my voice really touring 5,500 miles? Positively not. When you have been the proprietor of a 19th century mansion, you may need been capable of shout right into a talking tube that snaked its method via your private home and carried your voice all the best way to the servants’ quarters. In that case, the sound of your voice was actually carried to its vacation spot by the air within the tube.

However once I converse into my microphone, the sample of sound waves produced by my voice — a particular, non-random sample of air strain waves — is being transformed by the microphone into an identical sample {of electrical} exercise. The higher the microphone, the extra precisely it duplicates the unique sample, and the extra I sound like me on the different finish.

That conversion course of — the shifting of a significant, non-random sample of exercise — from one medium (say, the air in entrance of the microphone) to a different medium (say, the wire behind a microphone) is named transduction.

And transduction is throughout us, even in natural processes. Our our bodies are fully encased by transducers. Our sense organs — eyes, ears, nostril, tongue, and pores and skin —transduce distinctive properties of electromagnetic radiation, air strain waves, airborne chemical compounds, liquid-borne chemical compounds, textures, strain, and temperature into distinctive patterns {of electrical} and chemical exercise within the mind. Natural compounds may even be used nowadays to create new sorts of transducers, comparable to OECTs: natural electrochemical transistors.

Evolution didn’t simply create hundreds of thousands of recent species of organisms, it additionally created hundreds of thousands of recent varieties of transducers, and engineers are actually utilizing each natural and inorganic supplies to create 1000’s extra.

To repeat (as a result of that is essential): Transduction is throughout us — types of transduction which have developed over eons and new types of transduction that people are inventing proper now.

The Final Transducer

What if evolution, sooner or later, produced a particular type of transducer that would shift alerts from the bodily world as we all know it to a really completely different type of world?

Almost all religions educate that immaterial realms exist that transcend the truth we all know. For Christians and Muslims, these realms are Heaven and Hell. One of many easiest and clearest statements of such an idea comes from historical Greek mythology: So long as the deceased had the required toll in hand — effectively, really in mouth — she or he can be transported by the ferryman Charon throughout the river Styx to Hades, the land of the useless — fairly actually, to the Different Facet. (I’ll name it the OS from this level on.) Sadly, not everybody was eligible to make the crossing. If nobody thought to bury you or to place that coin in your mouth, you have been doomed to roam this aspect of the river as a ghost.

The concept of a realm transcending the one we expertise straight has taken on many kinds over the centuries. George Griffith, England’s most outstanding and prolific science fiction author of the late 1800s, printed a prescient novel about this realm in 1906: The Mummy and Miss Nitocris: A Phantasy of the Fourth Dimension. The guide’s protagonist, professor Franklin Marmion, is a distinguished mathematician and physicist who anticipates discoveries and ideas that actual quantum physicists would ultimately suggest many years later. Over the course of the story, Marmion not solely reluctantly accepts the truth that the next dimension should exist, he additionally acquires the facility to shift his physique there, studying, amongst different counterintuitive issues, that a number of objects can occupy the identical house on the similar time.

Griffith may need been conscious of a up to date of his, William James, a outstanding Harvard thinker and in addition arguably America’s first psychologist. In 1898, James printed a brief guide entitled Human Immortality: Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine, through which he praised his contemporaries for boldly utilizing scientific strategies to analyze “providential leadings [sic] in reply to prayer, instantaneous healings, premonitions, apparitions at time of demise, clairvoyant visions or impressions, and the entire vary of mediumistic capacities.”

James asserted {that a} universe-wide consciousness beamed human consciousness into our brains “as so many finite rays,” simply because the solar beams rays of sunshine onto our planet. Our brains, being restricted of their capabilities, he mentioned, usually filter and suppress actual consciousness, whereas generally permitting ‘glows of feeling, glimpses of perception, and streams of information’ to shine via. He referred to as this concept ‘transmission-theory.’

Concepts like James’s have been round for 1000’s of years. In his 2006 guide, Life After Dying: The Burden of Proof, different drugs guru Deepak Chopra says that historical Hindu texts educate that the fabric world we all know is nothing however a projection from the common consciousness that fills all house. From this angle, demise shouldn’t be an finish; it’s a merging of a comparatively pathetic human consciousness with that of the dazzling common one. So as to add gravitas to this concept, Chopra does what many current authors have carried out: he means that trendy formulations of quantum physics are constant along with his perception in a common consciousness.

The connection between physics and trendy theories of thoughts and consciousness is tenuous at finest, however trendy physicists do take the thought of parallel universes critically. They debate the main points, however they will hardly ignore the truth that the arithmetic of at the least three of the grand theories on the core of contemporary physics — inflation concept, quantum concept, and string concept — predict the existence of alternate universes. Some physicists even imagine that alerts can leak between the universes and that the existence of parallel universes might be confirmed via measurements or experiments. In a current essay, physicist A. A. Antonov argues that our lack of ability to detect the huge quantity of darkish vitality that nearly definitely exists in our personal universe is proof of the existence of parallel universes, six of which, he speculates, are straight adjoining to our personal.

Once more, setting the main points apart, physicists agree that the three-dimensional house we expertise is just not the entire image. As theoretical physicist Lee Smolin put it not too long ago, “House is useless.”

Proof for Transduction?

Laborious proof that helps a neural transduction concept is missing for the time being, however we’re surrounded by odd phenomena which are at the least in keeping with such a concept. And, no, I’m not speaking in regards to the claims that best-selling authors have remodeled the many years about proof that telepathy, out-of-body experiences, and communication with the useless are actual. No such proof exists, for my part, however different effectively documented phenomena are troublesome to brush apart.

Once I was a graduate pupil at Harvard, I observed a stranger roaming the hallway close to my workplace and supplied to help her. Doris, it seems, had heard voices for years, and she or he hoped she may discover somebody within the psychology constructing — William James Corridor — to assist her get rid of them as a result of they “brought about hassle.” I didn’t have the center to inform her that Harvard, on the time, had no medical psychology program and that I used to be doing behavioral analysis with pigeons. If her voices had despatched her there, they have been troublemakers certainly.

When inside notion goes awry, folks might be overwhelmed by hallucinations, visions, or distortions of actuality so excessive they must be hospitalized, and Doris had been hospitalized at occasions.

However is Doris that completely different from the remainder of us?  In spite of everything, even the healthiest amongst us hallucinate a number of occasions every night time — we name it dreaming. And all of us have at the least two extremely disorienting experiences every day referred to as “hypnogogic states”­ — these eerie, generally inventive interludes between sleeping and waking.

I’ve generally dreamt intricate full-length motion pictures that appeared pretty much as good as any Hollywood movie. Alas, more often than not, irrespective of how exhausting I attempt, I can’t appear to carry on to even a shred of a dream throughout the few seconds once I’m staggering from my mattress to the toilet.

The place does all this content material come from, and why do we’ve got so little management over it?

In recent times, researchers have explored what they’ve clumsily labeled “paradoxical lucidity,” or, even worse, “terminal lucidity.” These labels confer with what a few of us know as “the final hurrah” — the burst of psychological readability that generally happens shortly earlier than folks die, even folks for whom such readability must be unimaginable.

For greater than two centuries, medical journals have printed credible experiences of extremely impaired, uncommunicative individuals who all of the sudden grew to become lucid for a couple of minutes earlier than they died. There are documented instances through which folks with dementia, superior Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and even extreme mind injury —– individuals who haven’t been capable of converse or to acknowledge their closest family for years — all of the sudden acknowledged their family members and spoke usually.

A 2020 examine summarizing the observations of 124 caregivers of dementia sufferers, concluded that in “greater than 80 % of those instances, full remission with return of reminiscence, orientation, and responsive verbal means was reported by observers of the lucid episode” and that ‘”[the] majority of sufferers died inside hours to days after the episode.” The durations of lucidity sometimes lasted 30 to 60 minutes.

A few of the historic experiences of lucid episodes are actually extraordinary.

Right here is one in all many instances reported by the German biologist Michael Nahm and his colleagues in 2012:

In a case printed in 1822, a boy on the age of 6 had fallen on a nail that penetrated his brow. He slowly developed growing complications and psychological disturbances. On the age of 17, he was in fixed ache, extraordinarily melancholic, and beginning to lose his reminiscence. He fantasized, blinked repeatedly, and appeared for hours at explicit objects…. He remained within the hospital on this state for 18 days. On the morning of the 19th day, he all of the sudden left his mattress and appeared very shiny, claiming he was freed from all ache and emotions of illness…. 1 / 4 of an hour after the attending doctor left him, he fell unconscious and died inside a couple of minutes. The entrance a part of his mind contained two pus-filled tissue baggage the scale of a hen’s egg (Pfeufer, 1822)….

And one other:

Haig (2007) reported the case of a younger man dying of lung most cancers that had unfold to his mind. Towards the top of his life, a mind scan confirmed little mind tissue left, the metastasized tumors having not merely pushed apart regular mind tissue however really destroyed and changed it. Within the days earlier than his demise, he misplaced all means to talk or transfer. Based on a nurse and his spouse, nevertheless, an hour earlier than he died, he awoke and mentioned goodbye to his household, talking with them for about five minutes earlier than shedding consciousness once more and dying.

If the mind is a self-contained info processor, how can we clarify the sudden return of lucidity when the mind is severely broken? For that matter, take into consideration the variability that happens in your personal lucidity over the course of 24 hours, throughout which you’re, at numerous occasions, fully unconscious, partially acutely aware, or absolutely acutely aware. When you add medication and alcohol to the image, the variability is even higher, and it may be fairly weird.

The variability drawback is addressed in an intriguing paper printed by Jorge Palop and his colleagues in Nature in 2006, who observe that sufferers affected by a wide range of neurodegenerative problems usually fluctuate over the course of a single day between states of maximum confusion and comparatively regular psychological states. Such radical adjustments, they observe, “can’t be attributable to sudden loss or achieve of nerve cells.”  They speculate about adjustments in neural networks, however that doesn’t remedy the issue.

What if the variability shouldn’t be attributable to adjustments in processing energy within the mind however somewhat by transduction results? By adjustments occurring not in our native universe however within the OS? Or by minor adjustments occurring on the level of connection? Or by adjustments occurring in mind buildings which are important to sign transfers?

I’ve additionally been intrigued by what look like credible experiences about visible experiences that some congenitally-blind folks have had after they have been close to demise. Experiences of this type have been first summarized in a 1997 paper by Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, later expanded right into a guide referred to as Mindsight (1999). The paper and guide describe the experiences of 14 individuals who have been blind from delivery and who had near-death experiences (NDEs), a few of which included content material that gave the impression to be visible in nature. Quickly after Vicki U. was in a near-fatal automotive accident at age 22, she remembered “seeing” a male doctor and a girl from above within the emergency room, and she or he “noticed” them engaged on a physique. Stated Vicki:

I knew it was me…. I used to be fairly tall and skinny at that time. And I acknowledged at first that it was a physique, however I did not even know that it was mine initially. Then I perceived that I used to be up on the ceiling, and I assumed, “Properly, that is type of bizarre. What am I doing up right here?” I assumed, “Properly, this should be me. Am I useless?”

Vicki had by no means had a visible expertise earlier than her NDE, and, based on the researchers, didn’t even “perceive the character of sunshine.”  Whereas close to demise, she additionally claimed to have been flooded with details about math and science. Stated Vicki:

I impulsively understood intuitively nearly [all] issues about calculus, and about the best way planets have been made. And I do not know something about that…. I felt there was nothing I did not know.

A number of elements of Vicki’s recollections are intriguing, however essentially the most attention-grabbing to me are the visible experiences. How can somebody who has by no means had such an expertise “No gentle, no shadows, no nothing, ever,” based on Vicki — all of the sudden have wealthy and detailed experiences of this type? Ring and Cooper discovered others like Vicki – congenitally blind individuals who not solely had visible experiences when close to demise however whose NDEs have been remarkably much like some widespread NDEs of sighted folks.

Only in the near past, an Australian lady made the information worldwide when, submit surgical procedure, she awoke with an Irish accent. Her sturdy Australian accent was fully gone. Known as ‘the international accent syndrome’, this sudden change in accents is uncommon however actual. The shift doesn’t make sense given the framework of reasoning we normally apply to the world, however what if it’s a transduction error?

And why can’t we bear in mind ache? We are able to bear in mind info and figures and pictures, and we will even get choked up remembering sturdy feelings we’ve felt prior to now — however we will’t bear in mind ache. Are sensations of ache getting filtered out by transduction pathways? May that be why our desires are ache free?  That begs a query that’s each eerie and apparent: Is the OS a type of pain-free Heaven?

And have you ever ever met a stranger who made you are feeling, nearly instantly, that you just had recognized her or him your total life? And generally this stranger has the identical feeling about you. It’s a powerful feeling, nearly overwhelming. We are able to attempt to clarify such emotions with speculations about how a voice or bodily traits may remind us of somebody from our previous, however there’s one other risk — that in some sense you had really recognized this individual your entire life. If the mind is a bidirectional transducer, that isn’t an odd concept in any respect.

In truth, when seen via the lens of transduction concept, none of those odd phenomena — desires, hallucinations, lucidity that comes and goes, blind imaginative and prescient, and so forth — seems to be mysterious.   

And All That Jazz

This brings me, reluctantly, to the current rise of “postmaterialist” science, or at the least postmaterialist psychology. The latter is marked by — or maybe blemished by — the founding of the journal Spirituality in Scientific Follow by the American Psychological Affiliation (APA) in 2014 and the founding of the Affiliation for the Development of Postmaterialistic Sciences in 2017. (Disclosure: I’ve been a full member of the APA since 1983.)

Postmaterialism is all about managed experiments which have supposedly proved, or at the least supported, claims that mediums can talk with the useless, that ghosts will fortunately comply after we ask them to climb into little containers in a laboratory, that folks can ship their ideas to strangers in one other room telepathically, and that future occasions can someway journey backward in time to impression folks’s present conduct.

I’m so tempted right here to begin naming names and tearing down reputations, however my musical mother raised me higher than that. I’ll say this: One of many early papers printed in that new APA journal — a paper that was accepted with out peer evaluation — demonstrated pondering so shoddy it startled me. 

Fortuitously, I don’t want to tear aside shoddy pondering or flawed experiments to advocate for transduction concept. In truth, if this concept proves to be legitimate, each fantasy of the postmaterialists will likely be fulfilled — each fantasy besides one, that’s, and that’s the postmaterialist declare itself. That’s as a result of parallel universes usually are not wispy, physics-free non secular entities; based on many mainstream physicists, they’re simply non-obvious companions of the fabric universe through which we occur to dwell.

A Higher Mind Concept

Let’s put aside each the mundane and the unique causes we must always take transduction concept critically and get to the center of the matter: The principle cause we must always give severe thought to such a concept has nothing to do with ghosts. It has to do with the sorry state of mind science and its reliance on the pc metaphor. One in every of my analysis assistants not too long ago calculated that Beethoven’s thirty-two piano sonatas include a complete of 307,756 notes, and that doesn’t keep in mind the lots of of sections marked with repeat symbols. Beethoven’s scores additionally embrace greater than 100,000 symbols that information the pianist’s arms and ft: time signatures, pedal notations, accent marks, slur and trill marks, key signatures, rests, clefs, dynamic notations, tempo marks, and so forth.

Why am I telling you about Beethoven? As a result of piano virtuoso and conductor Daniel Barenboim memorized all thirty-two of Beethoven’s sonatas by the point he was 17, and he has since memorized lots of of different main piano works, in addition to dozens of total symphony scores — tens of hundreds of thousands of notes and symbols.

Do you suppose all this content material is someway saved in Barenboim’s ever-changing, ever-shrinking, ever-decaying mind? Sorry, however when you examine his mind for 100 years, you’ll by no means discover a single observe, a single musical rating, a single instruction for transfer his fingers — not even a “illustration” of any of these issues. The mind is just not a storage system. It’s a unprecedented entity for certain, however not as a result of it shops or processes info.  (See my Aeon essay, “The Empty Mind,” for extra of my pondering on this concern, and for a really nice thrill, watch Barenboim play the third motion from Beethoven’s 14th piano sonata right here.)

Over the centuries — fully baffled by the place human intelligence comes from — folks have used one metaphor after one other to ‘clarify’ our extraordinary talents, starting, in fact, with the divine metaphor millennia in the past and progressing – and I take advantage of that phrase hesitatingly — to the present information-processing metaphor. I’m proposing now that we abandon the metaphors and start to think about substantive concepts we will check.

To be clear: I’m not providing transduction concept as one more metaphor. I’m suggesting that the mind is actually a bidirectional transducer and that, over time, we’ll discover empirical help for this concept.

Recall that Einstein’s Particular Concept of Relativity, printed in 1905, after which his Normal Concept of Relativity, printed in 1915, acquired no direct and convincing empirical help for years — first relating to predictions his equations made in regards to the perihelion precession of Mercury’s orbit, then in regards to the bending of sunshine across the solar (noticed by Sir Arthur Eddington in 1919), after which in regards to the gravitational redshift of sunshine. It took a full century earlier than his predictions about gravity waves have been confirmed.

If we will solid some elements of transduction concept into formal, predictive phrases (I’m engaged on that now and am on the lookout for collaborators), we would have the ability to make particular predictions about transduction — about delicate variations in response occasions, for instance, or about how transduction errors may assist us clarify schizophrenia. We’d additionally have the ability to predict quantitative elements of desires, daydreams, hallucinations, and extra.

Ignore It at Your Peril

If transduction concept has benefit, let’s take into consideration what occurs if we ignore it. If we transported a 17th century scientist to the current day and confirmed her or him how effectively we will converse with somebody utilizing a mobile phone, she or he would nearly definitely wish to look contained in the telephone. The distant voice should be in the telephone, in spite of everything. To place this one other method, a Renaissance scientist would naively view the telephone as a self-contained processing unit, a lot as immediately’s mind scientists naively view the mind.

However that scientist won’t ever discover the distant voice contained in the telephone, as a result of it isn’t there to be discovered.

If we clarify to the scientist that the telephone is a transducer, nevertheless, she or he will now look at the telephone differently, looking for proof of transduction, which she or he — aided by applicable devices and information — will ultimately discover.

And right here is the issue: When you by no means educate that scientist about transduction, she or he may by no means unravel the mysteries of that telephone.

This brings me to the claustrum, a small construction just under the cerebral cortex that’s poorly understood, though current analysis is starting to shed some gentle. Many areas of the mind connect with the claustrum, however what does it do? If the claustrum seems to be the place the place alerts are transduced by the mind, you’ll most likely by no means uncover this outstanding truth if transduction shouldn’t be in your record of potentialities. (When you’re a historical past buff, you may also pay attention to one other small mind construction — the pineal gland — that would conceivably be a transduction website. In his first guide, Treatise of man, written within the early 1600s, French thinker René Descartes recognized this gland because the seat of the soul. Remarkably, within the late 1900s, scientists found that tissue within the pineal gland responds to electromagnetic radiation.)

If trendy mind scientists start to search for proof that the mind is a transducer, they may discover it straight via a brand new understanding of neural pathways, buildings, electro-chemical exercise, or mind waves. Or they may discover such proof not directly by simulating elements of mind perform that look like able to transducing alerts. They could even have the ability to create gadgets that ship alerts to a parallel universe, or, of higher curiosity, that obtain alerts from that universe. Comparative research of animal brains, which may conceivably have restricted connections to the OS, may assist transfer the analysis alongside.

Environment friendly and clear transduction may additionally show the important thing to understanding the emergence of human language and consciousness; here’s a doable clarification for what may need been the comparatively sudden look of such talents in people (see Julian Jaynes’s 1976 guide, The Origin of Consciousness within the Breakdown of the Bicameral Thoughts).  Neural transduction may additionally show to be the mechanism underlying Carl Jung’s idea of the “collective unconscious.” Even Noam Chomsky’s concept of common grammar may get a lift from transduction concept; it might hardly be shocking that the majority or all human languages share sure grammatical guidelines if languages are all constrained by alerts emanating from a standard supply.  After which there’s that ‘stream’ state my buddy Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi taught everybody about. Once I’m in a hyper-creative mode – now, for instance, as I’m writing – I’ve nearly no consciousness of this world or of the passage of time. Is the OS the supply of our creativity?

It would take many years for us to see vital advances in transduction analysis, however with huge sources already dedicated to the mind sciences, we may conceivably transfer a lot quicker. And when you’re nervous that transduction concept is simply one other a type of inherently untestable theories — like string concept or theories about parallel universes — suppose once more. With neural transduction concept, we’ve got an infinite benefit:  The transduction system is on the market for quick in-depth examine.

Implications and Closing Notes

Will transduction concept lastly clear up the previous consciousness drawback? That I doubt, as a result of I don’t suppose there is a consciousness drawback. Consciousness is simply the expertise we’ve got after we’re observing ourselves or the world. It appears grand just because we’re a part of the system we’re observing. It’s a traditional instance of how troublesome it may be to review a system of which one is an integral half; consider this drawback as a type of Gödel’s theorem of the behavioral sciences. (For my entire spiel on this concern, see my 2017 essay, “Decapitating Consciousness.”)

If transduction concept proves to be right, our understanding of the universe and of our place in it’s going to change profoundly. We’d not solely have the ability to make sense of dozens of strange elements of human expertise, we would additionally start to unravel a number of the biggest mysteries within the universe: the place our universe got here from, what else and who else is on the market — even whether or not there’s, in some sense, a God.

If you’re as skeptical about flimsy theories as I’m, by now you is likely to be pondering: Has Epstein misplaced his thoughts (and, in that case, the place did it go)?  Let me guarantee you that I’m as hard-headed as ever. I gained’t imagine in ghosts till Casper himself materializes in entrance of an viewers and pushes me off the stage. However I’m additionally conscious about how little we really know, each about ourselves and our universe. If one easy concept — mind as transducer — may stimulate new sorts of analysis and may additionally deliver order to what appear to be scores of unrelated, weird, and extremely persistent human beliefs, I’m all for it.


Robert Epstein is senior analysis psychologist on the American Institute for Behavioral Analysis and Expertise in California. He holds a doctoral diploma from Harvard College and is the previous editor-in-chief of Psychology Immediately journal. He is authored 15 books and greater than 300 articles on numerous subjects within the behavioral sciences. His mathematical mannequin of the Service Separation Plan, a method for shortly eradicating SARS-CoV-2 and comparable pathogens, might be accessed at https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.640009.



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