Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics

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Abstract

For a quantum mechanical measurement to be complete, John von Neumann and others assumed that a conscious observer must be present to affect a reduction or collapse of the state function. Also, William James believed that the influence of consciousness on physical bodies is required by the demands of biological evolution. The author shows how both of these ideas might be correct if there exists a neurological mechanism that responds to the presence of an “inside observer” of a kind defined in a previous paper. An experiment is proposed to test the hypothetical mechanism.

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