Joachim Keppler

Joachim Keppler
DIWISS · Department of Consciousness Research

Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. rer. nat.)

About

25
Publications
7,870
Reads
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176
Citations
Introduction
Apart from my interest in the understanding of the physical world, the core question that has always fascinated me is the question of how physical systems like human beings can develop an inner life that is characterized by a rich spectrum of phenomenal qualities. This fascination has triggered the endeavor to find an integrated approach for the understanding of the physical world and the inner world (consciousness) as well as their interdependence. Currently, my research activities focus on the development of a conceptual framework for consciousness that is geared to laying the foundations for a fundamental theory of consciousness. The framework opens up new perspectives for consciousness research and sheds new light on the functioning of the brain.
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
DIWISS
Position
  • Research Director
Description
  • The current research activities focus on the development of a conceptual framework for consciousness that lays the foundations for a fundamental theory of consciousness.
Education
August 1992 - May 1995
Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Field of study
  • Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics
November 1987 - July 1992

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a new interpretation of the consciousness-related neuroscientific findings using the framework of stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a branch of physics that sheds light on the basic principles underlying quantum systems. It is propounded that SED supplemented by two well-founded hypotheses leads to a satisfying explanation of...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is twofold. First, our purpose is to propose and motivate a novel and scientifically informed variant of cosmopsychism, namely, the view that the experiences of ordinary subjects are ultimately grounded in an all-pervading cosmic consciousness. Second, we will demonstrate that this approach generates promising avenues for addr...
Article
Full-text available
The main goal of this article consists in addressing two fundamental issues of consciousness research and cognitive science, namely, the question of why declarative memory functions are inextricably linked with phenomenal awareness and the question of the physical basis of memory traces. The presented approach proposes that high-level cognitive pro...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the progress made in studying the observable exteriors of conscious processes, which are reflected in the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), there are still no satisfactory answers to two closely related core questions. These are the question of the origin of the subjective, phenomenal aspects of consciousness, and the question of th...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this work is to compile the basic components for the construction of an electromagnetic field theory of consciousness that meets the standards of a fundamental theory. An essential cornerstone of the conceptual framework is the vacuum state of quantum electrodynamics which, contrary to the classical notion of the vacuum, can be viewed a...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Reports have indicated possible uses of ayahuasca for the treatment of conditions including depression, addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and specific psychoneuroendocrine immune system pathologies. The article assesses potential ayahuasca and N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) integration with contemporary healthcare. The re...
Book
Interdisciplinary study of bioethics and consciousness: neuroscience, psychology, bioethics, neurobioetica, philosophy, quantum consciousness
Chapter
Full-text available
A novel approach to the scientific understanding of phenomenal awareness is presented that accepts consciousness as ontologically fundamental and is based on the hypothesis that the whole range of phenomenal nuances is inherent in the frequency spectrum of a ubiquitous field of consciousness. Pursuing this idea, it is postulated that the brain empl...
Article
Full-text available
Owing to the increasing importance of clinical hypnosis in pain therapy and palliative care, there is a growing interest in uncovering the mechanism underlying hypnotic analgesia. The neurophysiological findings suggest that the hypnotic state is associated with an altered operating mode of the brain that is clearly different from the normal operat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The disclosure of the universal mechanism underlying conscious systems is one of the core issues in consciousness research. Most of the existing approaches build upon the notion that consciousness arises as an emergent property of a large collection of interacting neurons and their activity patterns. However, on closer inspection all these approach...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I present a novel approach to the scientific understanding of consciousness. It is based on the hypothesis that the full range of phenomenal qualities is built into the frequency spectrum of a ubiquitous background field and proceeds on the assumption that conscious systems employ a universal mechanism by means of which they are ab...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An essential prerequisite for the development of a theory of consciousness is the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms and core principles underlying conscious processes. I present an approach that sheds new light on these mechanisms and opens up new perspectives for consciousness research. It is based on the notion that the universe is imbu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An essential prerequisite for the development of a theory of consciousness is the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms underlying conscious processes. In my talk I present an approach that sheds new light on these mechanisms and opens up entirely new perspectives for consciousness research. Overview: The approach starts from the hypothesis t...
Article
Full-text available
An essential prerequisite for the development of a theory of consciousness is the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms underlying conscious processes. In this article I present an approach that sheds new light on these mechanisms. This approach builds on stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a promising theoretical framework that provides a deep...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The framework constitutes a novel synthesis of Western and Eastern insights with the goal to prepare a solid scientific grounding for a theory of consciousness. It is based on three essential cornerstones: physics, neurophysiology, and Eastern philosophy. The physics part builds on stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a theory that provides a deeper u...
Article
Full-text available
One of the main challenges in consciousness research is widely known as the hard problem of consciousness. In order to tackle this problem, I utilize an approach from theoretical physics, called stochastic electrodynamics (SED), which goes one step beyond quantum theory and sheds new light on the reality behind matter. According to this approach, m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
One of the main challenges in consciousness research is widely known as the hard problem of consciousness. Already in the 1990s David Chalmers speculated that finding a solution for this problem may be deeply linked to unraveling the mysteries of quantum physics. In my talk I argue that Chalmers is absolutely on the right track. A theoretical appro...
Conference Paper
This paper presents an effective strategy to schedule fossilfuel power plant systems with so-called power-heat coupling. Due to the simultaneous production of electricity, heat and steam such systems reach a higher efficiency than pure electric power plants. The goal is to minimize the total costs for the production of the predicted load demand of...
Article
The spin structure of the proton is investigated in the framework of an extended quark potential model which in addition to the conventional 3q structure also takes into account (3q)(qq¯) admixtures in the proton wave function. For reasons of parity such admixtures contain an odd orbital angular momentum thus allowing the proton spin to be shared a...
Article
Full-text available
We start from an MIT-bag model calculation which provides information about the constituent quark distributions in the nucleon. The constituent quarks, however, are themselves considered as complex objects whose partonic substructure is resolved in deep inelastic scattering. This gives rise to structure functions of the constituent quarks which, in...

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Project (1)
Project
The disclosure of the universal mechanism underlying conscious systems is one of the core issues in consciousness research. Most of the existing approaches build upon the notion that consciousness arises as an emergent property of a large collection of interacting neurons and their activity patterns. However, on closer inspection all these approaches leave one essential question unanswered: if qualia truly emerge from physical processes, this act of creation must be somehow explicable by means of a reasonable mechanism and intelligible laws of nature. In this respect, no tangible solution has been presented so far. Instead of regarding the brain as the generator of consciousness, it is more plausible to accept consciousness as a fundamental property of the universe and to think of the brain as a highly specialized filter of consciousness. According to this view, the brain employs a universal mechanism by means of which it extracts a limited spectrum of phenomenal nuances from a ubiquitous background field of consciousness that comprises the full phenomenal color palette. I set forth that in the form of the zero-point field (ZPF) physics can offer not only a promising candidate for the background field, but also an appropriate filtering mechanism that is based on the recurring formation and dissolution of patterns of phase-locked ZPF modes (ZPF information states). A major characteristic of the mechanism is the existence of transiently stable attractors. The presence of this mechanism in the brain is supported by the neurophysiological body of evidence. As a consequence, the empirical findings can be interpreted in such a way that the brain produces an individual stream of phenomenal awareness by periodically filtering phenomenal nuances out of the ZPF, leading to a consistent explanation of the dynamical properties of the neural correlates of consciousness. From this perspective, only those brain processes that are able to exert influence on the ZPF and generate ZPF information states have the potential to exceed the threshold to conscious experience. Building on the hypothesized mechanism underlying conscious systems, I derive a universal indicator for the quantity of consciousness (Q_c) that measures the degree of order in the ZPF compared to the completely disordered field. The conceptual framework thus defined constitutes a solid basis for a theory of consciousness, opens a door to the phenomenal classification of physical brain states, and results in testable predictions. The next steps consist in ... a) deriving realistic estimates of Q_c for various systems, b) specifying the experimental setup for the direct verification of the proposed mechanism.