Danielle Perszyk is a cognitive scientist, and co-founder and lead scientist at Oscillations who is using neuroscience theory of synchrony in order to make predictions for how to direct attention and tell stories using body and gestures without any traditional narrative components. We explore her research as well as the fundamental nature of consciousness through a debate and dialectic where she represents the tradition of Aristotle & empirical science where I represent the tradition of Plato mathemathics, and Platonic metaphysics. Consciousness is one of the biggest open questions in science, and it is possible that virtual reality may provide new empirical ways to test different strategies for operationalizing consciousness.
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This conversation was informed by the recent article in Scientific American titled “Coming to Grips with the Implications of Quantum Mechanics,” which argues that mind could be a fundamental part of reality rather than simply emergent from physical reality. Specifically, the delayed-choice quantum observer experiment seems to show anomalous retrocausal behavior where a quantum measurement of an entangled particle in the future seems to impact it’s state in the past. Ashok Narasimhan & Menas C. Kafatos propose a framework that has an observer with non-local consciousness that is able to make a quantum measurement. The entire community of scientists are still trying to reckon what the mathematics of quantum mechanics says about the nature of reality, but some more panpsychic, idealistic, and cosmopsychic explaination that are from the Platonic tradition seem to potentially coming back into favor.
Here is the keynote that I gave at the beginning of the VRTO conference in Toronto that gives some more context for this discussion.
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