From Edwin Cartlidge at Physics World:
Consciousness appears to arise naturally as a result of a brain maximizing its information content. So says a group of scientists in Canada and France, which has studied how the electrical activity in people’s brains varies according to individuals’ conscious states. The researchers find that normal waking states are associated with maximum values of what they call a brain’s “entropy”.
Statistical mechanics is very good at explaining the macroscopic thermodynamic properties of physical systems in terms of the behaviour of those systems’ microscopic constituent particles. Emboldened by this success, physicists have increasingly been trying to do a similar thing with the brain: namely, using statistical mechanics to model networks of neurons. Key to this has been the study of synchronization – how the electrical activity of one set of neurons can oscillate in phase with that of another set. Synchronization in turn implies that those sets of neurons are physically tied to one another, just as oscillating physical systems, such as pendulums, become synchronized when they are connected together.More.
Your snow shovel wants to talk to you.
See also: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?
Follow UD News at Twitter!