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Roczniki Filozoficzne

Volume 17, Issue 3, 1969

Włodzimierz Sedlak
Pages 125-155

Biophysical Foundations of Consciousness

The starting point chosen by the author is that of minimal consciousness: information received and acknowledged. 1. Evolution of information in semiconductor systems. The semiconductor model is the one that allows the best observation of information and its transformation into electric effects, summating processes and semiconducting memory. Electromagnetic information, jointly with the chemical one (acceptor and donor atoms) may modify the substantial contents of the semiconductor, and, in the process, give the latter one a higher degree of order and anisotropic. A semiconductor may perform manifold functions simultaneously, even though possessing a very simple system. Generally speaking, there exists a semiconducting "consciousness”. 2. Evolution of information in biological systems. Life with its characteristic feature — consciousness — appears to have evolved out of semiconductive properties. The substantial content was replaced by an organic one, while the basic semiconductive functions were preserved. The evolution affected the quantity and efficiency of information received. The reception itself of information stimulates the development of the system. On the whole one can speak of a philogenesis of information. In the evolution described here, a new element appeared when the reception of information was made dependent on metabolism. The next stage in the development was reached with the appearance of information canals within the biological system. Parallelly, there exists another system of information based on field principles. Field steering is certainly important in old functions of the organism such as morphogenesis and regeneration. The general property of semiconductors — reception »of information and its translation into electric effects — found optimal possibilities in nerves. Ranvier’s choke works on the principle of semiconductive current — voltage junction. Myelin is certainly a waveguide steering the weak electromagnetic wave one way to the choke. The impulsive currents picture should give rise to a wave. The functioning of the nerves without any losses and with minimal self-noise and little stimulating energy required, and action currents with a characteristic spike prove the existence of a current voltage process at the p-n junction. One has to take into account a small électrostriction of the nerve. Hodgkin’s soda pump may not be the cause of nerve stimulation but its result and a necessary condition of depolarisation. 3. Evolutive preparation of consciousness. In archaic animal groups, loosely dispersed sensitive cells gather in an anisotropic system terminated with brain. At an earlier stage, nerve cells gathered larger quantities of DNA and RNA. Parallelly, the circulation system develops. The oxygen effect, important for semiconductors, continues to be obligatory in the reception of information by the brain. The archaic field code is apparently respected in brains activity since pigments such as melanin and lipofuscin are found. Pigments are good transformers of electromagnetic energy. Here they may exist either as association against excessive overenergizing of the brain by radiation from outside, or as maximal utilization of weak self-radiations. Another evolutive direction is the increase and differentiation of the cerebral surface. The superficial density of electrons, known from semiconductor physics was apparently necessary for a subtle reception of information and production of consciousness. The development of cerebral cortex is associated with postnatal ontogenesis in man. The cortex is potentiality developing parallelly to reception of information. It is to be supposed that the electrostasis ECS of the brain increases parallel, which is testified by the normalization of the EEG. The action potentials of the brain, the semiconducting properties of DNA and RNA and nerves, electrostasis, the oxygen effect (the blood flow in the brain being 25 times higher than in any other tissue), the presence of melanin and lipofuscin, the reception of all information in the form of electric effect — all this proves that the semiconductor model was the starting point for the reception of information in the brain. The archaic field code also was included in the functioning of the brains. Reflexive consciousness is certainly connected with field reflection from ECS and the reception of the wave reflected by one of the layers of the cerebral cortex.