Brain and Quantum Computing 1 July, 2020 | Volume 6 | Article 14
Consciousness and the Amit Ray's
Quantum Attention Function of the Brain
N. Cooper, J. Clarkson, K.T. Phillips, C.J. Hall
Brain, Behavior, and Cognition Lab, Department of Computer Science, T.U.
This article explores consciousness, in the light of Saint Amit Ray's theory of Quantum Attention
Functions (QAFs). QAF framework is now applicable to neuroscience, and it provides quantum
physicists, neuroscientists, AI scientists, and psychologists an alternative conceptual framework
for describing consciousness and the neural processing inside the brain. It can represent more
adequately for validating and modeling the growing number of empirical neuroimaging studies of
brain and consciousness. The Amit Ray's QAF models of consciousness could, in principle help
to lead the way to a new theory of physics that could renovate the serious issues in quantum
mechanics. Ray's notion of quantum attention function in the brain broadly fits into this emerging
field of quantum biology, quantum neuroscience, neuropsychology and quantum machine
He has developed a dense framework of quantum consciousness, incorporating quantum physics,
neuropsychology, neuroscience and biology. Quantum coherence, quantum entanglement,
quantum superposition and wave function collapse are the key components of the QAF model of
quantum consciousness. It provides a stronger and more comprehensive view of quantum
consciousness, brain and qualia.
Keywords: quantum consciousness; neuroscience; neuropsychology; quantum mechanics;
quantum machine learning, brain-computer interface.
According to Saint Amit Ray, "Our inner experiences are the results of the quantum attention
functions. The universe is an ocean of quantum attention functions. We also can have direct access
to the experiences of others just by focusing our attention functions. Our subconscious thought
patterns collapse the quantum wave function and generate the reality" [2, 3]. He used the concept
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of quasi-particles to explain the mystery of the Schrödinger's cat inside the box. Quasi-particles
can decay. However, some new and identical particle entities emerge from the debris. If this decay
proceeds very quickly, an inverse reaction will occur after a specific time, and the debris will
converge again. This process can recur endlessly, and a sustained oscillation between decay and
rebirth emerges. Despite the peculiar nature of these immortal quasi-particles, they do not violate
any known law of physics, especially not the second law of thermodynamics. The entropy of the
quasi-particles stays the same, and that is why they don't indeed decay.
Ray said, "In Hilbert space, the classical states are just in one corner of the room, quantum attention
functions are in the middle, and they are the matrix of cosmic functions that can collapse any other
quantum wave function and transform the non-classical states into classical states in the Hilbert
space. The quantum attention function can reduce a wave instantaneously to a tiny local region.
The wave function evolves naturally, without an observer, from a mix of states into a single, well-
defined state. To measure, we introduced a matrix of extra non-linear mathematical components
known as attention function, which rapidly promotes one state at the expense of others, in a
stochastic way" [2, 3].
Quantum Attention Function Model of Consciousness: An Overview
Ray defined attention as the ability to dynamically alter the origin and the route of the flow of
information. In the most generic form, attention could be described as purely an overall level of
alertness or ability to engage with surroundings and inner feelings and experiences. He classified
the quantum attention functions for consciousness in three groups: spatial, temporal, sensory, inner
feelings, perception, and deep oneness.
They are overlapping with each other. Firing rates of the neurons depends on the strength of the
quantum attention function. Attention work in a hierarchical way, toward the stimulus and the
target, is fulfilling mental desires. Desires are also a stochastic process. It deals with the
probabilities of a possible collapse of the quantum wave functions in a hierarchical network. The
keys to success in collaborative quantum attention function are the power and the high
performance of individual attention functions as well as the power of the diversity among the
QAFs. He mentioned that at low levels of attention, the performance of desire is weak, at the
middle, it is good, and at high levels, it becomes weak again.
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Figure 1: Amit Ray's Quantum Attention Function Model of Consciousness
The quantum attention function can reduce a wave instantaneously to a tiny local region. The wave
function evolves naturally, without an observer, from a mix of states into a single, well-defined
state. To measure Ray introduced a matrix of extra non-linear mathematical components known
as attention function, which rapidly promotes one state at the expense of others, in a stochastic
The relation between Planck's constant h and Ray's quantum attention function constant ϑ is vital
for Ray's quantum consciousness models. In his model, Ray proposed quantum attention geometry
for mapping the space-time geometry to the functional geometry of the neurons. Physically, the
brain is warm, wet, large and full with noises; hence maintaining quantum coherence is difficult.
In reality, the rapid loss of coherence would naturally be likely to block any decisive role for
quantum theory in clarifying the interaction between the conscious experiences and the physical
activities of the brain. Ray said, a human perception not only, depends on the simultaneous activity
of millions of neurons spread throughout the cortex, but also on the influence of the diverse QAFs
in the neighborhood.
Function Model of Sri
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Brain, Attention and Consciousness
Several scientific studies of the attention mechanism of the brain are conducted in psychology.
Where cautious behavioral experimentation can give rise to accurate explanations of the tendencies
and abilities of attention in different circumstances, here, the cognitive science and cognitive
psychology aim to fit these observations into models of how mental processes could generate such
behavioral patterns. Ray's quantum attention models work for single-cell neurophysiology as well
as for the whole brain behavioral activity. They work in a dynamic hierarchal way. Physically, one
can conceive of an open attention function model as a small "sub-system" of a total ensemble in
which the system is in interaction with its "large" environments. Attention can also be spread
across different modalities to perform tasks that need integration of multiple sensory and
environmental signals. In general, the use of multiple matching sensory signals aids to conclude,
take decisions and actions when compared to relying only on a single modality.
The individual behaves to get focused attention from followers, parents, teachers, siblings, peers,
or other people that are around them. Attention does not have to be always positive attention. It
could be negative too. The individual behaves by collapsing the quantum attention functions in a
specific way because it feels useful to them - primarily to reinforce their pleasant feeling pathways
in the brain.
Structurally, attention is the dynamic interplay of different regions of the brain. As shown in figure
-2, primarily structurally attention function includes neo-cortex, amygdala, hippocampus,
thalamus, hypothalamus, cerebellum, brain stem, and the spinal cord. Dopamine, norepinephrine,
and acetylcholine are the primary neurotransmitters that influence attention functions. From
quantum machine learning, point of view, Ray classified attention functions in several overlapping
groups. They are self-attention, sensory-attention, social-attention, external-attention, memory-
based attention, soft-attention, hard-attention, global-attention, and local-attention as shown in
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Figure 2: Amit Ray's Quantum Attention Function Model of Brain
Figure 3: Amit Ray's Quantum Attention Function Models for Quantum Machine Learning
Function of Brain
Sri Amit Ray Model
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Quantum Consciousness and Inner world Experience
Consciousness is a multidisciplinary subject. Over several decades, philosophers, biologists,
physicists, neuroscientists and artificial intelligence scientists are deeply involved in explaining its
mystery. The nature of consciousness has taken significant development by focusing on the
behavioral and neuronal correlates of perception and cognition, for example, the theory of Neural
Correlates of Consciousness, the Global Workspace Theory, and the Integrated Information
Theory. While tremendous progress has been achieved, they are not enough if we are to understand
even basic facts of consciousness—how and where does the consciousness emerge. Research on
quantum consciousness often focused on quantum processes, and the collapse of the wave function
in the brain is of the importance to help us in understanding the information processing and higher-
order cognitive activities of the brain.
The essence of consciousness is the act of experience . Conscious experiences are private and
available through introspection from a first-person, subjective, phenomenal perspective, but
remain unobservable from a third-person, objective perspective . Therefore, there is no
accurate scientific method to determine if any other being, person, animal or object is conscious
or not as we do not have straight access to someone else's experiences through observation.
Consciousness: Functionalism VS Reductionism
Functionalism hypothesizes that consciousness is a functional product generated by the brain, but
which is not reducible to the brain. It explains that consciousness does not appear in the physical
equations that govern the dynamics of elementary brain constituents (particles). The core of the
functional approach is that consciousness arises at a certain level of complexity of the brain
undercurrents and, as a "product" consciousness could have novel features that are not possessed
by the physical brain constituents.
Reductionism hypothesizes that consciousness can be recognized with a physical entity inside the
brain. This means that consciousness appears in the physical equations that govern the dynamics
of elementary brain constituents. Therefore, consciousness is constrained by the physical laws and
has the properties that can be deduced from general information-theoretic theorems. In such case,
theoretical study of consciousness based on physical equations can be beneficial to
experimentalists for the design of their experiments and assessment of possible limitations faced
by mind-reading technologies.
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Consciousness and Quantum Information Theorems
If consciousness were composed of quantum information contained in quantum brain states [11-
13], however, it would be possible to apply quantum information theorems to consciousness.
Because quantum information cannot be fully converted into bits of classical information, the
identity between consciousness and quantum information will imply that consciousness cannot be
converted into classical bits of information, too. Indeed, qualia are not subject to exteriorization,
and we do not have a way to communicate in words or symbols what the unique nature of different
qualia is. Qualia are subjective experiential properties like sensations, feelings, and perceptions.
Qualia are subjective non-structural elements of consciousness.
However, qualia can be introspectively compared, and specific relationships between qualia can
be encoded and communicated. For example, sounds can be loud or low, pleasant or unpleasant.
Which means there is some order or regularity that can be captured in words and communicated.
Even though the unique nature of each sound quale cannot be described, the classical
understanding of information is very restrictive and incapable of reconciling the personal privacy
of conscious experiences with the undeniable fact that we can talk about our experiences in a
meaningful way (as exemplified by Wittgenstein's private language argument or beetle in the box
argument). Quantum information theory, however, provides a more in-depth insight into the
problem. Even though the quantum information carried by quantum systems is not observable and
cannot be fully converted into classical information, each quantum system can give a certain
amount of accessible classical information subject to Holevo's theorem, namely a composite
quantum system composed of n two-level quantum sub-systems (qubits) can carry up to n bits of
publicly accessible (extractable, measurable, observable) classical information .
Integrated Information Theory (IIT)
Integrated Information Theory (IIT), developed by Giulio Tononi and collaborators, has emerged
as one of the leading scientific theories of consciousness. At the heart of the theory is an algorithm
which, based on the level of integration of the internal functional relationships of a physical system
in a given state, aims to determine both the quality and quantity ('Φ value') of its conscious
According to the Bell Theorem, one deterministic theory of quantum physics that fulfils the
assumption of Statistical Independence , must violate local causality. Therefore, we appear to
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need that quantum physics must either be nonlocal or indeterministic. Bohmian formulation of
quantum theory postulates nonlocality. Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum theory
postulates indeterministic. That is to say, and we seem to be confronted with the choice of spooky
action at a distance, or of physics governed by randomness. None of them is satisfactory. The
postulation of Statistical Independence confirms that when two or more sub-ensembles of quantum
particles are being measured with different measurement settings (as occurs in a Bell experiment),
each sub-ensemble is statistically analogous to the others. If it were not possible to assume this,
then the basis for scientific investigation, in general, would be undermined .
Quantum theory of mind-brain
In the quantum mechanics of mind-brain, described by Stapp , there are two different
procedures. The first one is the unconscious mechanical brain process ruled by the Schrodinger
equation, which contains processing units that are characterized by intricate patterns of neural
activity in the brain. The neurons and the brain regions are activated by the activation of several
other brain regions. An appropriately described mechanical brain evolves by the dynamical
interplay of these associative neural units. Each of this quasi-classical element of the ensemble
that constitutes the brain creates, based on clues, or cues, coming from various sources, a plan for
a possible coherent course of action. Quantum uncertainties involve that a host of different
possibilities will emerge. This mechanical phase of the processing already involves some
selectivity, because the various input clues contribute either more or less to the new brain process
according to the degree to which these inputs activate, via relations, the patterns that survive and
turn into the plan of action. Hameroff and Penrose (1996) discussed the issue of consciousness,
taking into consideration quantum coherence.
Conclusion and Discussion
In this work, we presented the quantum attention function to explain consciousness. This study
shows that despite the successes of the conventional quantum mechanics approaches, and it
appears that there is something profound still missing to explain brain, behaviour, consciousness,
observation and attention. We think that Saint Amit Ray's work on quantum attention function can
clarify the missing links, which will lead to the resolution of long-standing issues in quantum
mechanics and consciousness.
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Quantum attention is a large and complex topic that stretches across quantum physics,
consciousness studies, neuropsychology, neuroscience, brain-computer interface, and artificial
intelligence. While many of these studies are overlapping in their mechanisms, but in an integrated
way, they can contribute better understandings of the human brain, behaviour and consciousness.
There is a need to intensify evidence-based research with the quantum attention function. Future
research avenues in this regard should include a greater focus on monitoring human behaviour and
emotion analysis with quantum attention models to overcome the barriers of understanding
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