Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Biophysical picture representation by Bókkon

From biophotons to biophysical picture representation:
why I could have so vivid visual dreams
by István Bókkon

We can term noetic as various authors that write about consciousness (matter, physical world, science thoughts), spirituality (soul, beliefs, metaphysics) and cosmology (science, genesis, intentions, information). In reality, these things cannot be separated. I think that my work and my new model is exact example of noetic. I hope that my researcher of biophysical picture representation(virtual biophysical picture reality in the V1, internally generated virtual biophysical picture perception) can bring a brand new ways in the brain and cellular researchers, visual prosthesis, and artificial intelligence, etc. in the future. This biophysical picture representation model could explain numerous brain related phenomena in a convergent manner such as phosphenes, negative afterimages, saccades, retinal discrete dark noise, blind sight, visual imagery and perception, REM dream pictures, visual hallucination, autism, savant skill, some color illusions, synaesthesia, the appearance of brilliant lights during near ¬death experiences, correlated brain signals between physically and sensory isolated subjects among them.

I always wondered about my vivid visual dreams and I did not understand how my dreams could be emerged by mere neural electrical representations, because these looked like as the real pictures during my visual perception in awake state. I was also surprised that when I sometimes rub my closed eyes I could see highly luminous stars (namely, I could see pressure phosphenes originated within the eyes). When I read the first articles about biophotons somehow I felt that these may give answers to the origin of my visual dreams and to luminous stars in my pressured eyes. Around this time I started my theoretical research work for six long years.

In my first published paper (in my new way topic) I pointed out that all types of phosphenes can be explained by free-radical and biophotonic processes. Namely, unregulated overproduction of free radicals and excited biomolecules can produce a transient increase of ultraweak biophotons in different regions of the visual system. If this excess biophoton emission exceeds a distinct threshold (phosphene threshold), it can appear as phosphene lights in our mind.
I felt that phosphene phenomenon also helps prove my visual dreams. First, there were two things that did not seem right, i.e., the random/spontaneous generation of biophotons from free-radical reactions and the super weakness of biophoton intensity. Since I am chemist and biologist, I sank into research of free radical processes. Fortunately, the current research has clearly indicated that the free-radical processes are strongly regulated mechanisms. Thus, in my next articles I revealed that if the free-radical reactions are controlled processes, biophoton production can also be regulated. The second problem was the super weakness of biophoton intensity. I performed calculations and found that externally measured ultraweak biophoton emission from various cells and neurons are primarily derived from natural oxidation processes on the surfaces of cellular membranes and that the actual biophoton intensity can be drastically higher inside cells and neurons (Bókkon et al. 2010) compared with the biophoton intensity in their surrounding environment. Namely, the most significant fraction of natural biophoton production cannot be measurable but is absorbed within cells and may take part in signal processes. Later, Dotta et al. (2011) experiments supported my notion regarding cellular membranes are biophoton sources when we measure biophoton intensity of living cells.

The next question was a structural question. Because all living cells and neurons produce biophotons, what the specific is regarding to V1 (and V2) visual areas. Why are neurons special in the visual system? The specificity is the structure, namely retinotopic structure of visual system. Namely, in primates, LGN, the striate cortex (V1), and many extrastriate visual cortical areas including V2, V3, V4 are organized in a retinotopic manner, respecting the topological distribution of photon stimuli on the retina. However, V1 and V2 have "perfect" retinotopic maps. These areas are topographically organized, and they preserve the local spatial geometry of the retina, so patterns of activation in them depict shape. In addition, primary visual cortex has columnar–like structure revealed by the distribution of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase activity are considered as endogenous markers of neuronal oxidative metabolism regulated by neuronal activity. The highest density of neurons in neocortex (number of neurons per degree of visual angle) devoted to representing the visual field is found in V1 (Rockel and Hiorns, 1980; Van Essen and Anderson, 1992). This means that the highest mitochondrial activity can be achieved in the columnar–like structures by cytochrome oxidase rich units. Thus, small units of retinotopic V1, V2 neurons with biophotons might act as “nonlinear visual pixels” respective to the topological distribution of photonic signals in the retina. Finally, it is very possible (as revealed by experiments and models) that mitochondrial oxidative metabolism is the main sources of ultraweak biophotons.
It seems everything is together. Explicitly, reflected photons from objects are absorbed by photoreceptors and converted into retinal electrical signals. Next, retinotopic electrical signals are conveyed to the V1, where spike-related electrical visual signals are induced along classical axonal-dendritic pathways. These spike-related electrical visual signals along classical axonal-dendritic pathways also produce concurrently spike-related (neural activity-dependent) biophotons within the same population of retinotopic V1 neurons through mitochondrial bioluminescent radical reactions (Bókkon, 2009; Bókkon and D'Angiulli, 2009). These synchronized and activity-dependent biophotons can spatially and temporally create pictures in the retinotopic V1 area. Thus, retinal visual information of the perceived object can be re-represented through congruent patterns of biophotons in retinotopic V1 neurons during visual imagery and visual perception.

Our biophysical concept has not only revived Kosslyn’s depictive assumption (Kosslyn, 1994 Borst and Kosslyn, 2008 Lewis et al. 2011) and the homunculus but has also argued that biophysical pictures can appear in early retinotopic visual regions. To solve the homunculus ("little man", mind's eye) dilemma we presented an iterative model (Bókkon et al. 2011a). Accordingly, a separated homunculus looks at biophysical picture representation can be a misleading view because it can be realized through iterative matching processes in visual V1 and V2 areas (Bókkon et al. 2011a; Vimal, 2008, 2010; Perlovsky 2009). The matching element reflects both physical and mental aspects of feed forward and feedback signals. In our model (Bókkon, 2009; Bókkon and D'Angiulli, 2009; Bókkon et al. 2011), long-term visual information is not stored as biophysical pictures but as neural epigenetic codes. Thus, the representation stored in long-term visual memory matches the image produced when an individual repeatedly encounters the same object.

Recently, Dotta, Saroka and Persinger (2012) and Dotta and Persinger (2011) detected spontaneous biophoton (as base level) emission from both hemispheres of the brain in dark adapted voluntaries during their simple casual thinking. They revealed a significant increases in biophoton emissions (300%) occur from the right hemisphere compared to baseline level, but not the left hemisphere, in healthy persons who imagined a white light in a dark room opposed to those who engaged in simple casual thinking. Thus, the authors observed cognitive coupling with biophoton emission in the brain during subjective visual imagery. In addition, the biophoton emissions were strongly correlated with EEG activity and the action potentials of axons.

Toward visual REM sleep dreams
Physiological and psychological processes of REM sleep are similar to waking visual imagery. The EEG pattern during REM sleep is basically indistinguishable from that during wakefulness and is characterized by low amplitudes and higher frequencies. REM dream pictures, similarly to visual imagery, can originate from long-term visual memories by iterative processes. There are increases in oxygen and glucose utilization, brain temperature, local brain blood flow and neuron activity during REM (Shvets-Ténéta-Gurii et al., 2001). REM sleep metabolic rates are as high as those seen in wakefulness. The mean levels of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase activity and blood volume during REM sleep significantly exceed those during waking and slow-wave sleep (Vern et al., 1988). Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation dominates in waking and REM sleep, while aerobic glycolysis dominates during non-REM sleep (Shvets-Ténéta-Gurii et al., 2003). Visual imagery during REM sleep, in comparison to wakefulness, can occur through the inverse pathway of visual information processing (Cantero et al., 1999; Ogawa et al., 2006).

During REM sleep, visual imagery uses similar neural systems as those used in wakefulness (Nir and Tononi 2010 Sprenger et al. 2010). During REM sleep-associated dreams, the appearance of rapid eye movements reflects the replaying of visual information (Leclair-Visonneau et al. 2010). The results from current event-related fMRI studies revealed the activation of V1 during REM sleep (Hong et al. 2009 Miyauchi et al., 2009). One of the most important events during REM sleep is the activation of visual areas, and REM sleep associated dreams are primarily accompanied with visual replay (Hobson 1988; Bókkon and Mallick 2012). Latest experiments (Horikawa, 2013) by functional neuroimaging of the brains of three people as they slept, simultaneously recording their brain waves using EEG demonstrated that dreaming and visual perception share similar neurocognitive mechanisms.

It seems everything is also together to produce biophysical pictures during visual REM dreams, similarly to visual imagery. In reality, intrinsic dynamic biophysical pictures creation by redox (free radical) regulated biophotons is an extremely complex process. Moreover, visual information is linked to other sensory modalities in the brain. However, dynamic series of pictures (generated in retinotopic visual areas by regulated bioluminescent biophotons can carry unambiguous meaning of words. The human memory can operate through intrinsic dynamic pictures and we link these pictures to each other in the learning processes.

Phosphenes represent a perceived sensation of flashes of light in the absence of external visual stimulation. The most common phosphenes are pressure phosphenes, caused by rubbing the closed eyes. Earlier, I have proposed (Bókkon, 2008) that the phosphene phenomenon is due to the intrinsic perception of induced (mechanical, electrical, magnetic, etc.) or spontaneous increased bioluminescent biophoton emission of cells in various parts of the retinotopic visual system. Induced or spontaneous unregulated overproduction of free radicals and energetically excited molecules can create a brief increase of the generation of bioluminescent biophotons in the visual system. When this excess biophoton emission can exceed a threshold, they appear as phosphene lights in the subject’s mind.

My hypothesis that phosphene lights are due to the excess biophotons is supported by several sets of experiments. Catala (2006) has shown that radicals from lipid peroxidation of the photoreceptors can create (bio)chemiluminescent photons (bioluminescence is a type of chemiluminescence, which naturally occurs in living organisms) in the visual spectrum. Subsequently, our prediction regarding one specific kind of phosphenes (i.e. retinal phosphenes during space travel) was supported by Narici et al. (2009). According to this latter work, ionizing radiation (cosmic particle rays) induced free radicals which produce chemiluminescent photons through processes including by lipid peroxidation. Chemiluminescent photons are then absorbed by the photoreceptors and initiate a photo-transduction cascade, which results in the perception of phosphenes. Narici et al. (2012) also revealed that the lipid peroxidation of the photoreceptors can produce (bio)chemiluminescent photons that generate anomalous visual effects, such as those associated with retinal phosphenes. Recently, the first experimental in vitro evidence was presented (Wang, Bókkon et al., 2011) for the existence of spontaneous and visible light induced biophoton emission from freshly isolated whole eye, lens, vitreous humor and retina samples from rats. It also supports the hypothesis that phosphene lights are produced by biophotons.

Since phosphenes can be produced by direct stimulation of the visual cortex without a retinal photo-transduction cascade, this suggests that retinal and visual cortical phosphenes are generated by similar (bio)chemiluminescent photons, and both may due to the transiently and locally increased ultraweak biophotons. Namely, because retinal and cortical phosphenes can be produced by similar (bio)chemiluminescent photons, if it can be demonstrated in the future that perception of cortical induced phosphenes (in V1 and V2 areas) is due to biophotons, regulated biophotons in early retinotopic neurons could act as natural biophysical substrates of visual perception and imagery. Thus, phosphene phenomenon helps prove my biophysical picture representation (virtual biophysical picture reality in the V1, internally generated virtual biophysical picture perception).
I do not claim to solve the secret of consciousness, but propose that the evolution in the higher levels of complexity made possible the emergence of intrinsic picture representation of the external visual world by regulated redox and bioluminescent biophotons in the visual system during visual perception and visual imagery. It is remarkable that evolution of higher levels of complexity making intrinsic biophysical picture representation of the external visual world is possible.

1. Bókkon I, Salari V, Scholkmann F, Dai J, Grass F. (2013) Interdisciplinary implications on autism, savantism, Asperger syndrome and the biophysical picture representation: Thinking in pictures. Cognitive Systems Research 22–23, 67–77.
2. Bókkon I, Mallick BN. (2012) Activation of retinotopic areas is central to REM sleep associated dreams: Visual dreams and visual imagery possibly co-emerged in evolution. Activitas Nervosa Superior 54, 10-25.
3. Bókkon I, Salari V. (2012) Brilliant lights by bioluminescent photons in near-death experiences. Medical Hypotheses 79, 47-49.
4. Bókkon I, Vimal RLP, Wang C, Dai J, Salari V, Grass F, Antal I. (2011) Visible light induced ocular delayed bioluminescence as a possible origin of negative afterimage. J. Photochem. Photobiol. B Biology. 103, 192–199.
5. Wang C, Bókkon I, Dai J, Antal I. (2011) First experimental demonstration of spontaneous and visible light-induced photon emission from rat eyes. Brain Res. 1369. 1-9.
6. Bókkon I, Salari V, Tuszynski J. (2011) Emergence of intrinsic representations of images by feedforward and feedback processes and bioluminescent photons in early retinotopic areas (Toward biophysical homunculus by an iterative model). J Integr Neurosci. 10, 47-64.
7. Bókkon I, Antal I. (2011) Schizophrenia: redox regulation and volume transmission. Current Neuropharmacology 9, 289-300.
8. Bókkon I, Salari V, Tuszynski J, Antal I. (2010) Estimation of the number of biophotons involved in the visual perception of a single-object image: Biophoton intensity can be considerably higher inside cells than outside J. Photochem. Photobiol. B Biology 100, 160-166.
9. Bókkon I, Vimal RLP. (2010). Implications on visual apperception: energy, duration, structure and synchronization. BioSystems 101, 1-9.
10. Bókkon I, Dai J, Antal I. (2010) Picture representation during REM dreams: A redox molecular hypothesis. BioSystems. 100, 79-86.
11. Bókkon I, Vimal RLP. (2009) Retinal phosphenes and discrete dark noises in rods: a new biophysical framework. J. Photochem. Photobiol. B Biology. 96, 255-259.
12. Bókkon I. (2009) Visual perception and imagery: a new hypothesis. BioSystems 96, 178-184.
13. Bókkon I, D'Angiulli A. (2009) Emergence and transmission of visual awareness through optical coding in the brain: A redox molecular hypothesis on visual mental imagery. Bioscience Hypotheses 2, 226-232.
14. Bókkon I. (2008) Phosphene phenomenon: a new concept. BioSystems 92, 168-174.
15. Bókkon I. Mallick B.N. Tuszynski J.A. (2013) Near death experiences and bioluminescent biophotons: A multidisciplinary hypothesis. Invited paper Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Research Topic: Non-Ordinary Mental Expressions. Submitted.
16. Dotta BT, Buckner CA, Lafrenie RM, Persinger MA. Photon emissions from human brain and cell culture exposed to distally rotating magnetic fields shared by separate light-stimulated brains and cells. Brain Res. 2011 May 4;1388:77-88.
17. Dotta BT, Buckner CA, Cameron D, Lafrenie RF, Persinger MA. Biophoton emissions from cell cultures: biochemical evidence for the plasma membrane as the primary source. Gen Physiol Biophys. 2011 Sep;30(3):301-9.
18. Dotta BT, Saroka KS, Persinger MA. Increased photon emission from the head while imagining light in the dark is correlated with changes in electroencephalographic power: support for Bókkon's biophoton hypothesis. Neurosci Lett. 2012 Apr 4;513(2):151-4

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